Cry To Me – The Staccatos
Way before ‘Weeping’ was a hit is South Africa, we had ‘Cry To Me’ to shed tears over. The song was originally recorded in 1961 by Solomon Burke as a slightly funky soul number which ended up being featured in the film ‘Dirty Dancing’. However, when local group The Staccatos got their hands on the song, they slowed it down, got rid of the funky and stripped it down to an emotive pure soul affair.
The song showcases Steve Lonsdale’s magnificent soul voice which moves from almost haunting to a soaring crescendo. A few simple guitar notes underpin the vocals and this continues in an hypnotic way through out the song while a brassy blast accompanies the swooping bits. This is a quite breath-taking cover of the song which blew the South African record buying public away. The song spent an all-time record 38 weeks in the Springbok Top 20 in a broken run of 12 weeks, then re-entering the charts after about a 5 month hiatus before spending a further 26 weeks in the charts. It spent 3 weeks at 1 during its first run but only peaked at 3 during its second run.
In 1981 we saw the song again on our charts, but that time it was a disco version by Precious Wilson & The Sky Train and that didn’t fare nearly as well as The Staccato’s one, only managing 2 weeks and a peak of 17. ‘Cry To Me’ by the Staccatos was one of the biggest hits of the Springbok Top 20 era and it is not hard to see why as it is so powerful a version that it can bring tears to the eyes.
Where to find it:
Various Artists – The Best of SA Pop Volume 2 (1994) GMP, CDGMPD 40486 (CD)