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”

Southern City Records: Hal and Jean, and the Paramount Four

E. Mark Windle 29 October 2020. Gallatin is a tiny rural town in Sumner County, a mere thirty miles from Nashville. Author Ken Abraham noted in More Than Rivals that Gallatin was a typical segregated main street southern town in the 1960s, with segregated drinking fountains, parks and pools and engagement in sports activities. Working class familiesContinue reading “Southern City Records: Hal and Jean, and the Paramount Four”

Introducing North Broad Street Records

E. Mark Windle 11 October 2020 COVID and lockdown has given the soul music community a lot of time to reflect on the state of the scene; not only on how the pandemic is shaping the social landscape, but also on changing musical directions. Regardless of individual sub-genre preference, the constant for many is theContinue reading “Introducing North Broad Street Records”

Mocha and Cream. The Global Records Story

E. Mark Windle 12 September 2020 The passing of Edwin James Balbier a couple of years ago went virtually unnoticed in UK northern scene circles: indeed few outside of the industry will recall his name. Yet, this individual would be the unwitting driving force behind one of the most popular (if brief) soul re-issue labelContinue reading “Mocha and Cream. The Global Records Story”

Hound Dog! Big Mama Thornton

E. Mark Windle. 25 August 2020 Among other genres, Elvis Presley was informed by the blues. Even as a young teenager, the songs he heard on Beale Street were a source of significant musical inspiration. And it would not be unreasonable to suggest that his interpretation of Arthur Crudup’s blues number “That’s All Right” helpedContinue reading “Hound Dog! Big Mama Thornton”

“Nashville Could Eat Its Young!” The Athens Rogues Story

E. Mark Windle 22 August 2020 “To us, back in 1968 Nashville was all country. Not a place for our stuff” recalls Gerald Fleming of Georgia’s Athens Rogues. “Especially the soul part. Producer and musician and label owner Pete Drake really took a huge chance on us. We guess we were the first of ourContinue reading ““Nashville Could Eat Its Young!” The Athens Rogues Story”