Don Covay is an American soul singer and songwriter.
Don Covay's recording career began way back in 1957, but for most of his life he has found more success as a songwriter than a singer. He only ever released three albums in the 60s (Mercy!, See-Saw and The House Of Blue Lights), but there were also many singles in this era released on a variety of labels, most of which sank without a trace. Dug up and collected together, they make for a wealth of brilliant songs which could well have been compiled into at least one more album at the time. Coming from a span of over ten years, their style varies quite considerably. His earliest singles were in a straight rock & roll format, coming from when he was performing as part of the Little Richard Revue. Over the next several years he moved through doo-wop, soul and funky R&B styles.
His first song to become a big hit through another artist was "Pony Time", which was covered by Chubby Checker and in 1961 and got to #1. He went on to write songs for others including Solomon Burke, Jerry Butler, Gladys Knight, Wilson Pickett and Aretha Franklin (who had a huge hit with "Chain Of Fools" in 1967). The two songs which did give him Top 10 R&B hits of his own were "Mercy Mercy" and "See-Saw", but as they were featured on albums of the same names they are not included on this compilation (and neither are a few more singles from those albums). In fact this compilation goes no where near collecting all of the singles, some of which still remain very obscure and elusive (most notably his own version of "Chain Of Fools" isn't here). Instead it should be considered a selection of songs to showcase the scale of his talent, both A-sides and B-sides taken from thirteen years of his career .
It includes one cover - Allen Toussaint's "Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky", from 1970.
More from Don Covay