Bitesize has changed! We're updating subjects as fast as we can. Visit our new site to find Bitesize guides and clips - and tell us what you think!


Popular music of the 1960s

1960s soul music

1960s soul music was a style of black American music characterised by:

A young Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson in The Jackson Five

  • gospel influenced vocals
  • lyrical soulful melodies
  • an emphasis on the rhythm section
  • large horn sections (trumpets, saxophones and trombones)

The most famous record labels were Tamla Motown, Stax and Atlantic.

Tamla Motown was an all black record company set up by Berry Gordy in Detroit.

Artists included The Four Tops and The Jackson Five. Stax was based in Memphis. Artists included Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett.

Listen to this sample from My Lover's Prayer by Otis Redding. Notice the soulful gospel-influenced singing and the prominent horn section.

Back to Popular music index

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.