Percy Sledge Entertains Academy Fans As 'Doc of Rock'
Great music, a good vibe, and an enthusiastic crowd of
Academy students filled Morgan Auditorium to witness rock legend Percy Sledge receive an honorary
doctorate as part of our
Doctors of Rock series. Academy president Elisa Stephens introduced Percy Sledge and
highlighted his half-century career in music, from his childhood in rural Alabama through his debut
of his signature hit When
A Man Loves A Woman and his subsequent well-received albums and tours over the years. The
standard bearer for Southern soul then received thunderous applause and a standing ovation as he
accepted his honorary doctorate from President Elisa Stephens.
Percy Sledge struck a warm and immediate rapport with the audience in the Question and Answer
session that followed. Academy students displayed great enthusiasm as they asked 'Dr. Sledge' about
his career, his family, and his plans for the future. Percy Sledge displayed an openness and
infectious warmth as he talked about his friendship with Otis Redding and confessed, to an amused
crowd, his love for the Bee Gees.
Percy then treated the crowd to an exclusive concert, which included career favorites as well as
select songs from his new album, "Shining Through the Rain". His all-star band included local
legends and original Tower of Power horn players Mic Gillette and Skip Mesquite. The night closed
out with a spine-tingling version of Percy's immortal hit, 'When a Man Loves a Woman'.
Academy students also got a valuable glimpse into the working world of television production as
the event was being filmed live for TV. A crew of over fifty television professionals came together
to put on the event, produced by Creanspeak Productions and Golden Hawk Entertainment in
conjunction with the satellite channel HDNet. The show will air on HDNet later this spring, planned
to coincide with Percy Sledge's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.