James Brown (1933-2006) Eddie Floyd (1937-) Sir Mack Rice (1932-) Aretha Franklin (1942-2018) The Isley Brothers Gladys Knight (1944-) and The Pips

TLW's Soulscope™ (Soul Historyscope)

By T.L. Winslow (TLW), the Historyscoper™

© Copyright by T.L. Winslow. All Rights Reserved.

Original Pub. Date: Oct. 14, 2018. Last Update: July 18, 2019.


The Blues Brothers

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What Is A Historyscope?


Westerners are not only known as history ignoramuses, but double dumbass history ignoramuses when it comes to the history of Soul music. Since I'm the one-and-only Historyscoper (tm), let me quickly bring you up to speed before you dive into my Master Historyscope.

Charles Brown (1922-99)

In Dec. 1945 Johnny Moore's Three Blazers, fronted by Texas City, Tex.-born blues pianist-singer Tony Russell "Charles" Brown (1922-99) release the song Driftin' Blues, helping launch smooth West Coast "lounge blues", making a fan of Ray Charles, who begins covering it in 1946 calling it "a hell of a number"; it is later covered by Lightnin' Hopkins (1950), Billy Eckstine (1959), John Lee Hooker (1969), Chuck Berry (1960), Bobby "Blue" Bland (1968), The Paul Butterfield Blues Band (1967), Albert King (1968), and Little Willie Littlefield (1997). In Nov. 1947 they release the R&B Christmas single Merry Christmas Baby, composed by Johnny Moore and Lou Baxter, which becomes a Christmas standard covered by Chuck Berry, Etta James, Mae West, Otis Redding, B.B. King, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, The Monkees, Billy Idol, Bruce Springsteen, Booker T. & the MGs, Christina Aguilera, Bonnie Raitt, Cheryl Crow, Hanson, Melisa Etheridge et al. In 1960 Brown releases the album Charles Brown Sings Christmas Songs, featuring the single Please Come Home for Christmas (#76 in the U.S.), which is covered in 1978 by The Eagles, becoming the first Christmas song to reach the U.S. top-20 (#18) since Ray Orbison's "Pretty Paper" in 1963; on Oct. 20, 1992 1992 Jon Bon Jovi covers it in the holiday album A Very Special Chritmas 2, with a promo video featuring supermodel Cindy Crawford.

Gladys Knight (1944-) and The Pips

In 1952 the R&B/soul singing group The Pips is formed in Atlanta, Ga. by Gladys Maria Knight (1944-), her brother Merald "Bubba" Knight, her sister Brenda Knight, and cousins Eleanor and William Guest, later her cousin Edward Patten and non-relative Langston George; in 1961 they become Gladys Knight & The Pips, and in 1966 they sign with Motown Records, releasing their first hit single I Heard It Through the Grapevine (#1 in the U.S.) (#1 in the U.K.) in 1967, followed by their #1 hit Midnight Train to Georgia in Aug. 1973, and That's What Friends Are For with Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, and Elton John (1985) (#1 in the U.S.), which raises $3M for AIDS research. She goes on to release 11 #1 R&B singles, six #1 R&B albums, and win seven Grammy Awards (incl. four as a solo artist), becoming known as "the Empress of Soul".

James Brown (1933-2006)

In 1956 Little Richard's Barnwell, S.C.-born friend James Joseph Brown (1933-2006), AKA "the Godfather of Soul" and "the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business" releases his first million-selling hit single Please, Please, Please with his group The Flames. When Little Richard left the music biz in Oct. 1957 to become a preacher, Brown filled out his tour dates, and several of Richard's band members joins his group, which changes its name to The Famous Flames (Bobby Byrd, Bobby Bennett, Lloyd Stallworth), after which in Feb. 1959 they release the hit Try Me, becoming the first of 17 #1 R&B singles over the next two decades, incl. Think (1960), Night Train (1962), and Lost Someone. On Oct. 24, 1962 James Brown and the Famous Flames recorded a live album Live at the Apollo (released in May 1963) (#2 in the U.S.), finally giving him national popularity. In 1963 he releases Prisoner of Love, his first top-20 U.S. hit. In June 1965 he releases Papa's gets a Brand New Bag (#8 in the U.S.), followed in Oct. 1965 by I Gets You (I Feel Good (#3 in the U.S.). In July 1967 he releases the 7-min. track Cold Sweat (#7 in the U.S.), the first true funk song, followed in Apr. 1968 by I Gets the Feelin' (#6 in the U.K.), followed in June 1969 by Mother Popcorn (You Gets to Have a Mother for Me) (#11 in the U.S.). After the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-68) on Apr. 4, 1968, Brown makes public statements in Boston that helped calm blacks, who are rioting nationwide, and releases Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud, which changes America's racial vocabulary. He goes on to release 99 top-100 U.S. hits, #2 after Elvis Presley.

Eddie Floyd (1937-) Sir Mack Rice (1932-) The Isley Brothers 'Brother, Brother, Brother' by the Isley Brothers, 1972

In 1959 the Detroit, Mich. R&B vocal group The Falcons, incl. Eddie Lee Floyd (1937-) and Bonnie "Sir Mack" Rice (1933-) release their million-selling single You're So Fine (first true soul song?), after which in 1966 Floyd goes on to release Knock on Wood, while Rice wrote "Respect Yourself" and other songs. On Sept. 21, 1959 the Cincinnati, Ohio soul group The Isley Brothers, O'Kelly Isley Jr. (1937-86), Rudolph Bernard "Rudy" Isley (1939-), Ronald Isley (1941-), and Vernon Isley release their first hit Shout (#47 in the U.S.), followed by This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You) (1966) (#6 in the U.S.), and It's Your Thing (1969) (#2 in the U.S.) ("It's your thing/ Do what you wanna do/ I can't tell you/ Who to sock it to"). Their 1972 album Brother, Brother, Brother features the tracks Brother, Brother, Brother, and Pop That Thang. Their Aug. 1973 album 3+3 (#8 in the U.S.) was their first to go platinum; it features the tracks Who's That Lady (#6 in the U.S.), What It Comes Down To (#55 in the U.S.), and Summer Breeze (#60 in the U.S.). In 1984 (as Isley-Jasper-Isley) they score with Caravan of Love.

Aretha Franklin (1942-2018)

While American whites in 1967 are looking for love, American blacks are still looking for a little respect? On Mar. 10, 1967 after launching her career with Columbia Records in 1960 and achieving only modest success, then switching to Atlantic Records, Memphis, Tenn.-born soul singer Aretha Louise Franklin (1942-) , daughter of Detroit Baptist minister ("the Man with the Million-Dollar Voice") Clarence LaVaughn "C.L." Franklin (1915-84) releases album #11 I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (#2 in the U.S.) (#1 R&B) (#36 in the U.K.), which incl. I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You), Respect (RESPECT) (#1 in the U.S.), Baby I Love You, Chain of Fools, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, and Do Right Woman, Do Right Man ("Take me to heart and I'll always love you"), going on to win the best female R&B performer Grammy every year from this year until 1974, causing her to be nicknamed "Lady Soul" and "the Queen of Soul". On Mar. 5-7, 1971 Aretha Franklin performs at the Fillmore West in San Francisco, Calif., pulling Ray Charles out of the crowd on Mar. 7 and performing Spirit in the Dark, becoming a major moment in pop-rock history; on May 19 Atlantic Records releases the album Aretha Live at Fillmore West.

Rev. Al Green (1946-)

In 1972 Forrest City, Ark.-born Rev. Al Green (Albert Leornes Greene) (1946-) releases his album Let's Stay Together (album) (Jan. 31) (#8 in the U.S.) (#1 soul), which features the track Let's Stay Together (#1 in the U.S.) (#1 R&B), becoming his signature song; he follows #1 soul chart albums. In 1974 he gets "saved" in a hotel near Disneyland in Calif., and switches to gospel music; in 1974 a woman he once dated comes to his home and proposes marriage, and when he turns her down she throws a pan of boiled grits on him, causing second-degree burns, then shoots herself to death; he then opens his own church.

Billy Paul (1934-)

In 1972 Philadelphia, Penn.-born soul singer Billy Paul (Paul Williams) (1934-) releases his 1-hit wonder Me and Mrs. Jones (#1 in the U.S.) ("Me and Mrs. Jones, we gets a thing goin' on/ We both know that it's wrong, but it's much too strong to let it go now").

The Blues Brothers

In 1978 the Blues Brothers blues and soul revivalist band is founded by Saturday Night Live comedy actors Daniel Edward "Dan" Aykroyd (1952-) and John Adam Belushi (1949-82), who cashed in big with the 1980 film The Blues Brothers, which features appearances by James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Cab Calloway, and John Lee Hooker, along with great renditions of Rawhide, Stand By Your Man, Everybody Needs Somebody, and Jailhouse Rock.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

On Apr. 20, 1983 the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is created; it took until 1995 for enough donations to come in to open it officially at 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd. in Cleveland, Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie (home of Alan Freed), designed by architect I.M. Pei. On Jan. 23, 1986 it inducts its first group of inductees incl. Chuck Berry (1926-2017), James Brown (1933-2006), Ray Charles (1930-2004), Sam Cooke (1931-64), Fats Domino (1928-2017), the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly (1936-59), Jerry Lee Lewis (1935-), Little Richard (1932-), and Elvis Presley (1935-77). On Jan. 3, 1987 "Queen of Soul" Aretha Louise Franklin (1942-2018) becomes the first woman inducted. The basic requirement is 25 years lapsed since the release of the first record. Too bad, it ends up snubbing Red State favorites incl. Bon Jovi, Steve Miller Band, Kansas, Styx, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Ted Nugent.




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