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"Don't Give Up on Us"
David Soul
Private Stock 45129
Apr. 1977
Billboard: #1    Lyrics Icon Videos Icon

David Soulfter David Soul's first album for Private Stock Records was released, he received a telephone call from Larry Uttal, president of the company. Uttal wanted Soul to meet with British songwriter Tony Macaulay and record a couple of his songs. "I talked to Tony from the stage of Starsky and Hutch and he said, 'I can be over there on Wednesday.' I liked the way he talked to me on the phone so I just said, 'sure, come over,'" David recalls.

David Soul - David Soul
David Soul's eponymous debut LP, featuring his number one hit "Don't Give Up on Us," first charted on Jan. 22, 1977. It peaked at No. 40 on the Billboard Hot 200 and spent a total of 22 weeks on the chart.
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From their conversation, Soul knew he trusted Macaulay and would record his songs without even hearing them. It was the same way he hose the musicians he worked with -- often hiring them based on intuition rather than listening to their music first.

Soul learned "Don't Give Up on Us" on Thursday and recorded it along with another Macaulay song on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They were sweetened on Monday, mixed on Tuesday and on sale Britain the following Friday. Only a minimal number of the David Soul albums had been pressed and these were pulled back so "Don't Give Up on Us" could be included.

More concerned with the recording process than having hits, David's goal had always been to have fun making music. But Private Stock was a singles-oriented company working hard to achieve Top 10 records.

"Don't Give Up on Us" broke first in England, beginning a four-week run at number one on January 15, 1977. The song entered the American chart on January 29, debuting at number 74. It went to number one 11 weeks later. Looking back, Soul feels the only weakness in the recording is his vocal quality, which has improved since then. Although he never made the top 50 again in America, his British chart fortunes are quite impressive. "Going in With My Eyes Open" peaked at two, then "Silver Lady" became his second chart-topper. "Let's Have a Quiet Night In" went to eight and "It Sure Brings Out the Love in Your Eyes" reached number 12.

Although the casual viewer might have been surprised when one of the stars of television's Starsky and Hutch released a successful record, diehard David Soul fans knew their idol began his career as a singer. After dropping out of college he tried to support himself as a folksinger in the Midwest, opening for acts such as the Byrds, the Ramsey Lewis Trio and the Doors.

Wanting to try his luck in New York, he sent a picture of himself, his face covered by a ski mask, to the William Morris Agency. They were very interested. As a result, he appeared numerous times on The Merv Griffin Show and on Shindig as "The Covered Man." He expressed his philosophy on Merv's show with his first and only words, "My name is David Soul and I want to be known for my music." Although this gained Soul an entree to television, he became more known for the mask than his music. Eventually, he discarded his ski mask on Merv's show and revealed a handsome face.

Casting director Renee Valente saw Soul on a subsequent Merv Griffin show and cast him in Here Come the Brides. By the time he was starring as Detective Ken Hutchinson in Starsky and Hutch, he wanted to make sure a record company wanted him for his music and not because he was a well-known television personality. Uttal convinced him he would be taken seriously for his music.

He was born David Solberg on August 28, 1943, in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in Germany where his father, a Lutheran minister, worked for a refugee organization. David's interest in music can be traced to his mother, a classical concert singer.

- Fred Bronson, The Billboard Book of Number One Hits, Billboard, 1988.

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