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GENE McDANIELS (1935-2011), Soul Singer and Songwriter ~ In Memoriam

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Gene McDaniels, soul singer and songwriter, dead at 76

Hiram Lee
30 August 2011
Text ©

Singer and songwriter Gene McDaniels died July 29 at the age of 76. McDaniels is perhaps best-known for having composed the protest song “Compared to What,” made famous by jazz musicians Les McCann and Eddie Harris, and the R&B standard “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” recorded by numerous performers, most notably Roberta Flack. He was a talented composer and an even more impressive singer.

McDaniels was born February 12, 1935 in Kansas City, Missouri and grew up in Omaha, Nebraska where his family relocated in the 1940s. Like so many of the soul singers who would go on to make names for themselves in the 1960s, McDaniels got his start singing in church. His father was a preacher and the young McDaniels was a regular in the choir from an early age. Inspired by popular gospel singing groups such as the Soul Stirrers, McDaniels would form his own gospel quartet, The Sultans, at a young age …

To read Hiram Lee’s complete tribute and obituary, go to the original


2 Responses to “GENE McDANIELS (1935-2011), Soul Singer and Songwriter ~ In Memoriam”

  1. carl martineau Says:

    “compared to what”
    a social-cultural-political protest song
    that smashed down barriers
    in such an outrageously fun way
    quite a trip
    from the nostalgia
    of “a hundred pounds of clay”
    thanks, al,
    i hadn’t heard
    of maestro mcdaniels’ departure

  2. Al Says:

    Thanks, Carl. I just linked Les McCann’s and Eddie Harris’ “Compared to What?” and Roberta Flack’s “Feel Like Makin’ Love” into the text. You’re right. Great stuff.

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