Wendy Rene - "After Laughter"
Born Mary Frierson in Memphis, Tennessee, home of Stax Records, Wendy Rene was christened by Otis Redding on signing to Stax as a teenager in 1963. She is an oft overlooked Soul Singer who was also an incredible songwriter. Originally signed with her brothers, she was offered a solo contract after the label head saw some of her original pieces.
She had a stream of small successes in the mid 60's, making her an in demand nightclub act, but wanting to raise her children she planned to leave music for a bit. in 1967 she was scheduled to perform one last show with Redding and the Bar-Kays, but changed her mind at the last minute and did not leave her Memphis home. Redding and four members of the Bar-Kays were killed in a plane crash on their way to Madison, Wis. She retired from music altogether immediately after hearing the news.
Away from music for 26 years, Rene's "After Laughter, Comes Tears" was sampled by the Wu-Tang Clan on "Tearz." Wu-Tang's RZA and Ol' Dirty Bastard would use the track again on "Black Widow Pt. 2" and Alicia Keys sampled it on "Where Do We Go From Here" from the As I Am album. NastyNasty gave the cut a dubstep treatment on "Apologies."
Rene returned to performing in September 2010, playing a brief set at Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans. In February 2012, the Light in the Attic label released the compilation After Laughter Comes Tears: Complete Stax & Volt Singles, Rarities, 1964-1965 that helped bring attention to a singer often compared to Irma Thomas in her prime.
So today, with laughter in my eyes, I choose Wendy Rene's "After Laughter" as my, now is all we have, life is brief, take every chance you get, song for a, never let your heart be so hardened that you can't be opened, use your heart recklessly - it may be your last opportunity, give love away as often and as much as you can - it will always come back, Wednesday.