After laughter comes tears

The great Memphis soul singer Wendy Rene passed away on Tuesday, from complications caused by a stroke. She only recorded for Stax from 1964 to 1967, but her singles are legendary.

Her recordings were all dutifully compiled by Light in the Attic on After Laughter Comes Tears: Complete Stax & Volt Singles + Rarities 1964-1965, the compilation's title coming from her best-known song, one that was sampled by Wu-Tang on their Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) album, and later folded into a song, “Where Do We Go From Here," by Alicia Keys, on her As I Am record.

There's an informative obituary by Bob Mehr at the Memphis Commercial Appeal, but it's behind a paywall, unfortunately. Mehr writes that “A testament to her greatness as a composer is that artists continue to cover her songs and material,” said (Stax public relations woman Deanie) Parker. “She’s one of those Stax artists you have to dig for, but when you do find her, you get turned on to her music in a big way.”

About The Author

Mike McGonigal

Metro Times music editor Mike McGonigal has written about music since 1984, when he started the fanzine Chemical Imbalance at age sixteen with money saved from mowing lawns in Florida. He's since written for Spin, Pitchfork, the Village VOICE and Artforum. He's been a museum guard, a financial reporter, a bicycle...
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