rolling stones you can make it if you try 1964Can You Hear the Music?


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Rolling Stones songs: You Can Make It If You Try
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Don’t it make you feel so bad sometime/ You wanna lay down and die…

Written by: Ted Jarrett
Recorded: Regent Sounds Studios, London, England, Jan. 29-Feb. 1964
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012

From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs, The Story Behind Every Track book:
Born in Nashville in 1925, Ted Jarrett wrote his first songs as a teenager. But it was not until after the Second World War that his career really got under way, first of all as a disc jockey on the Nashville radio station WSOK, and then as the writer of “It’s Love Baby (24 Hours a Day),” which became a number 2 on the R&B charts for Louis Brooks and his HiToppers. Jarrett subsequently put his name to two more hits: “Love, Love, Love” for the honky-tonk singer Webb Pierce (1955) and “You Can Make It If You Try” for the rhythm ’n’ blues singer Gene Allison (1957)

Acclaimed by the public (reaching numbers 3 and 36 on the black and pop charts, respectively, in 1958), “You Can Make It If You Try” came into being after Jarrett was abandoned by his girlfriend. The Rolling Stones express this heartache extremely well, with Jagger’s vocals and Stewart’s keyboard both strongly gospel-tinged. This effect is reinforced by Stu, accompanying the group on what is apparently a Vox Continental. And without really departing from the gospel idiom, the Stones bring a rock ’n’ roll flavor to the number that is absent from Gene Allison’s—slower— version.

Once again, Keith is on acoustic guitar while Brian carves out a doo-wop counterpoint on his Gretsch Anniversary, accompanied by a backing vocal in similar mode (and more successful than the backing on “Tell Me”) from Bill, Brian, and Keith. “You Can Make It If You Try” provides the Rolling Stones with a new palette: after rock, blues, rhythm ’n’ blues, and the pop ballad, here they try their hand at gospel. Oldham wanted to reach the widest possible audience, and it looks as though he succeeded.

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