From deep in the country in Winnsboro, Louisiana comes this fantastic answer song. The original is, of course, Percy Sledge’s brilliant “Take Time To Know Her”, but Ernie Rivers’ take on it is from the perspective of the knowing observer whose girlfriend Percy has fallen for, rather than the somewhat naive participant that Sledge had been. Rivers’ high tenor vocals are just perfect for this more cynical role, and he injects little squalls of grit to emphasise the emotional high points. The small band behind him do their best to imitate the Muscle Shoals A Team playing on the Sledge cut, and to be fair the guitarist does a good job. A deep soul response to a deep soul record is an unusual object – and this is arguably the best there is.
Ernie originally came from New Orleans, and was a classmate of Joe Tex at the George Washington Carver High School in Baytown, Texas. He opened for the Falcons, Bobby Bland and Otis Redding and others on stage.
On his second 45 he tried to repeat the trick with an answer to “Harper Valley PTA” but failed to achieve quite the same sparkle.
UPDATE ~ I've recently found another Ernie 45 couresy of Dylan Czabaniuk. One side of Knox 0003 Women Will Get Tired is another tasteful country soul ballad very much in the vein of Joe Tex's "The Love You Save", really well sung by Mr Rivers, with the flip "Don't Slip Away" being answer song to Clarence Carter's evergreen cheating gem.
Why did you leave me / A
message to Percy ~ KNOX 0001 (late 60s?)
Women will get tired / Don't slip away ~ KNOX 0003 (late 60s?)
Mr Baker addresses Harper Valley PTA / When the boss is out ~ KNOX 0004 (late 60s?)
Thanks to Tom de Jong for extra info and to Bob McGrath for sharp eyes.