William DeVaughn
Be Thankful For What You Got (Parts 1 and 2)

Released 1974 on Roxbury
Reviewed by Dave Furgess, 29/09/2000ce

For me 1974 was a dismal year for music, most of my favorite artists were in serious decline, it was also the year of my first concert (Traffic at the New Haven Coliseum) other than that the year pretty much sucked music-wise. However there were a few shining moments here and there, William DeVaughn's American hit single "Be Thankful For What You Got" was one of them.
I think William hailed from California (but I'm not certain) what I am certain about is this is one groovy single. It got quite a bit of airplay in my area and it was one of the only records I really dug during that depressing year. "Be Thankful For What You Got" was a lengthy track on William's album of the same name, it was chopped into 2 parts for the 45 release in the same style as Fleetwood Mac's "Oh Well" and The Animals "Sky Pilot" with the A side recieving all the airplay.
This is a very soothing and hypnotic record that begins with some cool "Booker T" type organ and mellowed out chunky almost reggae style guitar chords William then joins in on vocals, he has a really smooth voice somewhere in the Billy Stewart, Curtis Mayfield territory. I really dig the lyrics too William sings "You may not drive a great big Cadillac, gangster whitewalls TV antenna in the back, you may not have a car at all but remember Brothers and Sisters you can still stand tall". Right on!
Part 2 on the B-side is almost a dub version of side one and it features some nice guitar and percussion. This is a really far out single and William's album is pretty good too. It's too bad there aren't many records with a positive message like this around these days. I even seem to remember Arthur Lee doing a cover of this song in the mid 70's.

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