Friday, September 07, 2007

He Meant Well: Say It One More Time For Kip Anderson 1941 - 2007

Born January 24, 1941 in Anderson, South Carolina; died Wednesday August 29th 2007

Today's post is going to add to the other tributes that have been presented about Kip Anderson, who died after recent heart problems in his home town of Anderson, South Carolina.
The title of this post comes from an interview with Kip for The Beat magazine by Dan Armonaitis in 2003. When asked what he would like to be remembered for, Kip replied that he would ask for his tombstone simply to read: "He meant well". By all accounts, Kip Anderson was a gentle and kind individual, and devoted a great deal of his time helping others in the community. In part this was inspired by the pitfalls that he himself had encountered in his life that almost derailed his musical career, and by the individuals who, when he had reached a low point, offered him a lifeline.

Dan's article is well worth the time reading for its detailed summary of Kip's life and career, as well as the personal anectdotes which Kip revealed to him in their interviews: amongst the highlights of which is, what Sam Cooke used to do to the unsuspecting Blind Boys of Alabama while driving their car to a gig. With Kip's input, the article spans from his early years playing piano for gospel groups in Anderson and his big break playing for gospel legend Madame Edna Gallmon Cooke, to his move into r&b recording, to his movements from label to label looking for the big hit, which came closest with I Went Off And Cried, on which Kip Anderson uttered the legendary phrase 'say it one time for the broken-hearted.' It then records the struggles Kip had through the 1970s trying to beat an addiction and cope with the stresses of incarceration, and the way in which, thanks to a prison warden who happened to be an old school friend, Kip got the chance to discover how music could transform other people's lives as well as his own. His well-deserved career renaissance saw him feted in both the local gospel and the beach music audiences.
Without A Woman, a release on Checker Records for Chess, was the first Kip Anderson song I ever heard, and precisely the sixth soul record I had ever heard. It can't fail to hit the mark as a quintessential deep southern soul number, being written by Quin Ivy and Dan Penn and recorded at FAME.

Kip Anderson - Without A Woman (Checker Records) 1966

For more information on Kip Anderson, go to the Dan Armonaitis article.

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