Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “You’re Still A Young Man” by Tower Of Power
They took us “Down To The Night Club” in “Bump City” and showed us “What Is Hip”…yet today’s Song Of The Day by Eric Berman doesn’t get much more soulful than this!
Tower Of Power was the East Bay California horn-fueled brain child of Emilio Castillo and Stephen “Doc” Kupka who are as renowned for their own recordings as for the horn work they’ve done for everyone from Santana to PIL.
The group auditioned for Bill Graham to play his Fillmore West Auditorium, and Graham was so enamored of them he signed them to his own San Francisco record label and released their debut album called East Bay Grease in 1970, scoring the regional single “Sparkling In The Sand.”
“You’re Still A Young Man” was the first single from the group’s second album Bump City. The album was their debut album for Warner Bros. Records where they achieved most of their fame, and the song climbed to #29 on the Billboard pop charts and #24 on the R&B singles list in 1972. “You’re Still A Young Man” features the shimmering, soulful lead vocals of Rick Stevens who after leaving the band was convicted of murder and served 36 years in prison. He was paroled in 2012.
The Tower of Power lineup on Bump City includes Rick Stevens (lead vocals), Skip Mequite (tenor sax, flute, vocals), Emilio Castillo (2nd tenor sax, vocals), Greg Adams (trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals), Stephen “Doc” Kupka (baritone sax, vocals), Mic Gillette (trumpet, trombone, vocals), Willie James Fulton (guitar, vocals), Dave Garibaldi (drums), Francis Rocco Prestia (bass) and Jay Spell (piano).
Emilio Castillo told the Song Facts website the story behind the song: “I had a girlfriend that was six years older than me. I was 18, she was 24 and that’s actually what happened. She had kind of cut me loose because of the age difference thing and the whole plea in the story is the young guy’s saying, ‘I’m not too young, I’m not wasting my time and I do love you like a man can truly love a woman.'” (Song Facts)
In 1973, vocalist Lenny Williams and saxophone player Lenny Pickett joined the fold and the Tower Of Power horn section began playing on dozens of records by artists including Little Feat, Cat Stevens, Elton John, The Monkees, Rod Stewart, Rufus, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Starship, Heart Huey Lewis and the News, Aerosmith, Toto, Santana and Phish. Tower Of Power still performs concerts today and they appear as session player on many albums.