The 10 Best Joe Tex Songs of All-Time

Joe Tex was one of the great soul singers of the 20th century. It took him some time to find success. Famously, Tex recorded 30 singles before he had his first hit in 1965. Subsequently, he released several songs that sold more than a million copies. Later in life, Tex retired from the music industry for the most part so he could follow his interest in becoming a minister for Islam. As such, he is sometimes called Yusuf Hazziez because that is the name he took when he converted.

Here is our opinion of the ten best Joe Tex songs ever released:

10. “All I Could Do Was Cry”

Of course, “All I Could Do Was Cry” would be the song that Etta James made well-known. Tex released a cover in 1960, which was before he had his breakthrough. Even so, the recording showed plenty of potential. Indeed, it seems safe to say that some consumers agreed because his version of “All I Could Do Was Cry” did make it onto the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles.

9. “I Want To (Do Everything For You)”

Following 1965, Tex’s career blossomed. For instance, he recorded two more R&B chart-toppers in the same year. The first was “I Want To (Do Everything For You),” which proved that Tex wasn’t just going to fade away after his breakthrough.

8. “Baby You’re Right”

Tex recorded this song back in 1961. By this point, interested individuals should be able to guess that it didn’t see much movement on the charts. Subsequently, James Brown released a cover with enough changes to earn him a songwriting credit. That version was a hit that reached the number two position on the R&B charts. As such, Tex’s recording is sometimes overlooked, which is a shame because it’s far from meritless.

7. “You Keep Her”

On a related note, Tex was once rivals with James Brown. This wasn’t convenient fiction spun by newspapers to sell more copies. No, their rivalry was intense, as shown by the time James Brown shot up Club 15 because of it. “You Keep Her” is one of the two men’s most notable clashes. Tex had once been married to the singer Bea Ford. After Brown and Ford recorded “You’ve Got the Power,” he sent a letter saying Tex could have her back because he was finished with her. Given the name, interested individuals should have no problem guessing “You Keep Her” was Tex’s response expressing precisely what he thought about that letter.

6. “Pneumonia”

“Pneumonia” is another song responding to something that made Tex unhappy. In this case, he claimed he had written “Fever” but sold it to his label because he needed the money. Something that the official songwriters always denied. Whatever the truth of things, Tex’s labelmate Little Willie John scored a hit when he recorded the song. Something that must’ve stung for Tex because this was before his breakthrough. “Pneumonia” was his memorable response to the whole thing.

5. “Ain’t Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman)”

As mentioned, Tex retired from the music industry for the most part in 1972. However, that wasn’t the end because he recorded several songs afterward. In particular, there was “Ain’t Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman)” from 1977, which reached the number 12 position on the Billboard Hot 100. It’s more or less what it sounds like. As such, this song would raise more than a few eyebrows if it saw airplay nowadays. Still, its position on the charts was no coincidence.

4. “A Sweet Woman Like You”

In 1965, Tex had two R&B chart-toppers. One was “I Want To (Do Everything For You),” while the other was “A Sweet Woman Like You.” The two came out one after the other, which must’ve come as sweet vindication for the man after his earlier struggles. Regardless, “A Sweet Woman Like You” is a superb example of the Southern soul prevalent in Tex’s time. Moreover, it retains much of its magic despite the passage of decades.

3. “Hold What You’ve Got”

“Hold What You’ve Got” is the song that made Tex a name people knew in 1965. Amusingly, he didn’t have much confidence in the recording. Supposedly, Tex urged the record producer Buddy Killen not to release it after recording it in 1964. However, Killen decided to do so anyways because he believed otherwise. By the time Tex found out, the song was already well on its way to selling more than a million copies. Unsurprisingly, “Hold What You’ve Got” is a strong contender for the man’s best song ever recorded and released.

2. “Skinny Legs and All”

“Skinny Legs and All” was another million-plus-seller released in 1967. As the story goes, Tex was inspired when he saw a man criticizing his wife for carrying two grocery bags. The song is his suggestion for a woman criticized for having skinny legs to dump her lover because she’s sure to be able to find someone else. Similarly, he offers the same advice to a man criticized for wearing raggedy clothes. “Skinny Legs and All” was also involved in Tex’s rivalry with James Brown. He claimed that Brown prevented some radio stations from playing the song, thus preventing it from overtaking one of Brown’s singles at the top of the R&B charts.

1. “I Gotcha”

Tex’s most successful period was from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s. This is because he released “I Gotcha” in 1972. Subsequently, the song sold more than two million copies, thus making it his most popular release by a considerable margin. “I Gotcha” hit the top of the R&B charts. Unfortunately, it missed out on the same for the Pop charts by a single spot, which nonetheless shows its incredible crossover appeal when it came out. Even so, there’s no doubt that “I Gotcha” was the best of Tex’s best.

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