Friday, June 25, 2010

Wendy Rene - After Laughter (Comes Tears)

I downloaded this soul single because I really liked what I heard of it from the sample Wu-Tang used on “Tearz.” The RZA loves to mine the 60’s for soul and R&B tracks, and he found a gem here. The organ intro is forever memorable, and Wendy’s yearning voice is phenomenal. After reading the little bit of information I found regarding Rene (real name Mary Frierson), it turned out she married as a teenager. The marriage wouldn’t last, and the couple went their separate ways. It must have been very difficult for such a young girl to go through a separation, and I have no doubts it’s the subject to this very track.

Wendy would remarry soon afterwards, and most likely enjoyed the leisurely pace of domestic life, as she never recorded a song after 1965. She would never ascend to stardom, but might have been on her way when she was invited to join Otis Redding, the man responsible for her stage name, for a show in Cleveland. The show was slated for December of 1967, at a time when she had just given birth to her first child with her new husband. She decided to back out at the last minute, wanting to stay home with her family. Otis went on to play the show, and on the way back, somewhere over Madison, Wisconsin, the plane carrying Otis and his backing band crashed in to a lake, killing all but one of them. A tragic story indeed, leaving Wendy to grieve all over again. But I'm sure as time passed she would feel fortuitous in the decision that she made, and eventually, after tears would come laughter for her and her new family.

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