Category Archives: Southern Soul

GRITS AND GRAVY-THE BEST OF THE FAME GANG.

GRITS AND GRAVY-THE BEST OF THE FAME GANG. Back in the sixties, many soul and R&B labels had their own house band. One of the earliest examples in the sixties, were the Funk Brothers, Motown’s house band. They provided Motown’s trademark sound. Motown however, weren’t alone. As the seventies dawned, HI Records was about to …

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GEORGE JACKSON AND DAN GREER AT GOLDWAX.

GEORGE JACKSON AND DAN GREER AT GOLDWAX. Often, the maxim “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” applies to the music industry. This was certainly the case back in 1966. Stax Records had just signed Sam and Dave. They were riding the crest of the wave of commercial success, having released Hold On I’m Comin’ …

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SAM DEES-IT’S OVER-70s SONGWRITER DEMOS AND MASTERS.

SAM DEES-IT’S OVER-70s SONGWRITER DEMOS AND MASTERS. Sometimes, for whatever, reason, an artist doesn’t enjoy the commercial success and critical acclaim they deserve. Instead, their music is only enjoyed a discerning circle of music lovers. That’s the case with Sam Dees. He is, without doubt, one of soul music’s best kept secrets. Sam Dees could’ve, …

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EDDY GILES-SOUTHERN SOUL BROTHER-THE MURCO RECORDINGS 1967-1969.

EDDY GILES-SOUTHERN SOUL BROTHER-THE MURCO RECORDINGS 1967-1969. For the last sixty years, Eddy Giles has been a regular on KOKA, a Shreveport based radio station. Originally, Eddy was a guitarist in various local groups. Then between 1967 and 1969, Eddy Giles was signed to Murco Records. His singles, which feature on Southern Soul Brother-The Murco …

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BRING IT ON HOME-BLACK AMERICA SINGS SAM COOKE.

BRING IT ON HOME-BLACK AMERICA SINGS SAM COOKE. By the time of his death on 11th December 1964, Sam Cooke was soul’s first superstar. Throughout his career, it seemed Sam could do no wrong. You Send It, Sam’s 1957 debut single, reached number one in the US Billboard and US R&B charts. This was was …

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COLD COLD HEART-WHEN COUNTRY MEETS SOUL VOLUME 3.

COLD COLD HEART-WHEN COUNTRY MEETS SOUL VOLUME 3. For the past fifty years, country music has influenced soul music, and soul singers. Many soul singers grew up listening to soul music. This would later influence and help shape their careers. Later, when their careers began, many soul singers would pay homage to how country music …

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JIMMY HUGHES-STEAL AWAY.

JIMMY HUGHES-STEAL AWAY. Fifty years ago, Jimmy Hughes released what was the first album to bare the Fame Records logo, Steal Away. It was released after the title-track, Steal Away gave Jimmy Hughes the biggest single of his career. On its release, Steal Away gradually climbed the charts. Its rise wasn’t meteoric. Instead, it was …

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THE MASQUERADERS-EVERYBODY WANNA LIVE ON.

THE MASQUERADERS-EVERYBODY WANNA LIVE ON. Although The Masqueraders’ roots can be traced back to 1958, they never released their debut album until 1975. That was the Isaac Hayes’ produced Everybody Wanna Live On, which was recently rereleased by Ace Records. Everybody Wanna Live On was the result of a long journey for the five Masqueraders. …

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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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