Thanks to Robert Moselle for pointing this piece out to BtP. Whole story (by Terry Reilly [Not the composer!] is here
With its church-inspired organ, When a Man Loves a Woman didn't just influence subsequent soul music. Rock musicians also took note. Procol Harum stretched the organ's phrasing on their classic A Whiter Shade of Pale in 1967, with its vocal drenched in a Sledge-like tone.
"I can tell you a strange story," says Sledge. "The Hammond organ came out strongly in 1966, and the keyboard also became a powerful instrument since the success of When a Man Loves a Woman. I was lying on a beach in Barbados listening to the transistor radio when I heard this beautiful song, A Whiter Shade of Pale. I said to myself, 'I have to record this', and I did.
"But I could never understand the lyrics. Gary Brooker, who was in the group, called me when I was in London next. I asked him what went through his mind when he wrote it, because I loved the poetry and the feeling of the song. Do you know what he said? 'I don't really know.'"