“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    

Doug Carn Infant Eyes Lp Black Jazz Original Soul Jazz Spiritual Vg++Mary Wells One Who Really Loves You Lp Motown 60s Soul Vg Plays Well In ShrinkArthur Verocai S/t Brazil Soul Pysch Groove Original Lp HearDead Rare Little Nicky Soul Orig. Shee Sr-101 45 Record I Wanted To Tell You Crossover Soul 45 Carrie Cleveland Make Love To Me Audio Ent Good Version! HearEvinha Cartao Postal Brazil Soul Funk Groove Orig Lp Beats Rare Vg+ HearBobby Thurston - Sweetest Piece Of The Pie Lp - Mainline - Rare Soul Funk Mp3Livy Ekemezie "friday Night" Ultra Rare Afro Disco Funk Soul Boogie Lp Linic Mp3Rare Soul Funk Bay Area Coming Of Man Sunny Day / Games Right Kind 45 Hear Mp3Toni Tornado S/t Brazil Soul Funk Groove Orig Lp Breaks Rare Vg++ HearFunk Soul R&b 45 Sonny Harris And The Soul Reflections San El HearSaturn~sun Ra~rare~soul/funk/jazz~45! "space Loneliness/state Street" L08w-0114 Sweet Crossover Soul 45 Candi Bars You’re The One Candy Stix HearDorothy Ashby - Rubaiyat Lp - Cadet - Soul Jazz Vg++Small Society~if You Stand By Me~rare Mellow Soul 45 Cadde Willie Bollinger ExFunk Sweet Soul 45 Freddie Wilson Top Goin Down Soul-o ListenDakota Jim - Only Soul Can Tell / Call Me Master -blue Beat 358Rare Soul Musicor Records Lee Moses Bad Girl (part 1/ Part 2) 45 Record Funk Sweet Soul 45 4th Generation Walking On A Cloud Debroussard ListenSweet Soul 45 Jackie Moppins Your Hurting Day Is Gonna Come Mil Smi HearSweet Crossover Soul 45 Depths Of Love Just Can’t Find A Love Sage ListenSoul Searchers - Salt Of The Earth Lp - Sussex SealedTim Maia S/t Brazil Funk Soul Groove Seroma 1978 Lp HearCrawford - The Peak Experience Lp - Ipsi - Private Funk Soul Jazz Vg+Supremes - Meet The Supremes Lp - Motown Vg++Soul Folk Black Magic 45 Tina Smith Chained To You Sensation ListenNorthern Soul Motown Supremes French Ep Non 45 Honey Boy HearLatin Boogaloo Soul 45 Pete Rodriguez I Like It Like That Alegre ListenKenny Dixon Jr Soul Sounds Soul City Ep Vg+ Quinteto Ternura S/t Brazil Soul Funk Groove Orig Lp HearSweet Funk Soul 45 Electra Fyd Revue Emptiness / I Am Hip N Records Hear107th Street Stickball Team - Pot Full Of Soul - Latin LpLatin Funk Soul Lp Sonny Bravo New York Latin Scene "tighten Up" Hear Mp3 *promoHar You Percussion Group S/t Latin Soul Funk Cubop LpLou Donaldson - Natural Soul Lp Blue Note Ny Usa Stereo Orig Grant Green Rvg EarThe Whole Darn Family 45 Half Of Seven Minutes Of Funk - Killer Soul Funk OhearoLittle Joe Hinton R&b Soul 45 - My Love Is Real/i Won't Be Your FoolWhole Darn Family - Has Arrived Lp - Soul International Vg+Deep Funk Soul 45 Sisters Love Give Me Your Love Mowest HearRare 1960's Pa Teen/soul Group 45 Kal's Kids Long Lonely Broken Hearted ListenHopeton Lewis - Let The Little Girl Dance / This Music Got Soul - Wi 3059 Rare Soul Jazz Instro 45 Dorothy Ashby Soul Vibrations Cadet Hear Soul Funk 45 Bobby Blackmon & Soul Express She’s Gotta Have Soul Dynamic HearJoy Division - Soul And Heart. Rare 12 Track Yellow Vinyl Lp. Demos/sessionsJorge Ben Forca Bruta Brazil Lp Mono Original 1970 Philips Funk Soul Breaks RareDusty Springfield - Dusty In Memphis Lp - Atlantic Vg++Kiiler Latin Funk Soul El Salvador Lp Lito Barrientos En Onda Nueva Hear Mp3Dave Baker / Prisoner Of Love / The Upsetters - Soul Juice 1970 Punch Ph 20 Ex Marvin Gaye Lp What's Going On Sweet Soul Boogie 45 Motivation Iv Where Has My Baby Gone Star Birth HearGene Latter**funny Face Girl**demo**soul**dancer**listen To ItEddie Floyd - Knock On Wood Lp - Stax ShrinkJorge Ben - Forca Bruta Lp Latin Jazz Brazil Funk Soul Samba Trio Mocoto Lovely!Unique Soul Funk 45 Miller Miller Miller & Sloan Key To My Heart HearSweet Soul 45 Dee Dee Young Too Little In Common Mil Smi HearFunkadelic Cosmic Slop Orig 12" 33rpm Lp Soul Funk Ex First Press No BarcodeBobby Bland - Ain't Nothing You Can Do Lp - Duke Vg+??? Unknown ??? "???" Unknown Afrobeat Funk Soul Lp Test Press Mp3Funk/soul 45-chester Randle's Soul Sender's-soul Brother's Testify-anla 102-vg+Martha & The Vandellas - Heat Wave Lp - Gordy Dg Vg++