“Do you like good music / That sweet soul music / Just as long as it's swingin' / Oh yeah, oh yeah.” When Arthur Conley sang those lyrics in 1967, to a tune borrowed from Sam Cooke, soul records were already an enormous part of the 1960s pop-music landscape. The various labels that released soul records, as well as LPs of their cousins, rhythm and blues, were each based in a different American city, producing signature sounds and loyal followings.

Stax, where Conley recorded, was based in Memphis, Tennessee, which was also home to Sun Records and Elvis Presley. A subsidiary of Stax called Volt released 45s for Otis Redding, who co-wrote “Sweet Soul Music” with Conley. While the Stax sound is often associated squarely with R&B in the minds of many fans, there was an undeniable soulfulness to tunes by Booker T. & the M.G.s, Eddie Floyd, Sam & Dave, and, later, Isaac Hayes.

Another Memphis soul man was Al Green, who recorded for Hi Records beginning in 1969 with “Green is Blues.” Covers dominated that early effort, include Green’s renditions of Smokey Robinson’s “My Girl,” a Box Tops Hit called “The Letter,” and even “Get Back” by the Beatles. Green would go on to make Memphis a capital for soul in the early 1970s, often with his own material (“Let’s Stay Together,” “I’m Still in Love with You”) as well as covers of earlier hits, such as a classic by the Temptations titled “I Can’t Get Next To You.”

The Temptations were one of many Motown soul groups based in Detroit. Berry Gordy ran multiple labels in the Motor City, from Tamla, which recorded artists such as Mary Wells and Marvin Gaye, to Motown itself, whose roster is like a Who’s Who of soul—in addition to the Temptations, there were Martha and the Vandellas, the Supremes, the Four Tops, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Stevie Wonder, and the Jackson 5, led by child singing sensation, Michael Jackson.

New York City, of course, had its own labels and rosters, most notably Atlantic and its various subsidiaries (even though Redding cut his singles for Volt, his LPs were distributed by Atco). Atlantic introduced the world to Ray Charles—soul was just one of many genres mastered by The Genius.

Atlantic also gave the first lady of soul, Aretha Franklin, a home—her recordings for Columbia before moving to Atlantic in 1967 sold poorly because the studio tried to jazz up her gospel roots. And Percy Sledge recorded the classic “When a Man Loves a Woman” for Atlantic in 1966.

Naturally, the soul sound coming out of California in the 1960s had a psychedelic tinge to it. The Chambers Brothers, based in Los Angeles, moved comfortably between venues like the Apollo Theatre in Harlem and San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium. Even more popular was Sly and the Family Stone, whose electrifying appearance at Woodstock in 1969 cemented that band’s reputation and paved the way for funk...

Last but certainly not least are the artists associated with Philadelphia International. Starting in the early 1970s, producers Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff promoted the O’Jays (“Love Train”), Billy Paul (“Me and Mrs. Jones”), Lou Rawls (“You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine”), and Teddy Pendergrass (“I Miss You” with Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, “Love TKO” solo).

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Vinyl Divas

Vinyl Divas

Vinyl Divas pays homage to international female opera singers of the LP era. Chronicling more than 800 singers, the… [read review or visit site]

317X

317X

Despite its mysterious title, 317X is plain and simple—an online gallery of vintage LPs, with a 1950s vintage fee… [read review or visit site]

Mybeatles.net

Mybeatles.net

Jesse Barron's collection of Beatles 45s, picture sleeves, magazines, books, and memorabilia. Browse singles and al… [read review or visit site]

Association of Vogue Picture Record Collectors

Association of Vogue Picture Record Collectors

This great site, from the Association of Vogue Picture Record Collectors, offers detailed background information an… [read review or visit site]

The Remington Site

The Remington Site

Since 1999, the Remington Site has offered classical music collectors a glimpse into Remington Records, an independ… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Chicago Gangsters Life Is Not Easy Lp Heat 70s Soul In Shrink Vg++ Hype StickerRare Ohio 70s Soul Funk 45 Total Experience Illusion / Contradiction On Tte Damn Sam The Miracle Man & The Soul Congregation Lp On Tay-ster Nm Shrink Rare Sweet Soul 45'/ Funk....the Black Conspirators ( Get Down )Andrew Wartts Gospel Storytellers There Is A God Lp Rare Black Soul Champ 1962Tf 718 The Wimple Winch - Save My Soul/ Everybody's Worried - Sample - OriginalWilliam Onyeabor Body & Soul Killer Rare Nigeria Og Afro Boogie Funk ListenRazz-ma-tazz "sugar Sugar Sugar" Disco Soul Boogie 12" Inner-visions Mp3Rare Funk 45 Sonny Harris & The Soul Reflections The Vibration On San-elLa New Breed Orquesta Jala Jala Woe Woe Baby Fonseca Latin Soul Lp BoogalooJeff St John & The Id.big Time Operator Ep.1967 Oz Press.soul/psych Rarity.Curtis Mayfield Self-titled Lp On Curtom Vg++/nmRare Sweet Soul 45' Vee Gees (jump Off )360 "rated Xxx" Rare Random Rap Ep On Soul Power ListenJoe Bataan Singin' Some Soul Lp On Fania Vg++The Marvelettes Playboy Lp Tamla 229 1962 Mono Soul White Label Dj PromoThe Miracles Cookin' With Lp Tamla 223 1961 Mono Soul Dj Promo Smokey RobinsonJohnny Zamot S/t 7 -11 Se-vol.1 Stereo Latin Soul Lp Funk Salsa Guanguanco PsychA Train Self-titled Lp On Southern Star Private Soul Jazz FunkHank Mobley - Soul Station / Blp 4031 / Mono Original, 1960 / Vg+/exThe Marvelettes Please Mr Postman Lp Tamla 228 1961 Mono Soul Dj PromoEtta James Lp "at Last" Original Argo Mono D/g Vg++/nm-Exodus "together Forever" Disco Soul Boogie 12" Charlotte Amalie Mp345 Bob Marley And The Wailing Wailers Bus Dem Shut On Wail SoulGilberto Cruz Chanchullo Dirty Business Latin Soul Funk Lp Tico Guanguanco SalsaShirley Ellis, Soul Time/waitin', Cbs 7463, Ex, A1/b1 MatrixMarvin Gaye The Soulful Moods Of Lp Tamla 221 1961 Mono White Label Dj PromoSoul Searchers Salt Of The Earth Lp On Sussex Ss SealedExecutive Force "let's Go Disco" Rare Disco Soul Funk 12" New Age Mp3Otis Redding Otis Blue Lp On Volt MonoSunrise Movement ~ Running Wild 45 ~ Ghetto Productions Funk Soul XoverEndgames "ecstasy" Disco Soul Boogie 12" Virgin Uk Mp3Brenda Holloway Every Little Bit Hurts Lp Tamla 257 1964 Mono Soul Dj PromoUniverse City "can You Get Down" Disco Soul Funk 12" Midland Int'l Wlp Mp3Manic Street Preachers Lp Gold Against The Soul Sony 1st Press Demo Copy Stamped70s Soul 45 The Fantastic Puzzles Come Back On New MoonPin Points No Dressing Lp Private Soul Funk Vg++/nm The Marvelettes Marvelous Lp Tamla 237 1963 Mono Soul Dj PromoVoices Of Conquest ~ O Yes My Lord ~ Voc Detroit Gospel Soul Funk Drums 45 HearRare Sweet Soul 45' / Soul Funk ...phase Vi ( Pem )Etta James Rocks The House Lp On Argo MonoNew Swing Sextet Swingin’ Along Cotique C-1041 Mono Latin Soul Lp Boogaloo SalsaThe New Swing Sextet A Taste Of Spanish Harlem Cotique Latin Soul Lp BoogalooThe Marvelettes Sing Lp Tamla 229 1962 Mono Soul White Label Dj PromoLp Kool & The Gang "s/t" Funk Soul First Pressing Rare De-lite De-2003Black Sabbath 7 Lp Metal Lot Vol Iv Paranoid Sold Our Soul Bloody Master OzzyLot Of 500+ Soul, Funk, Jazz, Blues, R&b 45s. Great For Jukebox! (20)Eddie Hooper Moving Along Lp On Juledd Islands Soul Funk Vg++/nm ShrinkMarvin Gaye That Stubborn Kind Of Fella Lp Tamla 239 1962 Mono Dj Promo MonoFf Yellowhand "can You Feel It" Disco Soul Boogie 12" Fire-sign Wlp Mp3Whole Darn Family "seven Minutes Of Funk" Disco Funk Breaks 12" Soul Int'l Mp3Risco Connections "ain't No Stopping" Islands Disco Soul Funk 12" Black Rose Mp3The Supremes Meet The Supremes Lp Motown Mt 606 1963 Mono Dj Promo MonoEddie Holland S/t Lp Us Motown Mlp 604 1962 Mono 1st Press Soul Dj PromoCelia Feat. Arthur Verocai - "na Boca Do Sol" Soul Funk Bossa Brazil 7" 45 HearTenderness "gotta Keep On Trying" Disco Soul Funk 12" Rca Wlp Mp3Lemuria Lp Contemporary Hawaiian Jazz Funk Soul 1978 Original Hawaii Ex-/nmMichael Wycoff "looking Up To You" Disco Soul Boogie 12" Rca Mp3Little Stevie Wonder Tribute To Uncle Ray Lp Tamla 232 1962 Mono Dj PromoWilson Pickett ~ Let Me Be Your Boy ~ Correc-tone Detroit Northern Soul 45 Hear