Daddy B. Nice's #54 ranked Southern Soul Artist
"What She Don't Know (Won't Hurt Her)"
November 8, 2014:
See letter of appreciation in Daddy B. Nice's Mailbag.
RE: GREATEST SOUL SINGER ALIVE
Dear Daddy B. Nice,
I had the opportunity to hear Maurice Wynn in September at a function in the Roanoke Rapids (North Carolina) area. I had heard his wonderful songs before but never had the privilege of seeing him in person.
I visited your website a couple of times and I just wanted to say that Maurice is one of the best soulful singers on earth. His smooth, sexy and piercing voice resonate your soul and heart.
I have heard Roy C, Johnny Taylor and all the soul singers, but Maurice holds his own up there with Luther, Barry, Keith Sweat, R Kelly and everyone. We have visited Gwendolyn's other club called Blue Oasis several times lately to hear Maurice. He is now singing there on Thursday nights instead of the club called Gwendolyn's.
Our group will pay any price to hear this man sing. He has captured our hearts forever. Thanks for posting the information about Maurice. He is so talented and needs to be somewhere winning all kinds of awards for such a clean, extraordinary and distinctive voice.
Daddy B. Nice replies:
Excellent letter. It's great to hear from someone touting her favorite artist with such heartfelt enthusiasm.
Daddy B. Nice
November 8, 2014: More Maurice Wynn on YouTube
Listen to Maurice Wynn singing "What She Don't Know Won't Hurt Her" on Southern Soul Paradise Blog Spot (scroll down to video).
(This is the only video of "What She Don't Know" currently available on the Internet. The YouTube link posted by Daddy B. Nice in 2010 (see below) has been removed.)
Daddy B. Nice notes: Rare copies of Maurice Wynn's only album, BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY (Suzie Q, 2000) are available through Amazon.
Listen to Maurice Wynn performing live at the 2014 Raleigh Blues Festival.
Listen to Maurice Wynn singing "The Part Of Making Love" on YouTube.
Listen to Maurice Wynn singing live onstage at the East Coast Trail Rides Western Gala in North Carolina on YouTube.
Listen to Maurice Wynn singing "Your Man Is Home Tonight" Live Onstage on YouTube.
To all instantly link to all the awards, citations and other references to Maurice Wynn on the Southern Soul website, go to "Wynn, Maurice," in Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index.
(Scroll down to "Tidbits" section for the latest updates on Maurice Wynn.)
Daddy B. Nice's Original Critique:
"What She Don't Know" can stand beside the best music that Southern Soul has to offer and not break a blush. Its simple yet powerful melody has remained impervious to repetition. Even now, years after its 2000 release (Better Safe Than Sorry), its understated arrangement and super-credible vocal are a model of everything a rhythm and blues classic should be.
Maurice Wynn is one of those unfortunate artists-- David Brinston also comes to mind--signed to small label Suzie Q Records and stuck in a kind of recording and distribution limbo. The studio had an ear for talent. Wynn and Brinston and O. B. Buchana were major talents and potential stars who might never have come to light had it not been for Suzie Q and its producer Marshall Jones. Donnie Ray recorded his classic, "A Letter To My Baby" during the halcyon years.
For a brief time in the early 00's, Suzie Q purveyed a cutting-edge Southern Soul sound, best exemplified by Brinston's "Party 'Til The Lights Go Out" and "Kick It" and O. B. Buchana's "Let's Get Drunk" that electrified the chitlin' circuit. "What She Don't Know (Won't Hurt Her)" is the closest the label came to ultimate R&B bliss with Maurice Wynn.
"How can I explain
You in my life?
To my children,
And mainly to my wife?"
The emotional directness in "What She Don't Know" bespeaks a country song, and country artist Gene Watson did record a hit (no resemblance to Wynn's) called "What She Don't Know Won't Hurt Her" in the 80's.
The arrangement, too, echoes the country feeling. A keyboard with a high-pitched, bagpipe sound dominates the record, giving it a distinct, south-of-the-Mason-Dixon-line atmosphere. One can imagine Johnny Horton looking down from the clouds in a Reb uniform, playing a flute.
"This kind of thing
Was wrong from the start.
But telling her
Will surely break her heart."
But "What She Don't Know" is all about rhythm and blues. You know it when Maurice Wynn sings about the self-contradictions inherent in his man-cheating-on-his-wife predicament.
"But it was all over
The second we made love.
What on earth
Was I thinking of?"
The song's seductive melody and Wynn's affecting delivery are an irresistible combination.
"I love my children,
My wife I adore.
I never had a woman
Quite like you before."
Much to the consternation of his fans, Maurice Wynn has not been heard from since his great, turn-of-the-century single. "What She Don't Know" has become a staple of Southern Soul--one of those hits that define the very form--yet it remains a brilliant anomaly, like a comet streaking across the sky. And Wynn remains, whether by choice or circumstance, the proverbial one-hit wonder.
--Daddy B. Nice
About Maurice Wynn
Maurice Wynn performed, produced, arranged, engineered and wrote all the material for his debut CD, Better Safe Than Sorry (Suzie Q, 2000). The CD was generally dismissed, but the radio single, "What She Don't Know," caught on with deejays of the Deep South and proved amazingly durable, evolving over the space of a few years into a classic "golden oldie" of chitlin' circuit R&B.
Song's Transcendent Moment
"What she don't know
1. Author's Update: April 26, 2008.
If You Liked. . . You'll Love
Honorary "B" Side
"Can't Stop Loving You"
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