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Rolling Stones songs: That’s How Strong My Love Is
*Click for MORE ROLLING STONES SONGS 1962-PRESENT
I’ll be the ocean so deep and wide/ I’ll dry the tears when you cry…
Written by: Roosevelt Jamison
Recorded: Chess Studios, Chicago, USA, May 10-11 1965
Guest musicians: Jack Nitzsche (piano and organ)
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
“That’s How Strong My Love Is” was written by a Memphis hospital worker named Roosevelt Jamison and was originally recorded by O.V. Wright on a small local label in 1964. The following year, Redding recorded the song and released it as single immediately before his first Top 40 hit, “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now).”
Redding recorded this at Stax Records in Memphis with the studio’s celebrated house band, Booker T & the MG’s. The band was always happy to record with Redding. “Otis sessions were a lot of fun,” their guitarist, Steve Cropper, told Songfacts. “He was the only artist I remember recording at Stax that the band could not wait for him to come back. And they never did that with anybody – it was work, it was a job, and that’s what they did. We all had fun making music – we had a good time – but they could not wait for Otis to come back to record because we had so much fun.”
The Rolling Stones, who were big fans of Redding and recorded many blues and soul covers in their early years, recorded this in 1965 and released it on their Out Of Our Heads album. Redding reciprocated by recording a version of The Stones “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”
Former Simply Red lead singer Mick Hucknall covered the tune in 2013 for the lead single from his debut album, American Soul. Hucknall told Billboard magazine that he’s known the song all his life, beginning with Redding’s version, but he also has an affinity for later covers. “The song never seemed to go away and I was reminded of it over the years by covers of it from the likes of Candi Staton and the Stones,” he said “I guess its power and universal appeal lies in the simplicity of its message. What I like about our version is the modern production Andy Wright has given it and the driving rhythm which makes it great to sing and to perform live.”
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
Born in the state of Mississippi, Roosevelt Jamison later settled in
Memphis, Tennessee, becoming one of the celebrities of the local music
scene, both as a songwriter and as a manager. It was he who discovered O.
V. Wright in the Beale Street district. He persuaded the blues and gospel
singer to record “That’s How Strong My Love Is” for Quinton Claunch’s
label Goldwax Records in 1964. The song enabled O. V. Wright to widen
his audience, but it was Otis Redding who would transform it into a hymn
of Southern soul: I’ll be the weeping willow drowning in my tears/And you
can go swimming when you’re here/And I’ll be the rainbow after the tears
are gone/Wrap you in my colors and keep you warm. Otis Redding released
the single “Mr. Pitiful” in December 1964 with “That’s How Strong My
Love Is” as the B-side.
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