O.V. Wright was born in Tennessee in 1939. He started singing gospel music at a young age, joining the Sunset Travellers whilst still a teen, and recording with them for Don Robey's Peacock Records. He later joined the Harmony Echoes, which also included James Carr, and it was through them that the two of them were discovered by manager/songwriter Roosevelt Jamison.
Jamison persuaded both Wright and Carr to mave the move into the R&B world, and he wrote a song for Wright to sing, the classic "That's How Strong My Love Is". In 1964 Jamison got them both signed to the Memphis-based Goldwax label, which released "That's How Strong My Love Is". The same year a version was also put out by Otis Redding, which predictably eclipsed the little-known Wright's original in terms of popularity and exposure. It was then that some contractual problems arose - the unscrupulous Don Robey claimed Wright was still signed to his Peacock label through his time with the Sunset Travellers. Wright agreed to return to Robey, and Jamison subsequently focused all his attention on James Carr.
Robey put Wright onto his newly formed Back Beat label, and it was here that Wright scored his first hit - "You're Gonna Make Me Cry" made it to #6 on the R&B chart, and established Wright as one of the great voices of southern soul. His debut album If It's Only For Tonight followed, which featured among other songs a brilliant rendition of the traditional spiritual "Motherless Child".
|> Nucleus Of Soul (1969)
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