In 1966, Percy Sledge, with the release of the romantic ballad “When a Man Loves a Woman,” became a household name. Howell Sledge was 2 years old when his father’s voice started filling the airwaves.
Now, 54 years later, Sledge is carrying on his father’s musical legacy.
On Saturday, the Sledge Review, fronted by Howell Sledge, will bring “A Tribute to Percy Sledge” to Decatur’s Princess Theatre. Tickets to the 7 p.m. show are $25 and available at princesstheatre.org.
“You will hear a great variety of dad’s songs. You will get a little ‘Warm and Tender Love.’ You’ll get ‘Cover Me.’ You’ll get ‘Walking in the Sun.’ And you’ll get the greatest of his songs, the Muscle Shoals’ anthem, ‘When a Man Loves a Woman,’” Sledge said.
Not until after his father’s death in 2015 did Sledge, who sang at home and at church, feel the urge to perform publicly.
“When he passed, I felt a beautiful, still voice come to me and say, ‘Why not sing.’ It’s a way I can keep him close to me and pursue the talent God gave me. Above all, my father told me to always honor God and keep him first above everything else. I hope I’m doing that with music,” Sledge said.
Sledge teamed up with singer-songwriter Jacob Lovell of Florence to create The Lovell/Sledge Band, which features classic rock, rhythm and blues and soul.
“I give all the credit to Jacob for giving me a shot. He is such a gifted young man. Because of him I was able to start singing my dad’s songs,” Sledge said.
Along with “Warm and Tender Love,” "Cover Me” and “When a Man Loves a Woman,” the concert will feature “Walking in the Sun, “Take Time to Know Her,” “It Tears Me Up” and more.
“I have such a gladdening in my heart when I sing his songs because it feels like he hasn’t gone anywhere. It feels like he’s still with me,” Sledge said.