What is soul music?
Soul music is a style of African American music. It developed from rhythm and blues in the USA in the 1950s and 60s.
Soul music is characterised by:
- gospel influence - intense vocals, call and response
- an emphasis on the rhythm section
- large horn sections (trumpets, saxophones and trombones)
The most famous soul record labels were:
Tamla Motown - set up by Berry Gordy in Detroit.
- The Supremes
- The Four Tops
- Marvin Gaye
- The Jackson 5
Stax- based in Memphis.
- Otis Redding
Atlantic- founded in 1947 and specialised in R&B, soul and jazz recordings.
- Aretha Franklin
- Ray Charles
- Lots of soul music takes the form of a love song. The emotional subject matter works well with the emotional vocal delivery.
- Social issues, particularly those faced by African Americans, became an increasingly popular subject and reflected the growing call for racial equality from the Civil Rights Movement in the 50s and 60s.