So I typed Philadelphia Soul into Spotify this afternoon just to see what would come up and I came across a compilation called “Conquer the World: The Lost Soul of Philadelphia International Records” and while I don’t believe all the artists featured are actually from Philly I definitely came across a few gems including these guys called Soul Devalents. The first song is stop you in your tracks to get down type funk soul while the second is a little more traditional soul although quite catchy nonetheless. All that said, I couldn’t find shit about these guys so if anybody reading this knows a tidbit or two hit me up in the comments. If not, just turn it up and grab a loved one. It’s Sunday!
So I was flipping through old Detroit Soul compilations when I came across a jam that just stopped me in my tracks. Part Time Love by Joe Stubbs sent me scrambling to find more and while information on the gentleman himself seems to be somewhat limited I came across a couple more Detroit gems bearing his fingerprints that should soundtrack your Sunday quite nicely.
Born in 1942 and a native of Detroit, Joe Stubbs is also the brother of Levi Stubbs of The Four Tops fame, and first began singing with The Falcons in 1957 before moving on to stints with The Contours and The Originals and finally teaming with another Detroit legend in Steve Mancha and starting the by all accounts criminally underrated 100 Proof Aged In Soul. He survived a vicious car accident in the late 1970s(or maybe 1980) that left him partially brain damaged and though he was still able to sing and perform after the accident he was never quite the same. He passed away of heart condition in 1998. I have three of his finest are posted below opening with the fantastic ‘Part Time Love’ coupled by two of his hits performed alongside other Motown heros. Happy Sunday and also an emphatic Happy Fathers Day to all the Dads out there teaching their kids the joys of Rock N Roll!
Some contemporary soul this week coming courtesy of the U.K.’s Alice Russell. With some collaborations being released in the early 2000’s before she started releasing her own albums, Alice has definitely put in her time on the circuit and with her newest release, To Dust, starting to make some noise on this side of the Atlantic this is as good as time as any to introduce her. I’ve included an acapella version of Heartbreaker Pt.2 from To Dust, along with a live version of Lights Went Out from her 2008 album Pot Of Gold. She, as many many soul singers are, seems to be a big fan of covers too, so I’ll throw in a great version of Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy as well. Happy Sunday!
Alice Russells business right here
A man who needs little introduction, I don’t believe I could sum up Sam Cooke any better than Allmusic.com’s Bruce Eder has in his write up for one the most important musicians of the 1960’s:
Sam Cooke was the most important soul singer in history — he was also the inventor of soul music, and its most popular and beloved performer in both the black and white communities. Equally important, he was among the first modern black performers and composers to attend to the business side of the music business, and founded both a record label and a publishing company as an extension of his careers as a singer and composer. Yet, those business interests didn’t prevent him from being engaged in topical issues, including the struggle over civil rights, the pitch and intensity of which followed an arc that paralleled Cooke‘s emergence as a star — his own career bridged gaps between black and white audiences that few had tried to surmount, much less succeeded at doing, and also between generations; where Chuck Berry or Little Richard brought black and white teenagers together, James Brown sold records to white teenagers and black listeners of all ages, and Muddy Waters got young white folkies and older black transplants from the South onto the same page, Cooke appealed to all of the above, and the parents of those white teenagers as well — yet he never lost his credibility with his core black audience. In a sense, his appeal anticipated that of the Beatles, in breadth and depth.
This guy. Quite the voice, quite the life. Started playing guitar at age 8, became a member of the house band for teen club Lucky 13 in Berkeley before signing to a small independent label in 1970. They released a couple singles that did okay locally before releasing a third to little fanfare. So he went and became a pimp for the rest of the 70’s. As you do. Pimpin ain’t easy, so in the 80’s he got himself on public television with an after hours show and a childrens show. Now a physical therapist in Berkeley , the Luv ‘N Haight label dug up those singles along with some other tracks recorded back in the day and released ‘Let My People Go’ in 2006, much to the delight of soul lovers and record crate diggers everywhere. He has played shows as late as 2011, though I’m not sure if he’s back to being a full time musician or not. Good stuff.
My lovely wife and I have taken to listening to nothing but soul and Motown on weekend mornings so I thought I’d start throwing some of our favs around here too. We’ll begin with The Staple Singers. Son and daughter group under the tutelage of Pops Staples, they released a couple records with the Epic label before signing with the legendary Stax crew. They had Booker T and the MGs as a backing band for their first two albums before replacing both them and son Pervis with sister Yvonne. They continued making music into the 90’s recording both originals and covers, including The Band’s The Weight and, oddly, The Talking Heads’ Slippery People. A couple of originals below though, 1970’s When Will We Be Paid and 1967’s Why(Am I Treated So Bad).