History of Soul Music
Soul music is an increasingly popular music genre which originated in the African American communities across the United States during the late 1950s and early 1960s. It combines elements of urban, country and gospel music. Most soul music tends to be centered around a single singer or group with a strong musical influence from a variety of sources. Soul music artists have included hooks from various sources including blues, gospel music and even hip-hop. The genre continues to be popular today and has even gained momentum in many European countries and Australia.
Some of the prominent soul musicians who were once underground but later became successful include Aretha Franklin, Sam Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Emile Duran, Luther Vandross, Eddie Cochran, Johnny Jenkins and Luther Vandross. A number of well-known artists from this genre such as Luther Vandross did not begin their careers until after they had already established themselves in other genres such as rockabilly and folk. However, some artists like Eddie Cochran began their career initially as session players for popular artists such as Ella Fitzgerald and Richard Swift.
Throughout the past fifty years, the genre has undergone several changes and innovations. Some of the pioneers of the new soul music include tackles by artists such as Boz Scaggs, Aretha Franklin, Glen Glenn and Earl Grant. Soul records became increasingly popular in the late nineteen to mid-twenties. Many records were based on gospel standards and many of them were recorded by local gospel organizers. In addition, various groups were formed in major record stores which promoted soul music across the country.
A similar genre to soul music was developed in the United States which was known as African-Americans’ soul music. The Black Throats Band, for example, was a popular gospel music group that had several popular albums. But the Black gospel music of the early 1950s was different from that of the earlier records. For one, it incorporated elements from Western music styles including jazz and rhythm and blues.
Soul and rhythm and blues eventually fused into what is known today as rap music. But even before this happened, there existed various forms of soul music that had undergone notable changes. For instance, the records that featured vocal tracks by prominent African American musicians, such as James Earl Jones and Aretha Franklin, were known as soul records. And the records that featured instrumental tracks by prominent African American and white pop music artists, including pianistsorry were also considered soul music. The term ‘rap’ was first used in reaction to the later popularized versions of these earlier genres.
Soul music gradually became popular and was then identified as an authentic form of African American music that could connect with its black community. During the early days, the music industry responded to the demand for more soul records by developing categories to classify tracks based on their content and quality. Early records included spiritual songs, poetry, jokes, stories, and songs about subjects that were dear to black Americans at the time. But as the genre became popular and was able to connect better with the listeners, these songs and artists began to be categorized into groups that would then be known as soul artists.
Soul music artists would often create their own sound, influenced by jazz and the music styles of the United States. Soul music artists from the United States have gone on to fame and fortune. Some of these include Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Sam the Shamian, and numerous others. Soul food restaurants also owe much of their business to this ever-popular genre. This is evident by the fact that many restaurants began featuring soul food menus and serving dishes with soul inspired themes and motifs.
Detroit soul music artists of the early 1960s would also create popular recordings and songs that would influence many other artists and listeners. Two of the most significant Detroit albums of the 1960s are Songs for Change and I’m A Believer. Songs for Change helped to launch the careers of many prominent African American vocalists including Larry Dabney, James Jamison, Emile Duran, and Gary Barlow. I’m A Believer was an album that featured numerous artists who were known at the time for their deep voices.