Tryin' to Live My Life Without You

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"Trying to Live My Life Without You"
Trying to Live My Life Without You - Otis Clay.jpg
Single by Otis Clay
from the album Trying to Live My Life Without You
B-side"Let Me Be the One"
ReleasedDecember 1972
Songwriter(s)Larry Williams
"Tryin' to Live My Life Without You"
Tryin' to Live My Life Without You - Bob Seger.jpg
Single by Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band
from the album Nine Tonight
B-side"Brave Strangers (Live)"
ReleasedSeptember 1981
RecordedOctober 6, 1980
Songwriter(s)Larry Williams
Producer(s)Bob Seger, Punch Andrews
Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band singles chronology
"The Horizontal Bop"
"Tryin' to Live My Life Without You"
"Feel Like a Number"

"Trying to Live My Life Without You" or "Tryin' to Live My Life Without You" is a song written by Larry Williams, originally popularized by soul singer Otis Clay. In early 1973 it reached #102 on the Billboard Bubbling Under chart, it has since been covered by several other artists, most notably Bob Seger on his 1981 Nine Tonight album, and Brinsley Schwarz. On February 17, 1973, Clay performed the song on Soul Train.[1]


The song is sung from the point of view of a man who is addressing his former lover. During the song's verses, the narrator tells of various habits he has had over his lifetime, such as smoking "five packs of cigarettes a day" and drinking "four or five bottles of wine." In the prechorus, he states that breaking those former habits was difficult, but not nearly as difficult as getting over the girl and forgetting the love they shared.

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly charts (1973) Peak
U.S. Billboard 102
U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 24
U.S. Cash Box Top 100 [2] 70

Bob Seger version[edit]

Bob Seger's cover of the song is the most successful version of the song, reaching number five on the pop singles charts, it is known for Seger's spoken prelude on top of the bassline: "Alright, you guys feel funky tonight? ... This is an old Memphis song, old Memphis song...." The Nine Tonight liner notes claim that Seger's saxophone player, Alto Reed, played all the saxophones heard on that song, at the same time. Most likely this is possible from studio overdubbing on top of the live performance.

Chart performance[edit]


  1. ^ "Watch Soul Train Season 2 Episode 20 Online". 1973-02-17. Retrieved 2016-10-07.
  2. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 1/20/73". 11 December 2014. Archived from the original on 11 December 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  3. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  4. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-07.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 434. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.
  6. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1981". 11 November 2014. Archived from the original on 11 November 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2017.

External links[edit]

Song Lyrics