Tuesday, June 25, 2024

RIP Listen: Johnny Nash Wrote Sam & Dave’s Original 1963 Hit, “So Nice While it Lasted,” Way Before “Soul Man”


R&B legend Sam Moore of Sam & Dave tells me that Johnny Nash, who died this week at age 80, wrote his first hit for the duo long before they got to Altantic Records and had “Soul Man,” and so on.

The song was called “So Nice While It Lasted,” and it charted in 1963 with an A side called “You Ain’t No Big Thing, Baby.” This was when Sam & Dave were signed to Morris Levy’s Roulette Records and not having hits.

Sam and Johnny Nash remained friends all these years, of course, because Sam is friends with everyone. He turns 85 on October 12th.

Here’s the record. The songwriting credit is “Billy” Nash because that was either a pseudonym or someone got it wrong. You can hear Sam’s tenor slicing through the record, a foreshadowing of what would come.


Here’s the A side:

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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