I adore “Try A Little Tenderness” with all of my heart. It makes me smile every time it comes on and I can’t help but sing along. This song is the epitome of feel-good.
There are almost a hundred different versions available on the Internet but I want to focus on my two favorite.
Ray Noble Orchestra (1932)
Most people don’t know that this song was originally recorded by the Ray Noble Orchestra with Val Rosing singing. I really enjoy music from the Swing Era, so I am quite partial to the original. I dig the drums; they have an almost military marching sound. Then the rest of the orchestra kicks in, giving a very romantic feeling. It’s the kind of song that I picture slow dancing to in an old speakeasy. It paints a very vivid picture for me.
Otis Redding (1966)
In Otis’s hands it becomes almost unrecognizable. It starts off sort of slow and very soulful but builds to become this real R&B powerhouse. You can feel the passion in his voice; these aren’t just words he’s singing off sheet music. He is backed by Booker T. & the M.G.’s, who bring an amazing amount of energy. It is virtually impossible for me not to dance when I hear it, but this isn’t the speakeasy slow dance I mentioned before. This time it looks a lot more like Duckie in Pretty in Pink– sliding, spinning, and floor pounding.
Oh hell, I’ll just let him show you. Enjoy.