“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    

Crossover Soul/funk 45 Kelly & Soul Explosions Talking About My Baby's Love HearCrossover/deep Soul 45 George Hobson Let It Be Real Sound City Vg+ HearCrossover Soul 45 Celest Hardie You're Gone Reynolds Vg++ Hear70s Soul 45 Innersection I'm In Debt To You Group 5 Vg++ HearCrossover Soul/funk 45 Houston Outlaws Ain't No Telling Westbound Nm HearCrossover/sweet Soul 45 Charles Holiday Don't Lie Playboy Vg++ HearCrossover Soul 45 Ralph Soul Jackson & B'ham Rhythm Section Set Me Free Hear70s Soul 45 Philip James Keep On Loving Longwood Vg++/vg+ HearCrossover Soul 45 Norma Jean I've Taken Over Hep Me Vg+ HearCrossover Soul 45 Kool Blues Can We Try Love Again Capsoul Hear70s Soul 45 Jack Sass Band Where Is The Love Visa Nm Pic Sleeve HearFunk 70s Soul 45 Antonio Castro "w.e.l.f.a.r.e." Universal International Hear70s Soul 45 Infinity Put Everything In Place Whitehorse Vg+ HearFunk Soul 45 Joey Irving Don't Throw Our Love Away Vincent Vg++/nm HearCrossover Soul 45 Maurice Jackson Lucky Fellow Candle Lite Nm HearJoe Bataan Singin' Some Soul Fania Lp Vg++ Shrink 70s Soul 45 Lew Kirton Heaven In The Afternoon Alston Nm HearDeep Soul Disco 12" Gloria Ann Taylor-deep Inside You Ep Rare Grail;sealed!!70s Soul 45 Willie Pickett On The Stage Of Life Eastern Nm Hear70s Soul 45 Reuben Howell You Can't Stop A Man In Love Motown Pic Sleeve HearCrossover Soul 45 Albert Jones Fifteen Cent Love Kapp HearMarie Queenie Lyons Soul Fever - Orig. Press De Luxe Female Soul Funk Classic ExThe Exciters Express Yourself 45rpm 7" Panama Latin Funk Soul Mega Rare !!! ♫♫♫Crossover Soul/funk 45 Brenda Jones Big Mistake Mercury HearR&b Popcorn Soul 45 Earl (connelly) King Every Whicha Kinda Way King Vg++ Hear70s Soul 45 Larry Houston Let's Spend Some Time Together Hfmp Vg++ HearRare 1960's 45 Records Lot Of 134 Beatles Elvis Soul R&b Doo Wop PromosSir Joe Quarterman & Free Soul Self Titled Gsf LpRare Northern Soul Promo 45/ The Temptations "i Want A Love I Can See" HearNorthern Soul 45 Dells Run For Cover Cadet HearFunk Soul 45 Paul Jones Let Her Love Grow Jab Vg+ HearLatinaires Camel Walk Fania Lp Hear Latin Soul Vg++ 70s Soul 45 Al Hudson & Soul Partners I'm About Lovin You Atco HearWhole Darn Family Has Arrived Soul Lp Shrink 70s Soul 45 Willie Pickett On The Stage Of Life Soul Pot Nm Hear70s Soul 45 Chuck Jackson Waiting In Vain Emi America Vg++ HearSola Un Muneco De Madera Rca Victor Lp Hear Vg++ Latin Funk/soul Spanky Wilson Doin' It - Orig. Clean Nm/nm Shrink Female Soul Funk Mother Recs.Professionals The Professionals On Tour Ges Lp Hear Island Funk/soul ++ BelizeR&b Soul 45 Little Willie John I'm Shakin King Hear70s Soul 45 Mandrill Too Late Arista Vg++ HearJoe Bataan Sweet Soul Fania Lp Sealed Pretty Purdie Ft. Funky Donkey Soul Drums Date LpFunk/sweet Soul 45 Kool & Together Hooked On Life Magic Nm/vg++ Hear70s Soul 45 Dells Your Song 20th Century Fox Hear70s Soul Funk 45 Eddie Kendricks Date With The Rain Tamla Vg++/vg+ HearR&b Blues Soul 45 John Lee Hooker Money Impulse Hear1972 Michael Jackson Ben Multicinemas 7" Mexican Promo 45 Funk Soul70s Soul 45 Bobby Sheen Something New To Do Warner Bros HearFunk/novelty Break-in 45 E. Rodney Jones & Friends Soul Heaven Vg++ Hear60s R&b Soul Wendy Rene After Laughter U.s. Blue Stax 7" 4570s Soul Funk 45 Patti Jo Ain't No Love Lost Scepter HearR&b Soul 45 Etta James Seven Day Fool Argo HearTurley Richards - I Feel Alright / I Can't Get Back 45 Columbia Rare Soul PromoR&b Soul 45 Eddie King & Mae B. May Please Mr. D.j. Conduc HearR&b/deep Soul 45 Amanda Humphrey Dagwood Norton Vg+ HearPopcorn R&b Gospel Soul 45 Marie Knight Who Rolled The Stone Away Decca Hear70s Soul 45 Danny Hunt What's Happening To Our Love Affair Dynamite Nm Hear70s Soul Funk 45 Inflight Lovely Lady Sky-blue Vg+ HearPucho & His Latin Soul Brothers Yaina Lp On Right-on Vg++