Sunday, April 19, 2015

Ray Charles – "It Should've Been Me" (1954)

It should have been me
Eating ice cream and cake

"It Should've Been Me," which was released in 1954, was one of Ray Charles' earliest hit singles.  

I only became acquainted with the Ray Charles version of that song recently.  The version of the song I knew prior to that was Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen's cover, which was released on the group's second album, Hot Licks, Cold Steel & Truckers' Favorites, in 1972:

In the first verse of "It Should've Been Me," the singer sees a swell-looking chick walking out of a fine hotel.  He's about to try out a line on her when a Cadillac cruises up.  The woman gets into the Cadillac and drives away, leaving the singer to lament that:

It should have been me with that real fine chick
It should have been me driven' that Cadillac

1954 Cadillac
He runs into a couple of other fabulous babes, but both of them are with other guys.  Sorry, Charley!

Finally, our luckless singer does what he should have done in the first place – instead of chasing everything he sees that's wearing a skirt, he decides to drop by a fine café and tie on the feedbag.

After all, women are fickle – even when you talk one into staying with you for a while, she's going to try to tell you what to do.  

But a big-ass scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of a good-sized slice of chocolate cake (with chocolate icing, of course) will never let you down.  

Of course, if your ice cream and cake doesn't satisfy your hunger, you can always try to hook up with the waitress.

Speaking of hooking up, Ray Charles had twelve children with ten different women.  The oldest was born in 1949, and the youngest was born in 1987.  (Imagine having a half-brother who is 38 years older than you are.)  

Ray had no children with his first wife, but that marriage didn't last long, so you can't really blame him.  He had three children with his second wife.    

Of his remaining nine children – with nine different mothers – five were born while he was still married to wife number two.  (Awkward!) 

Ray really hit his stride in 1958, the year he turned 28.  He had babies born in 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1966, and 1966 – that's six mothers and seven babies in eight years.

(No wonder he's happy!)
Charles sang "It should've been me with that real fine chick," but it sounds like there was no "should've" when it came to Ray Charles being with real fine chicks . . . over, and over, and over again.

"It Should've Been Me" was written by Memphis Edward "Eddie" Curtis, Jr.  Curtis is credited as being a co-author of "The Joker," which became a #1 hit single for Steve Miller in early 1974.  That's because "The Joker" borrowed some lyrics from his song, "Lovey Dovey, which was a 1954 hit for the Clovers.

Here's the verse from "Lovey Dovey" that inspired Steve Miller:

I said you're the cutest thing that I've ever seen
I really love your peaches, wanna shake your tree
Lovey dovey, lovey dovey all the time
Said lovey dovey, I can't get you out of my mind

As you Steve Miller fans know, "The Joker" contains almost exactly the same lyrics.  

(Did you notice the grammatical error in this post?  It's actually not an error, but most of you self-appointed grammar Nazis out there are going to think it is.)  

Here's "It Should've Been Me":

Click below to order the song from Amazon:

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