Artist: Turley Richards
LP: Turley Richards
Song: "But Came the Dawn, and Then Goodbye"
[ listen ]
Song: "I Heard the Voice of Jesus"
[ listen ]
After listening to this self-titled 1970 LP by Turley Richards, it's hard to understand why he isn't as well known and revered as similar singers of the era like Tim Buckley and Nick Drake. Born in Charleston, West Virginia in 1941, Turley was blinded in the left eye in an archery mishap when he was just four years old (his friend was supposed to shoot the arrow into the pillow that the bent-over Turley was holding over his ass...don't ask—this is West Virginia, remember). Though he eventually lost sight in his right eye too after the infection spread, Turley still had his voice. And what a voice! He's pure liquid velvet on "But Came the Dawn, and Then Goodbye," which he wrote himself. Turley then shows off his dynamic 14-octave range in "I Heard the Voice of Jesus," wherein he leads listeners over vocal peaks and valleys before finally shooting straight for the moon. The song peaked at #99 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in 1970. You can read a little about Turley Richards on Wikipedia here, and then visit his website here to find a brief preview of his life story before his autobiography, "BlindSighted," hits the shelves. There are photos of Turley Richards performing with friends earlier this month here, and if you're fortunate enough to live in Louisville, Kentucky, you can catch this incredible singer/songwriter performing at Chubby Ray's this Saturday night, or on Saturday, October 6th at Clifton's Pizza.