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Chris McInnes

on 25 September 2018

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Transcript of Soul

Civil Rights:

Post-slavery 'Jim Crow' laws had enforced a 'separate but equal' policy in the South
Modern civil rights movement begun when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama
Led to mass political disenfranchisement amongst black population, segregation and violence
Early Soul
Ray Charles (1930 - 2004)
Born in Georgia but grew up in Florida

Blind from age of 7
Attended specialist school for deaf & blind children, extensive training in music (classical)
Left school age 15, started gigging.
Recorded from late 1940s
Signed to Atlantic in 1952
Big variety of music - R&B, pop, country, jazz, broadway
Massive success came with 'I Got A Woman' (1955) and 'What'd I Say' (1959)
Chart success died down by late 1960s
James Brown (1933 - 2006)
"The Godfather Of Soul"
Born in South Carolina, grew up in Georgia
Musical career started in Gospel before moved to R&B
Turned to music after brief criminal career
Known more as a bandleader and live performer than as a vocalist/musician
Early hits used gospel forms but by late 60s was well on the way to inventing funk!
Key album - Live At The Apollo (1963)
More politically active than many other soul artists
Sam Cooke (1931 - 1964)
Clearly illustrates move from Gospel to Soul
Biggest gospel star in US during 1950s
Grew up in Chicago
Joined Soul Stirrers in 1950, help bring gospel music to a younger audience
Move to secular music controversial (used alias at first)
One of first black artists to take control of business side of his career, was actively involved in civil rights movement
Soul =
Most early soul pioneers introduced elements of gospel into rhythm & blues
Gospel vocal techniques
Extremes of pitch and dynamics
Wide variety of timbre - sometimes quite harsh
Pleading, emotional quality
Call & response

Many soul songs are just gospel songs with adapted lyrics - eg swap 'God' for 'baby'
Soul Music
Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Solomon Burke, Wilson Pickett, Ben E King etc
Focus is on singers as the artist (contrast with British Invasion, Psychedelia etc)
Musical Features
Simple harmonic arrangements - I, IV, V
Tight, rhythmic playing
Instruments take back seat to vocals
Horn section becomes vital - Trumpet, Sax, Trombone
Vocal improvisations and embellishments

Civil Rights Movement
Tactics employed included boycotts, sit-ins and marches - often met with violence
Despite the movement, many black artists did not address these issues in their lyrics
3 main pioneers
Ray Charles - The Musician
James Brown - The Showman
Sam Cooke - The Voice
Key record label - Atlantic/Stax
R&B + Gospel
Full transcript