On this day in music history: January 7, 1967 …

On this day in music history: January 7, 1967 – “Tell It Like It Is” by Aaron Neville hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 5 weeks, also peaking at #2 on the Hot 100 for 1 week on January 28, 1967. Written by George Davis and Lee Diamond, it is the biggest hit for the New Orleans born vocalist. Recorded in 1965, Davis and Diamond shops the track around to various record labels and are turned down by all of them. Over a year after that, they start their own label, Par-Lo Records and release it themselves. The record is an instant smash and sells over a million copies within two months of its release. However, Neville sees no real monetary reward from sales of the multi-million selling single. The owners of the Par-Lo record label find themselves in dire financial straits when they find it nearly impossible to collect money from various independent distributors, leading them to file for bankruptcy. “Tell It Like It Is” has enduring popularity over the years being covered by numerous artists including Otis Redding & Carla Thomas, Percy Sledge, Nina Simone, Andy Williams, and Heart whose version returns the song to the top 10 in early 1981, peaking at #8 on the Hot 100. Aaron Neville’s version of “Tell It Like It Is” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2015.