When I’m Gone


brendahalloway / whenimgone / motown / losangeles / detroit / r&b


A sincere yet relatively forgotten piece of authentic Motown rythm ‘n blues (from soon-to-turn-hippie Los Angeles, not Detroit). It was 1965 when Brenda Hollaway peaked the Billboard Hot 100 at number 25 with this majestically simple tune. Much like every other pop starlet of the time, she laments her cheating lover’s Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde’s attitude and leaves him defeated. She threatens to leave him (obviously one never gets the luxury to understand wether the concrete parting will ever occur) and asks him what it will be of him when she’s gone–or merely leaving, perhaps?

Same old, same old, I know. Still, I just can’t help but rejoyce at the easiness of the melody, the lack of loud anger in her smiling, smooth singing and the unforgettable wig. A pure classic I unashamedly play in loop for a solid 20 minutes every other morning. A stunningly self-explanotary reminder of a Sicilian saying my nan often uses, which I will freely rephrase as: ‘Your loss, darling!’.

And I always wonder what a cover by Diamanda Galas would sound like.