April 8th, 2015 at 3:00pm
Driving, riding, roads and of course cars themselves have all been immortalized by writers, composers and musicians around the world. Auto Tune is our way to spotlight a unique transportation song to celebrate these “ridden” gems along with the artists or composers who crafted them. Some you may know, many we’re sure you don’t.
In the early ‘70s, government worker William DeVaughn had a dream. As a singer, songwriter and guitarist, he hoped to move from the office to the studio and record music for a living. His first effort, which he wrote in 1972 while still pushing papers, was entitled “A Cadillac Don’t Come Easy.” His Philly producers, members of the soon to be famous MSFB session musicians – remember TSOP you Soul Train fans – had him change the title, gave the song a tasty groove and when it was released in 1974 William DeVaughn had a hit on his hands. The song, now called “Be Thankful For What You Got” became known as the Curtis Mayfield song that had nothing to do with the great artist. “Thankful” was so similar to his style many thought it was written and performed by Mayfield which may have contributed to DeVaughn’s inability to stay in music.
Shoot 40 years into the future and if Cadillac wants to be relevant with the hipsters as well as the hip-hop crowd, it probably wouldn’t hurt it to reach back to 1974 and use “Be Thankful For What You’ve Got” in a campaign or two. If you’ve never heard it just click on the link to check it out.
- Chip Drake, Executive Producer, Autoline