Rx: Love (Lot’s of Lovin’)

So, have you figured out the pattern yet?  It’s still early, I know, but congratulations to those who correctly deduced that Zero to 180 is paying tribute to Allen Toussaint (who left us exactly one week ago) by taking a little “time walk” – one that began last Friday with 1965‘s teaching tool for antonyms, “The Word Game” (preschool parents take note).   Yesterday’s piece shone the spotlight on 1966‘s literary-themed “Omar Khayyam,” a song whose mysterious allure worked quietly in the background until, decades later, it was discovered that the song had seized the imagination of dance fans worldwide.

Which brings us to 1967, pop’s peak year, and the one and only duet by Lee Dorsey and Betty Harris — “Love Lots of Lovin'” — which features some percussion that really pops:

“Love Lots of Lovin'”     Lee Dorsey & Betty Harris     1967

This  “regional breakout” – written, arranged & produced by Allen Toussaint – alas, would just bubble under (#110) nationally in December, 1967 and not receive the wider recognition it deserved.  Billboard, who predicted the song would reach the Top 60, had this review in its November 25, 1967 edition:

“Teamed for the first [and, sadly, last] time, this duet will fast become a hot seller, right up there high on the Hot 100.  Pulsating blues rocker penned by Allen Toussaint serves as strong material for them, and they wail all the way through.”

      Lee Dorsey                                      Betty Harris

Lee Dorsey-bbbBetty Harris-aaa

“Love Lots of Lovin'” – released domestically in 1967 – would not be issued in the UK for another two years.

1967 US release                                           1969 UK release

Lee Dorsey-Betty Harris-aLee Dorsey-Betty Harris-b

Billboard’s biography of Betty Harris states that “Harris planned to support [“Love Lots of Lovin'”] on tour with Otis Redding, but on December 10 [1967], the soul giant lost his life in a plane crash.”

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