The Tempests (part 5): Hit Attractions

E. Mark Windle 13 June 2021 Whether it was the Branch’s decision or that of other members to extend the horn section in The Tempests is unclear. Personnel in the early days was fluid, though Jim Butt (trumpet) and Rick White (tenor sax) had already been with group for some time, and Jim had takenContinue reading “The Tempests (part 5): Hit Attractions”

The Tempests (part 4): Ready for the Soul Explosion

E. Mark Windle, June 2021. Whilst new bass guitarist Van Coble was an only child whose birth father who was killed in service during World War II, his childhood was otherwise reasonably comfortable. His mother Helen, who was a nurse, eventually remarried. The musical talent came from his Helen Coble and her sister: “My motherContinue reading “The Tempests (part 4): Ready for the Soul Explosion”

The Tempests (part 3): Finding Hazel

E. Mark Windle. 27 May 2021 The backing of Mike Williams and a record release on a major label, even if not more than a regional success, had given the Branch brothers a taste for what could be, and they were shooting for a recording contract. Within a short few years, the group had progressedContinue reading “The Tempests (part 3): Finding Hazel”

The Tempests (part 2): Love Have Mercy! Atlantic Records.

E. Mark Windle. 16 May 2021 You could say music was in the family genes. But it was country, not R&B, that first inspired the Branch children to pick up an instrument. John Roger Branch’s grandmother was a not-too-distant relative of the famous Carter family, and a pretty competent guitar player at that. When notContinue reading “The Tempests (part 2): Love Have Mercy! Atlantic Records.”

Redressing the History Books. The Soul of Music City

By E. Mark Windle, May 2021. Regarding what has been pretty much an obsession with writing about 1960s southern soul themes since I started over ten years ago, “House of Broken Hearts: The Soul of 1960s Nashville” was undertaken in an attempt to resolve a nagging omission. A fair chunk of my travels (both realContinue reading “Redressing the History Books. The Soul of Music City”

Giving Back: Soul Direction

E. Mark Windle  Jan. 2021 By its very existence, the soul scene has a responsibility to hold safe the history of the music it reveres. In various ways, much has been done to achieve this end; and not just through the physical support of soul nights, all-nighters, weekenders and Sunday chill-outs. Numerous websites and socialContinue reading “Giving Back: Soul Direction”

The Carolinas: Of Piedmont Blues, Beach Music and Teenage Radio

E. Mark Windle 29 November 2020 Of course, history books are full of how African American racial and cultural identity was suppressed in the southern states of the US. Even North Carolina, often perceived as one of the more ‘progressive’ states of the South, was not entirely exempt from a reputation of hostility toward blackContinue reading “The Carolinas: Of Piedmont Blues, Beach Music and Teenage Radio”

The Signs.

E. Mark Windle 21 November 2020. While undertaking some book research a few years ago on Nashville’s R&B music industry, I remember being drawn to a very competent cover of Barbara Lewis’ iconic 1963 recording “Hello Stranger”. The version in question was by Alpha Zoe (Hall), a young teenager who had just been plucked fromContinue reading “The Signs.”

It’s Better to Cry: The Appreciations of Charlotte

E. Mark Windle 20 November 2020. The Appreciations’ recordings are well known within rare soul record collecting circles, with tracks such as “I Can’t Hide It” and “It’s Better to Cry” played and loved on the northern soul scene for decades. Despite that, the group’s history was virtually unknown until 2013, other than that theyContinue reading “It’s Better to Cry: The Appreciations of Charlotte”

Bigger and Better: The Hytones and Sandra King Story

E. Mark Windle 30 October 2020 William Everett Justis Jr. (1926-1982) was an example of a key industry player who bridged the gap between rock ‘n’ roll, pop and R&B in the 1950s and 1960s. Justis would play a pivotal part in developments at Sun records in Memphis. Graduating from Tulane University, New Orleans, theContinue reading “Bigger and Better: The Hytones and Sandra King Story”