Skip to comments.R. B. Greaves, Pop Singer, Dies at 68
Posted on 10/10/2012 3:37:02 PM PDT by nickcarraway
R. B. Greaves, an R&B singer whose 1969 hit Take a Letter, Maria reached No. 2 on the Billboard pop chart, died on Thursday in Los Angeles. He was 68.
His death was confirmed by his son, Shiloh Greaves.
Take a Letter, Maria, which Mr. Greaves wrote, is about a hard-working man who dictates a Dear Jane letter to his secretary after coming home to find his wife in the arms of another man.
He sings, more in acceptance than in anger: So take a letter, Maria, address it to my wife/Say I wont be coming home, gonna start a new life.
Despite its theme of betrayal, the song remains upbeat and ends with the husband asking Maria out to dinner.
The song, which was recorded at the hitmaking Muscle Shoals studio in Alabama, went gold, selling more than a million copies.
Mr. Greaves was a nephew of the gospel and soul singer Sam Cooke, who was shot and killed by a Los Angeles motel manager in 1964.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I used to listen to that song
Didn’t realize he was Sam Cooke’s nephew
Never was a big fan of the song but it was a huge hit.Pretty young...68.
Can only imagine this song playing on a transistor radio.
Great AM Radio song...
Back when that was nearly all there was, it sounded purty good. It was either that, or a static-laced AM car radio, LOL!
RIP. I always thought part of those lyrics were “a Saturday knife”, instead of “start a new life.”
Duane Allman was the session guitarist for that album...
Never watched him until now.
“Take a death certificate, Maria (ba badaba ba ba)
Address it to my wife
Send a copy to my lawyer
Gotta start a new life...”
I did not know that. Duane Allman, now there was a tragic death of a tremendously talented young musician.
“Take a letter, Maria” always got a lot of airtime, even after the 60’s and up to now. I sure liked hearing it. RIP.
Notice the “Mission Impossible” flame-up at the end of the song....lol!
I used to hear that song.
OMG, that is like a friend of mine who thought Creedance’s lyrics on Bad Moon Rising were “there’s a bathroom on the right.”
Or Jimi Hendrix’s “’Scuse me while I kiss this guy”... ;-)
Or the Young Rascals’, “Life would be ecstasy, you and me, and Leslie.”
Stay safe FReeper.
Take a letter Maria
A dressing for my wife
Take a letter, Maria
And dress up like my wife.
‘splains why he sounded just like Sam Cooke?
“He will be missed” wrote some thoughtless fool on Youtube. Oh, yeah? Like you wuz expecting his next hit record?
Heh.. And I don’t even try deciphering what passes for music today. Argh.
Take care and g’night...