Ray Agee – Somebody Messed Up, 1972 (Krafton Records)


This is an awesome album. Like, permanent rotation awesome. Ray Agee has a velvet smooth voice and he knows how to use it. The title track lyrics are surprisingly prescient:

“the high cost of livin /has gone up out of sight

too many people out of work /everything costs too damn much


somebody done messed up the whole damn thing”

Roy Agee was disabled by polio at age 4. A talented singer, he moved to LA from Alabama (and I mean Los Angeles, not Lower Alabama) to record with his family’s gospel quintet when he was seven. He later recorded four solo albums in the genre commonly referred to as “Northern Soul.”

From the liner notes:

“With undying determination to succeed where many have failed, this young man has withstood many heartbreaking disappointments in his struggle to claim the public recognition he so dearly deserves. When you listen to this album, we know you will agree that his dream is now a reality.

Born in Alabama, the home of superstars, Ray Agee is the eighth child of of a family of nine boys and seven girls. A terrible tragedy struck down the young man at age four, diagnosed with a stroke of paralysis, which was so very hard for him to live with. But in the same undying courage to overcome that handicap, this God fearing soul man has met the challenge¬† of many other stumbling blocks, and stands in the light of the whole world to tell us how it was then and share with us what it is now.”

Agee “supposedly died” in the 1990’s according to the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.

Roy Agee – Somebody Messed Up (download)

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