Morning Song – My Babe
Some music historians trace the breakthrough of what came to be called soul music to January 1955 when Ray Charles’ “I Got A Woman” rocketed to #1 on Billboard’s R&B chart.
Two groups of people took notice. The first (and loudest) was church folk who were appalled and outraged that “Brother Ray” had taken a good old gospel song like “It Must Be Jesus” (“There’s a man going around, taking names”) and made it into a juke joint dance song celebrating fornication and all other manner of sin.
The second group was working musicians like the great Chicago bluesman Willie Dixon. Within days Dixon wrote some new lyrics to Sr. Rosetta Tharpe’s “This Train”, went into the studio and recorded “My Babe” with Little Walter. It’s the only #1 song of his career.
What I like most about “My Babe” is the narrator’s recognition of—and love for—the fact that his lover makes him a better version of himself. Smart man. (We all need a little help sometimes.)
My baby don’t stand no cheatin’, my babe…
She don’t stand none of that midnight creepin’
My babe, true little baby, my babe.