Category Archives: Southern Soul

LITTLE MILTON SINGS BIG SOUL.

LITTLE MILTON SINGS BIG SOUL. Although Little Milton eventually became one of the biggest soul singers of sixties, his background was in the blues music. Growing up, Little Milton modelled himself on legendary blues player T-Bone Walker. By the age of twelve, Little Milton was playing the blues in the streets of Greensville. That’s where …

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MORE LOST SOUL GEMS FROM SOUNDS OF MEMPHIS.

MORE LOST SOUL GEMS FROM SOUNDS OF MEMPHIS. During the sixties and seventies, Gene Lucchesi’s Sounds Of Memphis label was one of the most important Southern Soul labels. It was one of two labels Gene founded. The other was XL Records, which he founded in 1964. A year later, in 1965, his nascent label released …

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SAM DEES-THE SHOW MUST GO ON.

SAM DEES-THE SHOW MUST GO ON. Without doubt, one of music’s best kept secrets is Sam Dees. So much so, that I’d describe Sam Dees as one of the best singers you’ve never heard. Sam’s career began back in the late-sixties. Sadly, commercial success and critical acclaim never came Sam’s way. As a result, Sam …

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THE COMPLETE FAME SINGLES VOLUME 1-1964-1967.

 THE COMPLETE FAME SINGLES VOLUME 1-1964-1967. Mention Southern Soul, and certain labels spring to mind. Among them are Stax, Hi Records and Fame Records. These three labels are synonymous with Southern Soul. Together, they released some of the greatest music in the history of Southern Soul. Indeed, the artists who walked through the doors of …

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LET THE MUSIC PLAY: BLACK AMERICA DOES BACHARACH AND DAVID.

LET THE MUSIC PLAY: BLACK AMERICA DOES BACHARACH AND DAVID. It was in the Brill Building in 1957, that Burt Bacharach and Hal David first met. They were both aspiring songwriters. Burt was a twenty-nine year old music graduate from Kansas. Hal was the older of the two. He was a thirty-six year old New …

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SYL JOHNSON-DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH.

SYL JOHNSON-DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH. For much of the seventies, Hi Records was one of the most successful Southern Soul labels. This success was only derailed by the increase in disco’s popularity. Before that, Hi Records had gained a reputation as a label who released innovative Southern Soul. The man behind the Hi Records’ success …

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O.V. WRIGHT-WE’RE STILL TOGETHER.

O.V. WRIGHT-WE’RE STILL TOGETHER. I’ve always thought that O.V. Wright was one of the most underrated Southern Soul singers of his generation. That’s why I’ve always championed O.V. Wright’s music. In some ways, O.V. Wright was overshadowed by the commercial success and critical acclaim Al Green was enjoying. They were both n the same label, …

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LOLEATTA HOLLOWAY-LOLEATTA HOLLOWAY.

LOLEATTA HOLLOWAY-LOLEATTA HOLLOWAY. When Loleatta Holloway came to record her fifth album, and third for Gold Mind Records Loleatta Holloway, she encountered a very different company. Gone was Norman Harris who’d previously run Gold Mind and who’d been at Loleatta’s side every step of the way, during her Gold Mind career. Norman Harris wasn’t the …

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ONCE IN A MILLION-THE SONGS OF SAM DEES.

ONCE IN A MILLION-THE SONGS OF SAM DEES. Sam Dees is described as: “a prolific songwriter and occasional performer.” That’s true. While Sam has written nearly four-hundred songs, he’s only released three albums. Clearly, Sam believes in quality over quantity. Anyone whose heard Sam’s 1975 debut album The Show Must Go On will be forced …

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ANN PEEBLES-I CAN’T STAND THE RAIN.

ANN PEEBLES-I CAN’T STAND THE RAIN. Back in the early seventies, Al Green was King of Hi Records. He was Southern Soul’s superstar. His Queen was Ann Peebles. She released seven albums on Hi Records between 1969 and 1978. Her third album for Hi Records was I Can’t Stand The Rain, which was recently released …

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KENT’S CELLAR OF SOUL VOLUME 3.

KENT’S CELLAR OF SOUL VOLUME 3. Eight years after the release of Kent’s Cellar Of Soul Volume 2, Kent Soul have belatedly released the followup, Kent’s Cellar Of Soul Volume 3. It’s been well worth the wait. The Kent’s Cellar Of Soul seems to mature like a fine wine. That’s thanks to the two men …

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HALL OF FAME VOLUME 3.

HALL OF FAME VOLUME 3. Eventually, when someone decides to write a definitive history of Southern Soul, Fame Records name will loom large. There’s two reasons for this. The first is the music released on Fame Records. Then there’s the artists who recorded at Fame Recording Studios, Muscle Shoals. Back in the sixties, Fame Recording …

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CANDI STATON-YOUNG HEARTS RUN FREE.

CANDI STATON-YOUNG HEARTS RUN FREE.  Having released a trio of albums of Southern Soul for Rick Hall’s Fame Records, Candi Staton signed to Warner Bros,where she released a song that’s become synonymous with her, Young Hearts Run Free. Released in 1976, Young Hearts Run Free saw Candi Staton transformed into a disco diva. This was …

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HALL OF FAME-RARE AND UNISSUED GEMS FROM THE FAME VAULTS.

HALL OF FAME-RARE AND UNISSUED GEMS FROM THE FAME VAULTS. There aren’t many recording studios that play such an important part in their town’s history as Fame Records. It was added to the list of local landmarks and designated part of the town’s heritage. That’s what happened to the Fame Recording Studios in December 1997, …

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SWAMP DOGG-RAT ON!

SWAMP DOGG-RAT ON! It’s not the music that Swamp Dogg’s 1971 sophomore album Rat On! is remembered for. Instead, it’s remember for having one of the worst album covers of all time. Rat On! features Swamp Dogg sitting on the back of an oversized white rat. That epitomises Swamp Dogg since his lysergic awakening.  As …

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THE A-Z OF THE BEST REISSUES OF 2013 PART 1.

THE A-Z OF THE BEST REISSUES OF 2013 PART 1. As the year draws to a close, I’ve been compiling my lists of the best releases of 2013. So far, I’ve chosen the thirty best box sets of 2013 and the fifty best compilations of 2013. Now I’ve decided to turn my attention to reissues, …

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THE A-Z OF THE BEST REISSUES OF 2013 PART 2.

THE A-Z OF THE BEST REISSUES OF 2013 PART 2. DAMON- SON OF A GYPSY. For any collector of psychedelia, if they’re lucky enough to find a copy of Damon’s Son Of A Gypsy, it becomes one of their most prized possessions. Finding a copy is another thing. Copies are rarer than hen’s teeth and …

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THE A-Z OF THE BEST REISSUES OF 2013 PART 3.

THE A-Z OF THE BEST REISSUES OF 2013 PART 3. GEORGE JACKSON-OLD FRIEND-THE FAME RECORDINGS VOLUME 3. Prolific. That’s the best way to describe George Jackson. As a songwriter, he wrote over three-hundred songs. This includes penning tracks for James Carr, Wilson Pickett, Eddie Floyd, Clarence Carter, Z.Z. Hill, Candi Staton, Bettye Swann, Ann Peebles, …

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THE A-Z OF THE BEST REISSUES OF 2013 PART 4.

THE A-Z OF THE BEST REISSUES OF 2013 PART 4. LOVE COMMITTEE-LAW AND ORDER. Love Committee were one of many Philadelphia soul groups formed in the sixties. Their original lineup featured Larry Richardson, Joe Freeman, Norman Frazier and future-Temptation Ron Tyson. Later, Michael Bell replaced Larry Richardson. Having released their debut single Think About Tomorrow …

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THE A-Z OF THE BEST REISSUES OF 2013 PART 5.

THE A-Z OF THE BEST REISSUES OF 2013 PART 5. OMAR SOULEYMAN-WENU WENU. Prolific. That’s a good way to describe Omar Souleyman. After all, how many artists have released over 550 albums? However, not all that glitters is gold. Many of these albums Omar has released are recordings of him singing at weddings. They’re sold …

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