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IT'S ALIVE: Joe Tex "The Love You Save" (1966)

It's Alive briefly devotes the airwaves to live music everyday at 1pm. Tune in today hear this performance and more live tracks!

Soul singer Joe Tex was born on this day in 1935. The Texas native was born Joseph Arrington, Jr., and grew up playing music at church and in his school band. He excelled in local talent shows, one of which afforded him $300 and a free trip to New York City. While in New York, he maintained a short winning streak in amateur night at The Apollo Theatre; there, he was discovered by Henry Glover, who offered him a contract with King Records. Tex was a minor at the time, and his mother made him finish high school before eventually signing the contract at 19.

He began recording in 1961, and had a string of hits in the mid-to-late 60s. A rivalry with label mate James Brown would later develop and lead to the release of songs akin to the modern hip-hop "diss track." The tension reached an all-time high in 1963 when the two were booked to play the same show, and Tex (who opened the show) mocked Brown in his performance. Brown left angrily and returned armed. Tex had already left the venue, but by the end of the night, it is said at least seven people were injured from gunshot wounds.

In 1966, Joe Tex found peace, converted to Islam, and changed his name to Yusuf Hazziez. This clip finds him that same year performing his song "The Love You Save (May Be Your Own)". A battle with addiction later in life led to a decline in his health, and days after a near drowning, he died after having a heart attack in 1982.

Otis is the late morning host on WFPK. Email Otis at ojunior@lpm.org