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Percy Mayfield biography



Percy Mayfield (August 12, 1920 – August 11, 1984) was an American songwriter famous for the songs "Hit the Road Jack" and "Please Send Me Someone to Love", as well as a successful rhythm and blues artist known for his smooth vocal style. Although his vocal style was influenced by such stylists as Charles Brown, Mayfield did not focus on the white market as did many West Coast bluesmen. Rather, he sang blues ballads, mostly his own songs, in a gentle vocal style. His most famous recording, "Please Send Me Someone to Love", a number one R&B hit single in 1950, was widely influential and recorded by many other singers. A 1952 auto accident left him seriously injured, including a facial disfigurement that limited his performing. However, that did not stop his prolific songwriting. Mayfield continued to write and record for Specialty until 1954 and then recorded for Chess Records and Imperial Records. His career continued to flourish with songs like "Strange Things Happening", "Lost Love", "What a Fool I Was", "Prayin' for Your Return"' "Cry Baby", and "Big Question". In 1961 he came to the attention of Ray Charles with his song "Hit the Road Jack" who signed him to his own label, Tangerine Records, primarily as a songwriter and where he wrote "Hide Nor Hair", "At The Club", "Danger Zone", and "On the Other Hand, Baby". When Mayfield died of a heart attack in 1984, the day before his 64th birthday, he had fallen back into obscurity.