Tuesday, May 21, 2024

RIP Bobby Caldwell, the Soul Singer with the Classic Song Who No One Knew Was White


Blue eyed soul singer Bobby Caldwell has died. He was just 71.

Bobby’s wife, Mary, wrote on Twitter: “Bobby passed away here at home. I held him tight in my arms as he left us. I am forever heartbroken. Thanks to all of you for your many prayers over the years. He had been “FLOXED,” it took his health over the last 6 years and 2 months. Rest with God, my Love”

No one who ever heard Bobby’s mega hit “What You Won’t Do for Love” could have guessed he wasn’t Black. Over and over in the four decades since the song put him on the map in 1978. He went on to write lots of hits for other people and record a few more albums. But “What You Don’t For Love” was one of those recordings that just transcended all other pop-jazz-R&B. Caldwell had a sound not like unlike George Benson, who was also huge at the time, and Al Jarreau. A lot of people assume when they hear the song that one of them is singing it. And then they get the surprise of their lives.

Bobby recorded for TK Records, the home of KC and the Sunshine Band, and George McRae. I don’t know if he was as ripped off and exploited as those artists by the company’s late founder Henry Stone. I’m sure there’s a terrible back story. But you can hear this song on every soft rock, oldies and R&B station in the world at least once a day. Thank you, Bobby.

Anyway, sending condolences to his family.

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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