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The Man Behind 'Everlasting Love' Passes Away At The Age Of 72

The music world is mourning the passing of a man that was responsible for one of the more memorable R&B tunes of the last four decades. Robert Knight, the voice that brought the hit tune ‘Everlasting Love’ to life in 1967, has passed away at the age of 72. As the Daily Mail shares, Knight passed away at home after a brief illness.

Knight, born Robert Peebles in 1945 in Franklin, Tennessee, would begin his musical journey while studying chemistry at Tennessee State University. He performed with a number of different groups before heading out on his own, and his big break came while he was performing during a fraternity party at Vanderbilt University. Music producer Mac Gayden was on hand, and he was mesmerized by Knight’s voice. Gayden would quickly introduce himself.

"He didn't want to talk to me, but I gave him my card,” he recalled.

Knight would go on to sign with Rising Sons music, and he would cut his most famous track while working on an album. While it was initially thought of as a throwaway tune, it massively outperformed expectations and went on to become a radio staple. Michael Gray, a historian at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, provided some insight into the significance of the track.

"With 'Everlasting Love,' Knight created the blueprint for one of the most famous, most enduring songs to ever come out of Music City. Recording extensively with Mac Gayden and Buzz Cason in the 1960s, Robert was working in integrated bands when it was still taboo to do so in some places,” he said. “The original version of 'Everlasting Love' is a prime example of the successful musical exchange between black and white musicians during a decade of great racial upheaval and Civil Rights struggles in the South."

Everlasting Love would rise up the charts upon release, and the classic tune has been covered by the likes of Gloria Estefan and U2. He would go on to have a few minor hits from that point, including "Isn't it Lonely Together," "Blessed are the Lonely," and "Love on a Mountain Top," but he would eventually step away from the music biz entirely and go on to work at Vanderbilt as lab technician and as part of the grounds crew.

"Robert was just a great guy and very gentle man," Gayden added

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's exhibit "Night Train to Nashville: Music City Rhythm and Blues," which ran for a year after opening in 2004, featured Knight extensively.

"We wanted to show a prime example of how one Nashville R&B song has lived on in popular culture over the decades,” Gray noted. “While we had several options, the decision to use that uplifting song was an easy choice."

There is no word on funeral arrangements at this time. Thoughts and prayers go out to the friends, family, and loved ones of Knight for their loss.

Source: Daily Mail
Photo: YouTube

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