7 February 2022
Yesterday the 85-year old Chicago blues/soul musician SYL JOHNSON
passed away (only six days after his older brother died.)
Family statement: “It is with extreme sadness that our family announces the passing
of Soul & Blues Hall of Fame Legend, Syl Johnson (born Sylvester Thompson). Dad, Brother, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, Uncle, Friend & Artist, he lived his life as a singer, musician, and entrepreneur who loved black music.”
Syl was born in 1936 in Holly Springs, Mississippi. He had a fantastic career with
countless LPs and several hit singles with funky groove TAKE ME TO THE RIVER
written by Al Green and Mabon “Teenie” Hodges as his biggest triumph in 1975.
Talking Heads‘ chief David Byrne spotted the song immediately upon its release
and decided to record it and put it on the band’s second LP More Songs About Buildings And Food (1978). So many people had no clue that it was a cover as it sounded like it was written by Talking Heads themselves.
The three versions…
– TALKING HEADS –
(Splendid live version)
– SYL JOHNSON –
– AL GREEN –
SYL JOHNSON: Story