Southern soul

Southern soul
Southern soul
Stylistic origins Soul, blues, country and western, rock and roll, gospel
Cultural origins Late 1950s Southern United States
Typical instruments GuitarBassPianoOrganDrumsHorn sectionVocals
Mainstream popularity 1960s

Southern soul is a type of soul music that emerged from the Southern United States. The music originated from a combination of styles, including blues (both 12 bar and jump), country, early rock and roll, and a strong gospel influence that emanated from the sounds of Southern African-American churches. The focus of the music was not on its lyrics, but on the "feel" or the groove. This rhythmic force made it a strong influence in the rise of funk music.

Contents

History

Pioneers of southern soul include: Georgia natives Ray Charles and James Brown; Little Willie John, Bobby "Blue" Bland, New Orleans R&B artist Allen Toussaint; and Memphis DJ Rufus Thomas.

Southern soul was at its peak during the 1960s, when Memphis soul was created. The most significant contributors were Stax Records and their house band Booker T. & the MGs. The Stax label's most successful artist of the 1960s, Otis Redding, was influenced by fellow Georgia native Little Richard and the more cosmopolitan sounds of Mississippi-born Sam Cooke. Other Stax artists of note included Carla Thomas, Eddie Floyd, Johnnie Taylor, The Staple Singers, and Isaac Hayes. Atlantic Records artists Sam & Dave's records were released on the Stax label and featured the MGs. Wilson Pickett also launched his solo career through his collaboration with the Stax team.

Another Memphis label, Goldwax Records featured O.V. Wright and James Carr, while Al Green recorded for Memphis's Hi Records, where he was produced by Willie Mitchell. Also influential was the Muscle Shoals Sound, originating from Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section played on hits by many Stax artists during the late 1960s through the mid 1970s, and Atlantic Records artists Pickett, Percy Sledge, Joe Tex and Aretha Franklin.

Present

Southern soul music is still being recorded and performed all over the world by artists such as Mel Waiters, Willie Clayton, Carl Marshall, T.K. Soul, Sir Charles Jones, Omar Cunningham, Vick Allen, O.B. Buchana, Jeff Floyd, Wilson Meadows, Bigg Robb, Charles Wilson to name a few.

Notable artists

Rhythm sections

  • American
    • Gene Chrisman – drums
    • Tommy Cogbill – bass
    • Bobby Emmons – keyboards
    • Reggie Young – guitar

Songwriters

External links

References


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