“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    

Sloopy And The Guys Somethin Wild Lp Mark 60s Garage Soul Frat Vg++ Clean!George Benson Erotic Moods Lp Winley Jazz Funk Soul Vg++ In ShrinkLatin Souls Boo Ga Loo Shing A Ling Lp Kapp 60s Latin Soul Vg+ Soul Asylum Let Your Dim Light Shine Lp Columbia 90s Rock Sealed Store StockSister Funk Soul Acetate 45 Unknown Stone Man Sanders Nyc Amazing!Everyday People "world Full Of People" Rare Funk Soul 45 Brownstone Ex ListenTerry Callier, What Color Is Love ~ '72 Cadet Nm Lp In Shrink ~ Funk SoulSoul,funk, Disco Massive Collection Of Vinyl,records,lp's/12" Classics.old SkoolLyn Christopher Take Me With You Soul Funk 45 Rpm Paramount Near MintWaymond Hall What Will Tomorrow Bring 45 Jamal 1005 B Is The Apollos Rare N.soulLee Moses "bad Girl" Rare Soul Funk 45 Musicor ListenCuby & Blizzards "your Body Not Your Soul" Superb Dutch Freakbeat! Rare! Hear!Baby Huey - Living Legend, Curtom, Soul Funk Breaks Promo LpMilton Wright "keep It Up" Funk Soul 45 Alston Nm ListenLittle Willie John "i'm Shakin" R&b Soul 45 King ListenSister Funk Soul Acetate 45 Unknown Put It In Writing Sanders Nyc Amazing! Chapparrals Shake Your Head ’78 Maximillion Records Atlanta Soul Vg+ RareSoul / Funk Lp - Gloria Ann Taylor "deep Inside Of You" On Selector Sound (orig)Carol & Gerri On You Heartache Looks Good Rare! Soul 45 Mgm Issue Hear How Can IJoe Walker "we Need Each Other" Rare Unknown Va Deep Soul 45 Sing Song ListenSeptimus We Want A Piece Of The Pie Lp Chosen Few Private Funk Soul Rare NmSweet Mixture On Bazar Records 45 Rpm Funk Soul House Of Fun/i Love You #9 Rare 1960's 45 Records Lot Of 141 Doo Wop Soul R&b Teen Rock PromosThe One And Onlys "love Me B/w Long Day" Rare Sweet Soul 45 Clear Hill ListenO.c. Tolbert "message To Mankind" Funk Soul 45 New Day Nm ListenThe Latin Jazz Quintet - Latin Soul - Prestige - Van Gelder Equals "mystic Syster" Rare Islands Funk Soul Disco Lp Coach Mp3Funk Soul Gospel 45 - Violinaires - I'm Not Worried - Jewel - Mp3Paul Blackman Earth Wind & Fire Killer Roots 12" Shaka Style Listen!!!Bert Bailey & The Jets - If I'm Right - 45 Mega Rare Sweet Soul/funk Island HearReggae 45 Alton Ellis Black On Black/i'm Just A Man On Soul BeatTarheel Slim Number 9 Train/ Wildcat Tamer 45 Soul Blues Rockabilly Fury 1016Jesus Acosta & Professionals "on Tour" Island Funk Soul Breaks Reggae Lp Ces Mp3Otis Redding / Otis Blue Lp 1st Press Mono 1965The Exciters Express Yourself Rare 45 Cover 7" Panama Latin Funk Soul Nwa Dr.dreAkofa Akoussah Lp Sonafric 1976 Killer Afro Cosmic Soul Psych Funk Bossa ♪♪ Latin Soul Monster - Hit The BongoIsaac Hayes Black Moses Interprise Dlp Mint 2-lp Set GimmixLatin Soul Monster - Diane And Carole On SpeedMarvin Gaye What's Going On Vinyl Lp Lyric Sheet Textured Sleeve Motown A2/b2Hank Mobley Soul Station Blue Note Lp Japan Obi Insert Near Mint Paul ChambersRicky Dee- Big Sound- I'm Gonna Make Her Mine - Girl- Rare Detroit SoulThe Entertainers We Don't Need No Music 45 On Amber Killer South Texas Funk/soul#8 Rare 1960's 45 Records Lot Of 86 Doo Wop Soul R&b The Kingsmen On Jerden!Tim Maia 1976 Racional Mega Rare Funk & Soul 7” Ep P/s Original Brazil HearBennie Green Soul Stirrin Nice!! W63 No "r" Rvg Dg Blue Note Lp 1599 Sonny ClarkIke White Lp "changing Times" L.a. Records Funk Soul Vg++nm-Maxwell - Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite 2xlp Amp Fiddler Neo-soul/funk Rare OrigLatin Soul Monster -the Latin Blues Band On SpeedJim Brown "understanding" Rare Private Sweet Soul Funk 45 Sputnik Nm ListenRare Soul Funk 45 Dynamic Walter B Before I Fall In Love New Breed Original HearLot Of 500+ Soul, Funk, Jazz, Blues, R&b 45s. Great For Jukebox! (43)Ike Quebec Bossa Nova Soul Samba Nice!! Ear Rvg Blue Note Lp 4114 Kenny BurrellEsquires "now" Islands Funk Soul Calypso Lp Atman Mp3Otis Redding: Otis Blue 12" 2lp Album + 7" Blue Vinyl Record Store Day Rsd 2015Saigon Rock & Soul: Vietnamese Classic Tracks 1968-1974 2-lpRare Black Gospel Soul 45/ Jean Austin "i Don't Have To Worry" HearSecret 7" - Diana Ross & The Supremes - Reflections By Charlotte MeiCrystal Motion "you're My Main Squeeze" 70s Soul 45 Sound Gems Wlp ListenDwain Vinyard ~ Searching For The Truth / Sit Down & Rest ~ Gospel Soul Funk 45