gospel soul and motown
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GOSPEL, SOUL, and MOTOWN. Chapter 19. Soul. While the stylistic elements of soul weren’t new, their application to rock music was For perhaps the first time, there was a no-compromise presentation of black music for the masses, comparatively free of being watered down.

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  • While the stylistic elements of soul weren’t new, their application to rock music was
  • For perhaps the first time, there was a no-compromise presentation of black music for the masses, comparatively free of being watered down
Until the 1960s record labels selling blues or gospel oriented music typically calmed down the driving beat, shouting vocal style and passionate emotion to broaden its market to white teenagers
Doo-wop, still reflected the influence of smoother vocal styles, like Nat King Cole http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJLMvH92KjQ

Some R&B artists changed their lyric subjects from oppression, poverty and general misery to cars, puppy love and nagging parents

Once in a while an artist would break out of that mold, like Little Richard

Before the term soul came to be applied to their style, artists like James Brown, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin were pulling out the stops and turning their concerts into revival meetings
atlantic records
Atlantic Records
  • Was founded by Ahmet Ertegun in 1946
  • Began as a small independent label specializing in R&B and gradually gained success featuring crossovers like the Coasters and Ray Charles
  • In the 1960s the label specialized in the new gospel-based form of black rock – called soul and became a major label on par with RCA and Columbia
  • The term soul reveals the most fundamental aspect of its style; it is the secular offspring of music from the black church
  • Most soul artists learned the style from singing in church
  • The most important development in black church music in the 20th century was the coming of gospel music and its creator, Thomas Dorsey
thomas dorsey
Thomas Dorsey
  • born in Georgia, 1899
  • Popular vaudeville blues composer, singer and pianist in the 1920s
  • Wrote somewhat ‘suggestive’ blues songs
  • He was the son of a minister and had never fully left the church
  • In 1929 he devoted the rest of his life to composing and performing religious music
Thomas Dorsey- Father of Gospel


He brought into church performances the same intensity and instrumentation he would have used at a dance hall

Obviously this was met with opposition at first

Black religious music had long involved shouting vocals and a driving rhythm, but Dorsey’s music was too close to the sound of blues – something the faithful considered to be the devil’s music

Through the persistence of Dorsey and a number of talented singers, this music, which came to be known as gospel music, caught on

Dorsey brought the blues style into the church as gospel music – soul then brought the gospel style back into the world of rhythm and blues
james brown
James Brown
  • Born in Georgia, 1933
  • Formed the Famous Flames in the 1950s
  • Known many times as the “Godfather of Soul” and the “hardest working man in show business”
  • I Feel Good http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgDrJ5Z2rKw
As a musician his goal was to “give people more than what they came for — make them tired, \'cause that\'s what they came for.”
  • His performances were famous for their intensity and length
  • He worked out spectacular but precise dance steps, inspiring many artists to come, most notably Michael Jackson.
Vocally, James Brown emulated Little Richard’s coarse shouting/screaming style, inserting grunts and shrieks – not only did these add energy, but they served a rhythmic purpose too
He also modeled his appearance after Little Richard – tall hair and a flashy wardrobe including shiny suits and skintight pants

As a bandleader, he was extremely demanding – discipline, perfection and precision

If band members weren’t wearing the exact costumes, arrived to a rehearsal or performance late or even played wrong notes they were fined

A notable part of James Brown’s live show was the cape routine. Toward the end of the show Brown would collapse onstage, with the MC tending to him and draping a cape over his shoulders. Just before leaving the stage he would run back out and finish the song.
please please please
Please, Please, Please
  • Released his first hit in 1956 – “Please, Please, Please” (Cape Routine/ Please Please Please) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n62J9-WP1A
  • Very close to a typical doo-wop song with piano triplets, smooth background vocals and a passionate lead vocal
  • In 1960 he released “Think” – it showed a distinct style change; the horn section acted like background vocalists and the drum beat was more crisp and driving http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgPj7GoBfHE
  • His style was further set in stone when he won a legal battle with his record label to gain complete artistic control over his career
Right after this he released “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6Ore48uq-4 and “I Feel Good” – his first two top 10 hits

As the 1960s progressed, Brown continued to release music that would eventually influence the development of funk music in the 1970s

At the end of the 1960s he released “Cold Sweat,” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ni5ELUVM2eI which some consider to be the first true funk record – it was also the first of his songs to feature a drum break and a mainly single chord harmony

With in the next two years he released a number of singles that would influence not only funk, but hip hop and various styles of electronic dance music

“Funky Drummer” is notable for arguably being one of the most sampled recordings https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoQ4AtsFWVM

“Give It Up or Turn it a Loose” became a popular hip hop/breakdance song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTJEu7Tngaw

Brown continued to record through the 80s 90s and early 2000s as well as appearing in a number of movies and TV shows

Although his singles didn’t experience quite the same attention they once did, his influence is undeniable

Songs that sample James Brown http://www.whosampled.com/artist/James%20Brown/

He died Christmas day, 2006

ray charles
Ray Charles
  • Born 1930 in Georgia
  • At age 6 he lost his sight due to glaucoma
  • He was trained in music at a school for the deaf and blind in Florida
  • Began as a traveling musician at the age of 15, eventually settling in Seattle, WA
  • His early influences were artists like Nat King Cole, and his early music reflected that
  • I Got A Woman (live with intro) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81cyUwnM71U
He moved to Atlantic Records in 1952, an independent label specializing in “soul” music

In 1953 he released “Mess Around,” written by Ahmet Ertegun, president of Atlantic Records – this song led to a string of hit singles until 1959 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3T8dJk8LjE

As he was developing his sound, he began to incorporate female background singers, dubbed the Raelettes

In 1959 he crossed over to top 40 radio with “What’d I Say” a song that was improvised at a concert when the planned performance ended early http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzkLs7ymZqU

Because the song was over 6 minutes long (too long for AM radio) it was split into two parts

Shortly after this Ray Charles left Atlantic to sign with ABC Records for a much more lucrative deal – higher royalties, complete artistic control and ownership of his master tapes

He released a number of #1 singles on his first record at ABC helping his transition to pop music

For the rest of the 1960s and into the 1970s, his releases were hit or miss

Over the course of the next few decades, he appeared in various films (The Blues Brothers), TV shows and commercials, increasing his recognition among young audiences

In 2004, Ray was released – a biographical movie about Charles starring Jamie Foxx

Foxx won an academy award for the role and the movie continued to increase a younger generation\'s awareness of Ray Charles’ career https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LakGqZmF-Gg

Ray Charles died a few months before the movie was released due to liver cancer, but had been deeply involved in the production of the film

stax records
  • By the 1960s Memphis had been home to popular blues and rockabilly artists
  • As the fifties came to an end though, many blues singers had moved to Chicago, and Elvis had moved to Nashville
Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton renamed their studio in 1961 – eventually Atlantic became the exclusive distributor of music recorded there

Their first hits were instrumental – soon after, Otis Redding http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCmUhYSr-e4 and Isaac Hayes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqR4CZj0mJQ began writing hits for the small record label


The studio left its original formula to compete with the slick sound of Motown but ultimately failed and went bankrupt

aretha franklin
Aretha Franklin
  • Born Memphis Tennessee – 1942
  • Her father was a Baptist minister – her childhood was spent hearing gospel music
  • In the late fifties she decided to cross over into pop music
  • Her first record label tried to make her into a female Nat King Cole crooner, something neither the white easy listening audience nor the black R&B audience was interested in
When her contract expired in 1967 Atlantic grabbed her, using their experience with soul and gospel to bring out the best of her voice – they encouraged her to sing in a shouting gospel style and gave her control over her songs and arrangements

First female artist inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Respect http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-o1Bg7yBxQo

isaac hayes
Isaac Hayes
  • Born 1942 – Died 2008 Tennessee
  • Worked with people like Otis Redding
  • Known for his really deep voice http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqR4CZj0mJQ “Walk on By”
  • Inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in 2002
  • Played a character in the show “South Park” - ??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLaglAD4iG0 Chef – “South Park” songs

  • Resigned from South Park for religious reasons.
motown records
Motown Records
  • Founded by Berry Gordy Jr. in Detroit, Michigan
  • It was known for its ability to produce hit after hit, similar to an assembly line
  • Among the writing staff was the team H-D-H (Eddie and Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier) responsible for 28 top 20 hits in 4 years
Their formula’s success was undeniable and has been used ever since

Lyrics in the verse were disposable, but the chorus contained the hook line, the song’s title and was written in such a way that it stuck in the listener’s head

By exerting control over every step of the production process, Berry Gordy created a distinguishable “Motown sound”

A song was passed around between artists until the right one was found to sing it

The artists were well-groomed and poised, even when doing their distinctive dance steps

Lyrics were inoffensive and romantic, the beat was danceable and the recording length stayed well within AM time constraints

The music had a wholesomeness and elegance unlike the aggression of Stax artists or James Brown, but was more successful among white audiences

Eventually some artists grew fed up with Berry Gordy’s control and renegotiated their contracts, leading to very unique sounds coming from Motown

Motown’s distinct sound was further helped by “The Funk Brothers” – a group of studio musicians that appeared on many of Motown’s hits – Gordy knew they had formed a unique and valuable sound and guarded them viciously – they were forbidden to appear on recordings outside Motown together or perform live together, even locally in Detroit under the threat of being fired
artists on motown records
Artists on Motown Records
  • Stevie Wonder The Temptations
  • The Jackson 5 98 Degrees
  • Marvin Gaye Boyz II Men
  • The Supremes Lionel Richie
stevie wonder
Stevie Wonder
  • Born in Detroit
  • Auditioned for Berry Gordy at 10 years old – he was impressed by his multi-instrumentalist talent and singing ability and was marketed as a young Ray Charles (although he was blind from birth)
As he gained success at Motown he eventually renegotiated his contract for higher royalties and more creative control

His later recordings show this through greater experimentation, specifically with the use of synthesizers and blending together a number of musical styles

Superstitious http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ul7X5js1vE

jackson 5
Jackson 5
  • Originally a trio of the three older brothers, the full lineup became Jackie, Tito, Germaine, Marlon and Michael in 1964
  • The group was managed (and pushed to work very hard) by their father
  • Once signed with Motown the group fell victim to Berry Gordy’s control, going so far as to creating a fake discovery story – Michael’s age was changed from 11 to 9 to make him appear cuter
Although the group played instruments onstage and were writing and producing song in their home studio, Motown didn’t allow them to record their own compositions or play their own instruments in the studio

A massive marketing campaign was launched with the group starring in TV specials and cartoons

The group went on to influence the boy band genre, as well as bringing dances such as the “robot” into the mainstream

I Want You Back http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3Q80mk7bxE

Michael Jackson Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bwjT8wLenE

marvin gaye
Marvin Gaye
  • What’s Goin On http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f39Zs0gB87c
  • List five songs (other than those listed here) for the following people –

Stevie Wonder The Temptations

The Jackson 5 98 Degrees

Marvin Gaye Boyz II Men

The Supremes Lionel Richie