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“Address it to my wife…”

October 5, 2012

Last week, R. B. Greaves passed away. Greaves was famous for the iconic song “Take a Letter, Maria” from 1969 (a very good year, by the way), and which, now that I’m writing this, I will not be able to get out of my head for weeks.

Reading through the obit I learned that Sam Cooke was actually R.B. Greaves’s uncle. Who knew?

“Take a Letter, Maria,” which Mr. Greaves wrote, is about a hard-working man who dictates a “Dear Jane” letter to his secretary after coming home to find his wife “in the arms of another man.” He sings, more in acceptance than in anger: “So take a letter, Maria, address it to my wife/Say I won’t be coming home, gonna start a new life.” Despite its theme of betrayal, the song remains upbeat and ends with the husband asking Maria out to dinner.

The song, which was recorded at the hitmaking Muscle Shoals studio in Alabama, went gold, selling more than a million copies.

Another thing I didn’t know was that he did the original version of “(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me,” which I know only from the 80’s remake by Naked Eyes (pretty sure I still have that 45 laying around somewhere), and which apparently was written by Burt Bachrach and Hal David, which I also didn’t know.

Rest in peace, Mr. Greaves.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 5, 2012 12:48 pm

    Rumor has it that he was a distant cousin of EV Grieve. RIP.

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