Do you like good music

That sweet soul music

Just as long as it’s swingin’

Oh yeah, oh yeah

SWEET SOUL MUSIC (Conley/Redding)

How I love that song, presently as well as when it was first released, and I also love the tune it was directly “sampled “ from, “YEAH MAN” by Sam Cooke. The horns blasting, the call and response, the spiritual flavor, the danceability of both songs, and SWEET SOUL MUSIC sings out the history of soul music circa 1967. Hey, I even danced to it which a sight to behold.

Thank goodness I was born in the early fifties and with a kid brother two years younger in tow we got to listen to some great music; me with THE sounds of The BRITISH INVASION and he loving The 4 Seasons harmonies, girl groups and “soul” music. Our record collection was amazing and add to that the AM radio blasting the hits on WMCA, WABC, WINS, WWRL. The sounds,oh my,and our parents were in denial to our obsession with music.

Soul music evolved from the R&B tunes of the 50’s, gained wide spread acceptance (white audiences) in the SIXTIES and lasted into the 70’s.

The R&B hits of Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Sam Cooke and Ray Charles transformed rock and roll to another dimension. Soon “white” popular music virtually disappeared leaving rock and soul music in the forefront, standing shoulder to shoulder on the charts as they became the new leaders in popular music.

Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, James Brown, Solomon Burke, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, and Al Green merged gospel with R&B to create a new sound, “soul”. As the subsequent years raged on soul and rock became more political, a message to the masses in the tumult sixties.

Mentioned a few times in other chapters, music is the result of the combination and innovations of previous styles. In the case of soul music one can hear the blending of the “sacred” and the “profane”, that being gospel and the blues thus becoming a new art form.

Soul music ruled the “black” charts throughout THE SIXTIES with hits by Aretha Franklin and James Brown. MOTOWN joined in with MARVIN GAYE, THE SUPREMES, THE FOUR TOPS, THE TEMPTATIONS and a youngster named LITTLE STEVIE WONDER. Soon these hits were played on “mainstream” radio.

One of my favorites was OTIS REDDING: My Dad’s friend gave me an OTIS REDDING album “The Soul Album(1966). He gave it up because he didn’t like it. Geez, it was a gem with 634-5789, TREAT HER RIGHT, CHAIN GANG, NOBODY KNOWS YOU WHEN YOU’RE DOWN AND OUT on it, I loved it. A few years later I saw the film MONTEREY POP and WOW, Otis was THE MAN. Unfortunately, he died a few months after MONTEREY and before completing his posthumous hit (Sittin’On The) DOCK OF THE BAY- the whistling part at the end was to be re-dubbed after his return from the tragic event.

“Otis had the softness of Sam Cooke and the harshness of Little Richard, and he was his own man,” Booker T. & the MGs guitarist Steve Cropper told Rolling Stone in 2004.  “He was also fabulous to be around, always 100 percent full of energy. So many singers in those days, with all due respect, had just been in the business too long. They were bitter from the way they were treated. But Otis didn’t have that. He was probably the most nonprejudiced human being I ever met. He seemed to be big in every way: physically, in his talent, in his wisdom about other people. After he died, I was surprised to find out I was the same age as he was, because I looked up to him as an older brother.”

(2018) The recently released “Otis Redding LIVE AT THE WHISKY A GO GO 1966” was added to my collection. Another gem to say the least.

ARETHA FRANKLIN, originally a COLUMBIA RECORDS artist spent years making jazz records. Upon leaving for ATLANTIC RECORDS a new approach was taken by recording Otis Reddings’ tune RESPECT. It was stardom from then on.

See you next time….Chapter15: THE FUZZ BOX and TECHNO THINGS. Comments?