Thursday Inspiration #194 Don’t Leave Me This Way

Respond to this challenge, by either by using the prompt word desire, or going with the above picture, or by means of the song ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’, or by going with another song by Thelma Houston, or anything else that you think fits.  Thelma recorded ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ on her 1976 fourth album, Any Way You Like It.  Her version of this song that was originally recorded by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes on their 1975 album Wake Up Everybody which wasn’t issued as a single in America went to the top the US soul singles chart and, nine weeks later, it reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.  The song peaked at #13 in the UK.  This Gold Record classic dance song gave Houston the distinction of being the first solo female artist at Motown to win the GRAMMY Award for “Best R&B Female Vocal Performance.”

Before Thelma was 20, she got married, had two children, and got divorced and then in 1966 she joined the Art Reynolds Singers gospel group which led to her being signed as a recording artist with Dunhill Records.  The Art Reynolds Singers were one of the first black gospel groups ever to record for Capitol Records from 1966 to 1972.  The Art Reynolds Singers Gospel ensemble members included Art Reynolds, Thelma Houston, Alfreda James, Lillie Mae Brown, Glenna Session and Alexis Donadell.  ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ is notable for being an unofficial anthem for the AIDS epidemic for the gay male community in the United States.  The song was originally assigned to Diana Ross and was intended to be the follow-up to her disco hit ’Love Hangover’ which producer Hal Davis had recorded.  Davis assigned this to Houston using the Diana Ross song as a template to turn this into a dance track.  The song was written by Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Cary Gilbert wrote the lyrics, where the singer begs his girl not to leave.  Filled with desire, only her love can satisfy him.  The song was written gender neutral, so it works when sung by either a man or woman with no change to the words, since the object of desire is addressed as “baby.”

Ahh, baby, my heart is full of love and desire for you
Now come on down and do what you gotta do
You started this fire down in my soul
Now can’t you see it’s burning outta control

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