The Sweet Soul of the Seventies

Feb 22, 2018

By Gene Stevens

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As we come to the end of February, we’re also approaching the 4th and final segment of our ‘Vintage Favourites‘ series inspired by Black History Month. I began with ‘The Civil Rights Edition‘ on February 4th, followed by ‘When the Blues Got Rhythm‘ on February 11th, and ‘When Rhythm & Blues Got Soul‘ on February 18th.

We traced the evolution of blues music through the decades from the 1920s with W.C.Handy’s ‘St.Louis Blues‘ by Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong, through the 1930s with Cab Calloway’s ‘Minnie the Moocher‘ and Robert Johnson’s epic ‘Sweet Home Chicago‘, through the jump blues of Louis Jordan in the 1940s, right up to ‘Rocket ’88‘ by Jackie Brenston in 1951 – arguably the first ‘rock’n’roll record’.

Last Sunday we witnessed the birth of ‘soul music’ in the 1950s with the blending of R&B with gospel influences, most notably by Ray Charles with ‘I Got a Woman‘ in 1955 and Sam Cooke’s ‘You Send Me‘ in 1957. The emergence of Motown, Stax and Atlantic Records propelled soul music into a dominant popular music genre by the 1960s.
This Sunday’s (Feb.25) edition celebrates the ‘Sweet Soul of the Seventies‘ with some of that decade’s biggest hits – by Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Roberta Flack, Lou Rawls and Lionel Richie – every one of them a #1 hit.  I’ll also salute many of the best Canadian soul songs as well.

I hope you’ve been with me each Sunday to witness the development of this essential music genre, and have enjoyed it as much as I have presenting it to you.
Happy listening, cheers – Gene.
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