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"I Got a Woman" (originally titled "I've Got a Woman")[1][2] is a song co-written and recorded by American R&B/soul musician Ray Charles and released as a single in December 1954 on the Atlantic label as Atlantic 45-1050 b/w "Come Back Baby." Both sides later appeared on his 1957 album Ray Charles (subsequently reissued asHallelujah I Love Her So).

Contents Edit

 [hide] 

  • 1 Origin
  • 2 Recording
  • 3 Cover versions
  • 4 References
    • 4.1 Notes

Origin[edit] Edit

The song builds on "It Must Be Jesus" by the Southern Tones, which Ray Charles was listening to on the radio while on the road with his band in the summer of 1954. He and a member of his band, trumpeter Renald Richard, penned a song that was built along a gospel-frenetic pace with secular lyrics and a jazz-inspired rhythm and blues (R&B) background. The song would be one of the prototypes for what later became termed as "soul music" after Charles released "What'd I Say" nearly five years later.

Recording[edit] Edit

The song was recorded late 1954 in the Atlanta studios of Georgia Tech radio station WGST. It was a hit—Charles' first—climbing quickly to #1 R&B in January 1955.[3]Charles told the Pop Chronicles that he performed this song for about a year before he recorded it on November 18, 1954.[4] The song would lead to more hits for Charles during this period when he was on Atlantic. It was later ranked No. 235 on Rolling Stone′s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, one of Charles' five songs on the list. A re-recorded version by Ray Charles, entitled "I Gotta Woman" (ABC-Paramount10649) reached No. 79 on the Billboard pop chart in 1965.[5]

Cover versions[edit] Edit

Other versions that have made the pop or R&B charts in the US are those by Jimmy McGriff (#20 pop, #5 R&B, 1962), Freddie Scott (#48 pop, 1963), and Ricky Nelson (#49 pop, 1963).[5]

The song has also been covered by many other artists, including:

  • Elvis Presley - Elvis Presley (1956)
  • The Beatles - Live at the BBC
  • Bill Cosby
  • Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings
  • The Barbarians
  • Anneke van Giersbergen
  • Baby Face Willette
  • Fred McDowell
  • Jo Stafford (rewritten and recorded as "I Got a Sweetie")
  • Bobby Darin
  • Adam Faith
  • Booker T. & the M.G.'s
  • Roy Orbison
  • Al Kooper
  • The Honeydrippers
  • The Monkees
  • Ricky Nelson
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Snooks Eaglin
  • Johnny Cash and June Carter
  • John Mayer Trio
  • Them
  • John Hammond
  • Bill Haley & His Comets
  • Jamie Cullum
  • Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee
  • Jayson Slack
  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  • Gibson Brothers
  • Andrew Wild
  • Kermit Ruffins & Rebirth Brass Band
  • Bryan Adams
  • Ramblin' Jack Elliott
  • Sammy Davis Jr.
  • Toots & the Maytals
  • Jimmy Smith
  • Pink Anderson
  • Paolo Nutini
  • Alonzo Pennington
  • Johnny Hallyday
  • John Scofield
  • John Mayer
  • The Routers
  • Johnny Rivers (1964)
  • Martin Solveig
  • Lightnin' Hopkins

The band Dire Straits mentions the song in their song "Walk of Life", from their 1985 album Brothers in Arms in 2:44.

Kanye West's song "Gold Digger" contains samples (as well as an interpolation during the introduction) of the song.

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