A Quick Lesson In… Soul!

Source: Official Aretha Franklin Facebook Page

Soul or Soul Music is of Black/African-American origin. It emerged in the late 1950’s from an
earlier form of Black Music predominantly sung and/or performed by black people. soul music
was also heavily influenced by gospel music, which as its name suggests derived from the
Church. The influence of the earlier genre’s still influence the feel of today’s soul music which
seems to fall under the more general catch all title of R&B. Soul music also has its roots in Jazz
and Doo-Wop, more of the aforementioned genres another time.

The most well known record labels associated with Soul are Motown, based in Detroit and
known as Motor City, hence the name Motown. Atlantic (now a subsidiary of the Warner Music
Group) began life in New York City and Stax originally known as Satellite Records and founded
in Memphis Tennessee. Each label had its own distinctive sound, although Stax and Atlantic
eventually came to share recording studios and artists. Motown recordings leaned heavily on a
lighter, ballad and harmony group sound whilst Atlantic and Stax seemed to favour a more
earthier and gospel based tones. Nevertheless, most of the songs which came from these
labels were essentially love songs, or she/he done somebody wrong songs but often with a
rhythm one could easily follow on the dance floor, whether the tempo was upbeat or in a slower,
smoother format.

Soul singers from the late 50’s to late 60’s included, from Motown, The Temptations, Smokey
Robinson & The Miracles and The Supremes. Atlantic fielded LaVern Baker, Aretha Franklin
and Booker T & The MG’s. Stax gave us Otis Redding, Rufus & Carla Thomas (a Father and
Daughter duo) and Isaac Hayes (It should be the law that everyone must own a copy of his incredible album ‘Hot Buttered Soul’ and ‘The Theme From Shaft’ – Super Soulful Editor).

Now, take a click of the link below to treat your ears to a sweet Soul playlist of wonderful music.

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