♫ Private Number ♫

Last night, I hadn’t yet decided on a song, when I was reading an email from a friend that mentioned this song … one that I have always loved, but like so many, hadn’t heard or thought about in ages.  So, I found the song, found a bit of trivia about the song, and realized I was just too exhausted to put this post together.  So, I’m playing it tonight instead.

Private Number, released in 1968, was written by William Bell and Booker T. Jones for Otis Redding.  Sadly, Otis Redding died in a plane crash on December 10, 1967, just before the recording session was scheduled to take place.

William Bell was the first male vocalist ever signed to Stax Records and he remained a mainstay with them throughout the ’60s, as one of the main architects of the Stax sound. This was his biggest UK hit while in the States his only Top 40 hit was the 1977 #10 charting song Tryin’ To Love Two. Judy Clay had previously linked up with white singer songwriter Billy Vera with whom she recorded her only American Top 40 hit Country Girl-City Man. As the first racially integrated duo, Vera and Clay unfortunately received much racist criticism. Judy Clay tragically died in a car accident in 2001.

Others would later cover this song, including an English ‘boy band’, 911, but this remains my favourite.

Private Number
William Bell, Judy Clay

Since I’ve been gone you’ve had your number changed
But my love for you girl still, remains the same
Now I’ve been lovin’ you, and you been lovin’ me, so long
Baby, what’s wrong
So I’m beggin’

Baby, baby, baby
Please let me have your number
Baby, baby, baby
Please let me have your number

I’m sorry you couldn’t call me when you got home
But other fellahs kept on callin’ while you were gone
So I had the number changed
But I’m not actin’ strange
Welcome home
Nothin’s wrong
So I’m saying

Baby, baby, baby
You can have my private number
Baby, baby, baby
You can have my private number

Baby, baby, baby
You can have my private number (thank you, baby)
Baby, baby, baby
You can have my private number (thank you, baby)
Baby, baby, baby
For giving me your private number (you can have it)
Baby, baby, baby
Thank you baby (you can have it)
Baby, baby, baby
Thank you honey (anytime you want it)
Thank you baby
You can have my private number (thank you Judy)

Songwriters: Booker T. Jr. Jones / William Bell
Private Number lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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