You've Got to Love Her with a Feeling

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"Love with a Feeling"
Love with a Feeling single cover.jpg
Single by Tampa Red
B-side "When I Had a Good Woman"
Released 1938 (1938)
Format 10-inch 78 rpm record
Recorded Chicago, June 16, 1938
Genre Blues
Length 2:55
Label Bluebird (no. 7822)
Songwriter(s) Hudson Whittaker a.k.a. Tampa Red

"You've Got to Love Her with a Feeling", or "Love with a Feeling" as it was originally titled, is a blues song first recorded by Tampa Red in 1938. Numerous blues artists have interpreted and recorded the song, including Freddie King who had a number 92 Billboard Hot 100 in 1961 with "You've Got to Love Her with a Feeling".

Original song[edit]

Tampa Red recorded "Love with a Feeling" as a mid-tempo twelve-bar blues. Accompanying Red, who sang and played slide guitar, were Black Bob Hudson on piano and an unknown bass player.[1] Although Tampa Red wrote several bawdy blues, "Love with a Feeling" is tame, with only one verse suggesting the more colorful versions to come:

Now the coppers brought her in, she didn't need no bail
She shook it for the judge, and he put the cops in jail
'Cause she shook it with a feeling, yes she shook it with a feeling
Yes she loves with a feeling, or she don't love at all

Not long after recording "Love with a Feeling", other blues artists began recording their versions of the song: Merline Johnson (also known as "The Yas Yas Girl") (1938), Piedmont blues-singer Sonny Jones (1939), Tommy McClennan (1940), and Brownie McGhee (1946). In May 1950, Tampa Red recorded an updated version called "Love Her with a Feelin'". The song was performed as a Chicago-style blues with Tampa Red on electric slide guitar with piano, bass, and drum backing (RCA 50-0084). He also recorded it as a solo piece with vocal and electric guitar in 1961 for his Don't Tampa with the Blues album.

Freddie King adaptation[edit]

On August 26, 1960, Freddie King adapted the song using the title "You've Got to Love Her with a Feeling" for King Records. The song was released as the B-side of the "Have You Ever Loved a Woman" single on King Records subsidiary, Federal Records.[2] Of the two songs, "You've Got to Love Her with a Feeling" was the only one to appear in the record charts, reaching number 92 in the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961.

Backing King (vocal and guitar) are Sonny Thompson (piano), Bill Willis (bass), and Phillip Paul (drums). Freddie King's version uses breaks where he sings the first four bars of each twelve-bar verse without the usual instrumental accompaniment. Most versions recorded after King follow this arrangement.

Recordings by other artists[edit]

Numerous versions have been recorded with a variety of titles,[3] including those by Johnny Jones with Billy Boy Arnold (from Live in Chicago recorded 1963, released 1979); Paul Butterfield (1970 Live, with additional tracks released 2007); Junior Wells (Live at Theresa's 1975 released 2006); Muddy Waters, James Cotton, and Johnny Winter (Breakin' It Up, Breakin' It Down recorded 1977, released 2007); Anson Funderburgh (1985 She Knocks Me Out); Clarence Carter (1985 Messin' with My Mind, a live version was released in 1994 on Live with the Dr.); Johnny Copeland (1990 Live in Australia); Buddy Guy (1994 Slippin' In); Taj Mahal with Eric Clapton (1996 Phantom Blues); Rick Derringer (2000) Jackhammer Blues; Eddie "Guitar" Burns (2002 Lonesome Feeling). Also, Bob Dylan played the song in concert several times, although no recordings have been officially released.


  1. ^ Fancourt, Les (1994). It Hurts Me Too (Album notes). Tampa Red. Indigo Recordings. p. 3. IGOCD 2004. 
  2. ^ "Freddy King – You've Got To Love Her With A Feeling / Have You Ever Loved A Woman". Discogs. Retrieved December 20, 2015. 
  3. ^ Variations include: "Love Her with a Feeling", "Love Me with a Feeling" and "You Gotta Love Her (or Me) with a Feeling".