In the music
- Soul Brother Number One aka the Godfather of Soul aka James Brown.Performing from the 50s, Brown came into his own in the 60s with Night Train ('61) revealing the developing 'J.B. sound', Papa's Got A Brand New Bag and I Got You (I Feel Good)' bringing the R&B hits in '65 and in '69 the Funky Drummer being recorded - not only one of the most sampled breaks in music but an influence on rap with Brown's rhythmic spoken delivery.
- Despite plenty of personal problems, Brown became a major positive force in music. Lyrics praising motivation and ambition filled his tracks; Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud (1968) reaching the status of an anthem. After Martin Luther King was murdered, he was key to appeasing the resulting riots. He made appeals on the radio and even visited the rioting cities to successfully appeal for calm.
- Sly & The Family Stone perfectly epitomise the era. Made up of black, white, male and female musicians playing Stax-style soul, James Brown's proto-funk as well as psychedelic guitars and hippie-influenced lyrics they appealed to all. Dance to the Music and Everyday People are both hits in the USA with the latter reaching no.1.
- Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World is 3rd biggest selling single of the year in the UK, staying at no. 1 for a month.
- Another UK no.1 is Baby Come Back by the Equals. In 1965, Eddy Grant formed his first band, the Equals - unique in being one of the UK's first multiracial bands to receive any recognition. The track actually was a hit in the German charts, and then across Europe before being re-issued here as an A side and going to no.1. It even made it into the US Top 40.
- Nina Simone was a strong black female presence in the 60s combining her jazz-soul with gospel and protest songs. She had two big hits in the UK with Ain't Got No - I Got Life and Do What You Gotta Do (and in 1969 To Love Somebody. Studied at the New York's prestigious Juilliard School of Music - a rare position for an African-American woman in the 1950s. She was deeply affected by the Civil Rights Movement and wrote Mississippi Goddam and Four Women. Wrote To Be Young Gifted & Black and Revolution with Weldon Irvine in the late 60s.