You Can Still Stand Tall

All anyone remembers about today’s Morning Groove is the immortal line, “diamond in the back, sunroof top, diggin’ the scene with a gangster lean.” All anyone wants to think about when they hear it is 70s pimp soul, dudes in platform shoes with wide lapel suits, and tilted brim hats. The song isn’t even about that. Song’s about being thankful for what you have, even if you don’t have the finest in cars or material things.

Today’s Morning Groove is “Be Thankful For What You Got” by William DeVaughn. I’ve seen it credited to Curtis Mayfield. Though the sound and content are similar to what Curtis was doing at the time, it’s not him. That line that I quoted above has been used in many a song; Ludacris even had a song “Diamond In The Back” some years ago. It even sampled this song. A fun fact: members of MFSB played on this song, notably guitarist Norman Harris, drummer Earl Young, vibist Vince Montana and bassist Ron Baker. Baker, Harris and Young would also play behind disco act The Trammps a few years later.

DeVaughn never did much after this song, his first release, hit #1 on the R&B chart and #4 on the Pop listing. He had one other top 10 R&B hit (“Blood Is Thicker Than Water”), and two other charting R&B songs and that was it. But it was this one song that put him on the map and made it into history.

Even if it is just “diamond in the back, sunroof top, diggin’ the scene with a gangster lean.” Whoo whoo.

Enjoy today’s Morning Groove, and as always, thanks for reading and listening.

34 Replies to “You Can Still Stand Tall”

  1. I like Luda’s version. I included it on my blog when I wrote about Neon Desert. I was hoping he would sing it at the festival, but he didn’t. I knew he sampled it. So did Curtis Mayfield or William DeVaughn sing the original “Diamond in the Back?”

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Ohhh. Do you see why I like and read your blog? I’m always learning something new! Do you know why people think Mayfield wrote or sang the song? How come they don’t credit DeVaughn?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. At that time, Curtis was a big R&B star, and this was DeVaughn’s first song. The fact that their voices were similar and the subject matter was similar to what Mayfield was doing at the time led many to believe that it was Curtis. I’ve seen on YouTube the song credited to him, for example.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome Chevvy. I’m glad you enjoyed it and heard something new. I always thought it was a Philly International song (Gamble and Huff) when I first heard it; turns out the Philly International Records house band (MFSB) was playing on it.

      Liked by 1 person

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