Eddie Holman Credit: Courtesy the Artist

Now this is a random blast from the past. Eddie Holman is famed for “Hey There Lonely Girl,” a sweet, vulnerable Philly soul ballad that rocked AM radios during the winter of ’69. It wasn’t his only hit, but it overshadowed the others—visit his website and the opening bars are the first thing you hear. On the track Holman is clearly on the outside looking in as he consoles a lady who just got dumped while not so subtly offering up himself as a replacement. Ruby & the Romantics had success with the same song in 1963 (as “Hey There Lonely Boy”), but their version had a glimmer of optimism. Holman chose to wallow in the depths of his lonely girl’s misery while offering salvation—and that’s why it works. On the fringes of the Philly soul scene for a while, he got going with his 1965 single “This Can’t Be True.” In the aftermath of “Lonely Girl” Holman bounced from one label to the next during the 70s, scoring the occasional minor hit, and even getting in on the disco trend with the uncharacteristically uptempo “This Will Be a Night to Remember” (1977) for the dance-floor-happy folks at Salsoul Records. These days he’s singing gospel music in the church and classic soul on cruise ships. This Chicago visit is unexpected, but it’s good to have him back.   v