The late 1960s and early 1970s was an interesting time time to be growing up in the US. Social unrest was the order of the day including the civil rights and anti-war movements. Rock music led the way in responding to what was happening in the country but soul music was not far behind. Mavin Gaye was in the process of recording his groundbreaking album What’s Going On and Norman Whitfield had the mighty Temptations moving in the direction of a more socially conscious sound that would eventually be called Psychedelic Soul. I loved this new sound and this post features my favorite psychedelic soul songs. Enjoy……..
The group that would become Jr. Walker and the All Stars formed in South Bend, Indiana in the mid-1950s. They were signed to Motown records in 1964 and almost immediately started to crank out hits. Their music, driven by Junior’s incredible saxophone, provided one of Motown’s most distinctive signature sounds. Let’s listen to (I’m a) Road Runner, one of their big hits from 1966, and you will see what I mean……
If you were listening closely you won’t be surprised to hear that Junior was one of Clarence Clemons’ biggest musical influences. That influence becomes even clearer when you listen to What Does It Take (To Win Your Love), my favorite Jr. Walker and the All Stars song that was a huge hit in 1969…………..
I’ve heard stories that Motown initially rejected What Does It Take as a single. As has happened with many other songs, radio DJ’s knew better and started to play the song even though it wasn’t a single. The popularity of the song on the radio forced Motown’s hand. Once they released it as a single it became a huge hit reaching number 4 on the charts.
The Dramatics were formed in the early 1960s in Detroit and when they finally achieved success in the early 1970s they were part of the mighty Stax label out of Memphis (yes there was more to soul music than Motown). When they finally had a hit in 1971 it was a really good one, Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get………
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better they released In The Rain in 1972. A song that was, is, and always will be a huge favorite of mine. See what you think about this Soul Train performance…….
Last year (around this same time) I did a special series of Canadian Music posts in honor of Canada Day. This year I am switching things up and doing a special series of American Soul posts in honor of US Independence Day (July 4). I love this music and I think you will as well. As always let me know what you think.
First up are The Delfonics, a great soul group out of Philadelphia, formed in the 60s by three high school friends. Their first major hit, La La Means I Love You, came out in 1968. Let’s listen…….
The Delfonics biggest hit, Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time), came out in 1970. Let’s listen (and watch) a great performance of that song from Soul Train in 1971 …….