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Don Covay, Wrote 'Chain Of Fools,' Dies At 76

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

If romance in the 1960s and early '70s had a soundtrack, this song would have been there.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MERCY MERCY")

DON COVAY: (Singing) Have mercy. Have mercy on me.

GREENE: That's R&B singer-songwriter, Don Covay, who died over the weekend. As a performer, he was best known for the song "Mercy Mercy." As a songwriter, he was known for tunes you could name after hearing just a few notes.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CHAIN OF FOOLS")

ARETHA FRANKLIN: (Singing) Chain, chain, chain. Chain, chain, chain. Chain of fools.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PONY TIME")

CHUBBY CHECKER: (Singing) Do the pony with your partner with a big boss line.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LETTER FULL OF TEARS")

GLADYS KNIGHT AND THE PIPS: (Singing) He brought me a letter full of tears.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Covay's music was recorded by the likes of Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight and The Pips and The Rolling Stones. He was called a songwriting genius. Don Covay preferred the title song physician. He was 76 when he died on Saturday. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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