Category Archives: Soul

October 12: Sam Moore is 80 Happy Birthday

sam_moore

October 12: Sam Moore is 80 Happy Birthday

Samuel David Moore aka Sam Moore (born October 12, 1935) is an American Southern soul and rhythm & blues (R&B) singer, who was the tenor vocalist for the soul vocal duo Sam & Dave from 1961 to 1981.

Sam Moore is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Grammy Hall of Fame (for “Soul Man”), the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, and a Grammy Award and a multi-Gold Record award-winning recording artist. Sam & Dave were the most successful and critically acclaimed duo in soul music history. Moore has also achieved a distinguished 25-year career as a solo performing and recording artist.

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October 1: The late Donny Hathaway was born in 1945

donny hathaway

Donny Edward Hathaway (October 1, 1945 – January 13, 1979) was an American jazz, blues, soul, and gospel vocalist and musician. Hathaway contracted with Atlantic Records in 1969 and with his first single for the Atco label, “The Ghetto, Part I” in early 1970, Rolling Stone magazine “marked him as a major new force in soul music.” His collaborations with Roberta Flack scored high on the charts and won him the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for the duet, “Where Is the Love” in 1973. At the height of his career Hathaway was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. On January 13, 1979, Hathaway’s body was found outside the luxury hotel Essex House in New York City; his death was ruled a suicide.

He was a tremendous singer.

These are my 5 favorite Donny Hathaway songs:

The Ghetto
Flying Easy
Someday we’ll all be free
A Song for you (Leon Russel)
“I (Who Have Nothing)” (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, Carlo Donida) with Roberta Flack

All his studio albums are good, but his live album, Live is fantastic!

Spotify Don Hathaway – Live:

Hallgeir

September 23: Isaac Hayes released Hot Buttered Soul in 1969

Isaac Hayes - Front

September 23:  Isaac Hayes released Hot Buttered Soul in 1969

This is one of my favorite soul albums ( I should do a post with a top 20 list…). It defines a new kind of soul at the end of the 60s into the 70s. It showed the way soul music would be heading in the next decade.  This is intense soul, very skilled both vocally and musically.

Hot Buttered Soul is Isaac Hayes’ second studio album. Released September 23, 1969, it is a landmark in soul music.

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August 21: Etta James released Tell Mama in 1968

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August 21: Etta James released Tell Mama in 1968

Something told me it was over
When I saw you and her talking.
Something deep down in my soul said cry girl,
When I saw you and that girl walking.

I would rather,
I would rather go blind, boy,
Than to see you walk away from me, child.

Tell Mama is the eighth studio album by Etta James. The album was released August 21, 1968 on Cadet Records and was produced by Rick Hall. Tell Mama was James’ first album since 1963 to enter the Billboard 200 albums chart and contained her first Top 10 and 20 hits since 1964. It was her second release for the Cadet record label.

Tell Mama (on US TV, Happening ’68, 1968):

Leonard Chess sent Etta James to Muscle Shoals in 1967 (2 August – 6 December), and it really paid off with what might be her best  Cadet album. The record has a fantastic title cut, it has the moving soul ballad I’d Rather Go Blind, it has the incredible The Love of My Man and a many more very fine soul numbers. The tight studio band at Fame Studios really shone next to Etta James. The music they made is timeless soul/blues, it’s a masterclass in record making.

An incredibly good version of I’d Rather Be Blind (Live at Montreux 1975):

“The question of why a rural Alabama town became a conduit for some of the most memorable and instantly identifiable grooves may still be up for debate. The evidence exists in droves and Tell Mama could certainly be considered exhibit A. “
– Lindsay Planer (Allmusic)

One of the best soul albums ever made, and certainly among Etta James’ best records!

Listen to Miss James testify in a  country church style  on It Hurts Me So Much, oh my God how good it is!

Etta James – Tell Mama (Album, The Complete Muscle Shoals Sessions, Spotify):

– Hallgeir

Sources: Liner notes Tell Mama, Wikipedia, Allmusic

Bob Dylan covers by 5 great Soul Ladies

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Bob Dylan covers by 5 great Soul Ladies

It is strange how well Dylan’s songs sound in these interpretations by African/American women. They are so different from the originals, yet they seem to convey the songs meaning in an even more direct way than Bob Dylan’s own versions. They might not be better, but they’re excitingly done and very good in a different kind of way.

1. Nina Simone – The Ballad of Hollis Brown

2. Odetta Holmes – Tomorrow is a long time:

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