Soul

This has to be one of the most impassioned vocals of all time, Nelson Sanders’s sobbing, heartfelt interpretation of the song title – I’m Lonely.

(more…)

I don’t think I ever heard the name Levi Stubbs until Billy Bragg wrote and sang a song in the mid-Eighties called Levi Stubbs’ Tears. Even then I doubt I realised who he was.

(more…)

How great is this soul ballad?! That organ! Those vocals! You can just picture a disco at the end of the night in the late Sixties with young men awkwardly trying to smooch embarrassed girls on the dance floor as the DJ drops this tune.

(more…)

Earl Van Dyke was never a household name but he was one of the key figures in the success of Motown in the Sixties.

(more…)

The Tonettes – No Tears

27th January 2023 · 1960s, 1962, Music, Soul

I first heard The Tonettes on a vast box set anthology of Stax/Volt singles… though they were called The Charmels at that point. This was their first single – and the second to come out on Volt in early 1962.

(more…)

The Undisputed Truth were Norman Whitfield’s Motown laboratory for his psychedelic soul constructions, testing out songs that would end up with The Temptations. This was their only hit.

(more…)

James Brown – The Bells

25th January 2023 · 1960, 1960s, Music, Soul

When it comes to emotionally intense vocal performances, you don’t need to look much further than James Brown singing The Bells.

(more…)

Who was the first white artist signed to Motown? Well I always thought it was R.Dean Taylor, the Canadian who sang the great Indiana Wants Me (and Gotta See Jane and There’s A Ghost In My House). It wasn’t. I’m not sure who it was but Debbie Dean was their first female solo artist back in 1960.

(more…)

This has to be one of the best Motown deep cuts – the solitary single released on Motown by Linda Griner. The schoolgirl singer from Washington D.C. was spotted by Smokey Robinson, who also wrote the song (with The Miracles on backing vocals).

(more…)

Growing up, I knew this song as a hit single for The Carpenters in 1975. For older pop fans, it’s Motown’s first number one single by one of the first girl groups, The Marvelettes, from 1961.

(more…)