In 1968, after a stint in the army in Vietnam, he ended up in El Paso, Texas where he began his singing career in a duo with ‘LC’ performing a Sam and Dave type routine. Six months ‘LC’ quit and Lou began working solo. Tow years later he cut some tracks for the small Seumi Imprint and one of these tracks ‘I’m comin’ Home’ has become an expensive soul classic in the UK. At the time these records didn’t sell too well but Lou had a great live act which kept him working on the Chitlin Circuit. He was constantly travelling up and down the east coast and back and forth between Texas and Tennessee. During this period he also recorded various 45’s for little companies like Albatross, Gemco and Onyx.
The in 1973 Bill Taylor Sparks, the owner of Seumi, took Lou to Memphis’ Royal Studio where Willie Mitchell taped him with the wonderful Hi Band. These recordings were then, inexplicably, filed away and Lou relocated to Albuquerque. By now he was a single parent with four children and had to find employment outside music to make ends meet. In 1979 he was recorded for the fledging Black Gold Label but the album ‘Gone Bad....’ had a limited pressing and even more limited distribution. Lou was working as a janitor for a local school, but as this job wasn’t paying the bills, Lou, in desperation, sent his children to his mother’s house in Chicago and began to tour again. He quickly re-established himself on the live circuit, but just as the light began to dimly shine at the end of the tunnel ‘the weirdest thing happened. I had fifteen shows lined up and all of a sudden every show cancelled’ Lou struck rock bottom and went home to mama.
His mother immediately sent him to church to speak to its righteous, strong minded and hustling pastor Charles L. Fairchild whose parishioners were coerced into giving him the odd manual labouring job. Shortly after this his mother tragically died and at her funeral The Reverend took Lou to one side and arranged for him to record with record producer Marvin Yancey (Natalie Cole’s husband). This brought Lou’s name back into the market and he began touring again.
A little while later, again through the good offices of The Reverend Fairchild, Lou met Curtis Mayfield in Atlanta. The two hit it off, became good friends, and in 1990 Curtis released an album ‘Gone Bad Again’, recorded by WMB Records, on his own Curtom Label. Curtis also recorded a further album worth of tracks which were confusingly released on WMB as ‘Love At Last’. After Curtis’s untimely death Lou was picked up by Ichiban Records who recorded the wonderful ‘Twisting The Knife’ CD. This in turn led to Ice House Records picking up and releasing the excellent King Snake recordings ‘I won’t Give Up’ in 2000.
The next year Lou moved to Severn Records out of Maryland and the excellent ‘Words of Caution’ CD slotted him firmly into the lucrative festival circuit. Lou Pride had finally arrived. In 2002 Severn discovered and released the lovely Hi Recordings as ‘The Memphis/El Passo Sessions’ 1970-73 which consolidated his reputation. Last year his latest excellent CD ‘Keep On Believing’ was released and on the back of it an extensive tour was organised. Unfortunately Lou became seriously ill with liver complications, all dates were cancelled and his career was put on hold.
Early in 2006 we were told that Lou had recovered and was keen to perform again with Mo’ Indigo and that they wanted to add a ‘Shakedown Blues’ gig to their C.V. So in November 2006 Lou Pride came and performed for us and we were lucky enough to re-book him again in October 2007