Ann Peebles changed music forever in the 1970s with just five words: “I Can’t Stand the Rain.” Her 1973 single — which was later covered by other artists decades later — revolved around the simple concept of being irritated by rain falling outside. The song was inspired by a rainy day, which is not surprising.
Ann Peebles’ music career
Ann Peebles began performing as a child in her church choir and her family group, the Peebles Choir, which opened for gospel music stars like Mahalia Jackson and Sam Cooke’s Soul Stirrers.
Peebles began performing in Memphis in the late 1960s, and in 1969, she released her first album.
After rain ruined her plans, Ann Peebles sang “I Can’t Stand the Rain.”
Peebles and some friends, including her writing partner (and future husband) Don Bryant and DJ Bernard Miller, were getting ready to go to a concert in Memphis in 1973. When it started raining outside, their plans were foiled. Her hit song idea came to her quickly.
In an interview with the Grammy Foundation, Peebles described her experience.
She reflected, “Well, it was a rainy night I’ll never forget.” “At the time, one of the DJs in Memphis was Bernard Miller, who went by the moniker Mr. The letter B. He’d arrived; he was going to drive us to the concert and everything, and then it started to rain, thundering, and lightning. We decided to stay inside because it was a severe weather storm outside. And then, out of nowhere, I decided I really wanted to go to this concert, so I just said, ‘I can’t stand the rain!’ And they said, ‘Well, that’s a great title.’ But I didn’t think it was a title at the time because I really wanted to go to the concert.’ They sat down and began playing the piano right away.”
“They just started playing a little melody around ‘I can’t stand the rain,’ and before I knew it, I was off writing lines and everything,” she continued. “And this song was incredible because it was the quickest song we’ve ever written.” We didn’t have any issues; we just wrote it down in about 15 minutes and sang it, and we felt like we had something special. Nobody could tell us we didn’t have a song because we were just feeling it.”
‘I Can’t Stand the Rain’ has been sampled by artists like Tina Turner and Missy Elliott.
“I Can’t Stand the Rain” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. John Lennon called it “the best song ever” and it reached number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Major artists have paid tribute to Peebles’ soulful song in the years since its release, including Tina Turner and Missy Elliott. Turner covered “I Can’t Stand the Rain” for her hit album Private Dancer in 1984.
Missy Elliott sampled the song in her debut single “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” in 1997, more than a decade later.
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