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Soul and Motown “It’s a force that can light a room. The force radiates from a sense of selfhood, a sense of knowing where you’ve been and what it means.

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Presentation on theme: "Soul and Motown “It’s a force that can light a room. The force radiates from a sense of selfhood, a sense of knowing where you’ve been and what it means."— Presentation transcript:

1 Soul and Motown “It’s a force that can light a room. The force radiates from a sense of selfhood, a sense of knowing where you’ve been and what it means. Soul is a way of life—but it’s always the hard way” Ray Charles Copyright © 2011 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.McGraw-Hill/Irwin

2 Soul Soul developed out of Gospel Use of melismas in solo voices Ray Charles ( ), singer, songwriter, played keyboards and other instruments “What’d I Say” part II included gospel style responses and tributes to jazz greats Cab Calloway and Pine Top Smith Early 1960s style included influences of country and western music 6-2

3 Listening Guide “What’d I Say (Part Two)” by Ray Charles (1959) Tempo: 180 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar Form: Introduction is 8 bars of call-and-response vocals as tribute to Cab Calloway 12-bar blues form follows Features: Vocal group responds to Charles’s vocals Piano accompanies the voice Lyrics: Singer is thinking about sex with allusions to dancing Charts: Pop, #6, R&B, #1 6-3

4 Sam Cooke ( ), singer, songwriter Began career as lead singer with the gospel group the Soul Stirrers Light, high, pop and gospel vocal style Teen idol for black teens in early sixties “You Send Me” first pop hit Teen idol image shattered by violent death in

5 James Brown ( ), singer, songwriter, inventor of musical style Funk Professional gospel singer “Please, Please, Please” first pop hit Dramatic performer with energetic dance and vocal style First funk recording “Out of Sight” 1968 – “Say It Loud—I’m Black and I’m Proud” Often called the Godfather of Soul, Soul Brother No. 1, Mr, Dynamite, The Hardest Working Man in Show Business, and the Man with all of the Names 6-5

6 Listening Guide “Please, Please, Please” by James Brown (1956) Tempo: 74 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar Form: Introduction with rhythmically free vocals, 8-bar periods follow Features: Uneven beat subdivisions Strong backbeat in drums Brown’s vocals include dramatic melismas and free rhythms Doo-wop/gospel influences in backup vocals Instruments sometimes break for solo vocals Lyrics: The singer is begging for sex Charts: Pop, #105, R&B, #5 6-6

7 Memphis Soul Stax and Volt labels Booker T. and the MGs Wilson Pickett ( ), singer, songwriter Otis Redding ( ), singer, songwriter 6-7

8 Listening Guide “In the Midnight Hour” by Wilson Pickett (1965) Tempo: 112 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar Form: Section lengths vary Features: Booker T. and the MGs, guitar, organ, bass, and drums with horn section (trumpet and three saxophones) Horn section plays major chords in parallel motion, characteristic of the Memphis Soul style Even beat subdivisions Drums keep strong backbeat Pickett’s vocals in gospel style Lyrics: The singer looks forward to sex at midnight Charts: Pop, #21, R&B, #1, British hits, #12 6-8

9 Atlantic Records Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler co-producers Aretha Franklin (born in 1942), gospel/soul singer Often called “Lady Soul” 6-9

10 Listening Guide “Respect” by Aretha Franklin (1967) Tempo: 112 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar Form: 4-bar introduction, A, B, and C sections vary in length Features: Even beat subdivisions, but some uneven in Franklin’s vocals Memphis horn sound with parallel chords Active bass Strong backbeat in drums Tenor saxophone solo Lyrics: The song demands for respect and satisfaction from a lover Charts: Pop, #1 for two weeks, R&B, #1 for eight weeks, British hits, #

11 The More Commercial Style of Motown Motown Record Co. started by Berry Gordy Jr. (born in 1929), songwriter, producer, record company owner Most performers not formerly gospel singers International Talent Management Incorporated, finishing school for performers Choreographer for vocalists Glamorous clothing Funk Brothers background in jazz and r&b Performer’s stage names part of magical image (Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, the Supremes, the Marvelettes, the Four Tops, the Miracles) 6-11

12 Listening Guide “My Girl” by the Temptations (1965) Tempo: 112 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar Form: Mostly 8-bar sections Instrumental section with vocal responses Features: Backbeat with finger snaps, then drums Orchestral string section and brass fills Vocal group responds to lead singer David Ruffin in more pop than gospel style Lyrics: The singer is fulfilled when he is with his girl Charts: Pop, #1, R&B, #1 for six weeks 6-12

13 Stevie Wonder (born in 1950), singer, songwriter, producer, keyboard and harmonica player Motown’s first child star (age 12) Gained production control of recordings at age 21, rare for Motown company Michael Jackson ( ), singer, songwriter, dancer Lead singer with the Jackson 5 at Motown Motown’s second child star (age 10) Marvin Gaye (1939 – 1984), singer 6-13

14 Listening Guide “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye (1971) Tempo: 102 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar Form: Mostly 4-bar phrases Features: Party-like conversation, then 4 bar instrumental before Gaye’s vocals Thickly arranged orchestra includes the Funk Brothers and backup singers Electric bass and drums part of accompaniment Subtle backbeat played by drums and clapped by singers at the end Lyrics: the song is a general plea for peace and understanding in a time of sorrow and unrest. Charts: Pop, #2 for three weeks, R&B, #1 for five weeks 6-14

15 Discussion Questions In what various ways did soul music and its performers affect the civil rights movement? Civil rights leaders tended to admire James Brown much more than other great soul or Motown artists. What are some of the likely reasons for that?s 6-15


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