Latimore’s Version of “Stormy Monday” Was A Chicago Jukebox Smash Hit

On May 11, 2017 Latimore will be officially inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. Here’s what Latimore had to say about his breakout hit version of “Stormy Monday.”

“I used to play “Stormy Monday” at the clubs in Miami and it went over so well we said, “We oughta record that and see if we can capture some of that feeling.” We cut the track and vocals and right away it jumped out, and then this guy Fred Rector, who was a promotion man for Henry, took it to Chicago and Chicago went wild over it.

In fact, Fred Rector brought me up to Chicago and we went for a tv interview and on the way back he said, “I’m gonna show you these bars and how much they love your record.” He said, “We’re gonna go in and I guarantee you we won’t sit there 15 minutes before someone plays Latimore, “Stormy Monday.”

And we went from one bar to the next and sure enough, they each played it. Some were playing it when we walked in. You could hear it from the street.

At the time, everybody didn’t know I was a piano player, and this one guy from a band walked up and said, “I like your piano player.”

I said, “Well thanks very much, man, I’ll let him know you said that.”

Guy had no idea it was me. I know later on he must have got a kick out of that.

Fred Rector was a great promotion man. He knew how to get the music out. He would say “I can see the trends and know what’s what.”

Even on “Let’s Straighten It OUt,” he said, “This is going to number one. Trust me.” And then when it went numberone, he said, “What did I tell you?”

Fred Rector was a cool guy. When I went to Chicago I stayed at his house and he took me around everywhere and introduced me to people, and he made it to where Chicago is like a real second home to me even today.”

  • From a May 9th, 2017 Interview with Latimore


Story ©Benny Latimore. Article ©Jacob Katel
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