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LocoBop picks 25 Southern Soul tracks from its catalog to showcase many of the very artists who established the art form’s lasting popularity, musical pioneers whose roots were in the gospel of the church and the blues of the soil.

Luther Ingram, The Bar-Kays, Eddie Floyd, Rufus Thomas,  Carla Thomas, Shirley Brown, Tommy Tate, The Green Brothers, and R.B. Hudmon were all part of the scene at Stax Records in Memphis. J. Blackfoot and Shelbra Dean were also at Stax as members of The Soul Children. Another Stax vet, Randy Brown, was a member of The Newcomers at that time. Rufus Thomas wrote the only instrumental on this album, “Philly Dog,” which was recorded live in Italy by the Memphis All Star Band, led by Carla’s brother Marvell Thomas, and featuring Stax session leader, guitarist Bobby Manuel.

Similar in name, the Memphis All Stars come from a slightly younger generation of soulsters, though leader Greg Reding was in Black Oak Arkansas, a band once signed to Stax. Jackie Johnson is a Memphis gospel turned-soul dynamo. Her performance was recorded live in Vienne, France when she opened for Carla Thomas.

 Beale Street Queen Ruby Wilson notched ten acclaimed albums, and acted in films such as Cookie's Fortune, The People vs. Larry Flynt, The Chamber, The Client, and The Firm. The Masqueraders, still active after 50 years, show off their famously tight harmonies, while Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Jerry Butler (“The Ice Man”) contributes two of his classics to this set. Dobie Gray turns in a solid soul performance worthy of the man who gave us “Drift Away”.

Three New Orleans stars complete the album’s cast: Veda Love resurrects the soul standard “Standing on Shaky Ground;” Charles Jacobs shows us why he’s a capacity draw night after night on Bourbon Street; Chewy Thunderfoot Black (once bandleader for ZZ Hill and Buddy Ace) displays a hard-driving soulmanship.

   

 

Raise Your Hand (Eddie Floyd)

Traffic Jammer (The Bar-Kays)

Taxi (J. Blackfoot)

Western Union Man (Jerry Butler)

I Feel Good (Chewy Thunderfoot Black)

I Forgot To Be Your Lover (Tommy Tate)

Hard To Handle (R.B. Hudmon)

Love Anonymous (The Masqueraders)

Standing On Shaky Ground (Veda Love)

Give It All You Got (Randy Brown)

The Breakdown (Eddie Floyd)

Philly Dog (Memphis All Star Band)

Make It Easy On Yourself (Jerry Butler)

Pity For The Lonely (Luther Ingram)

Love to Burn (Dobie Gray)

This Love (Shirley Brown)

Freakshow on the Dance Floor (Bar-Kays)

Lovely Memphis Day (Memphis All Stars)

Lovey Dovey (Carla Thomas)

Keep On Searchin' (The Green Brothers)

That’s No Good (Rufus & Carla Thomas)

I’ll Be The Other Woman (Shelbra Dean)

It Should Have Been Me (Jackie Johnson)Sunshine Lady (J. Blackfoot)
Sex Machine (Charles Jacobs)

     

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