The further we inch away from the Mid Century Modern era in time, the more we try to unravel the gems of that era as well. 1961 was a pretty big breakthrough year in terms of Pop Music for women, and women of color in particular. I’ve presented at The 2nd Queer Astrology Conference and Portland School Of Astrology about the Astrological Context, but in real tactile time, 1961 entered with The Shirelles sliding into the top slot of the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles and ended pretty much with The Marvelettes in the same position.
Who and what else were women of classic soul spooling up for you during the first year of Camelot and Classic Continentals? For a move diverse portrait I gathered a plethora of women for just over an hour of enjoyment, reflection and relief from the onslaught of Christmas tunes. Although, if you’re in the mood, there’s mix of seasonal magic for you hiding in the archives.
At one end of the spectrum we have potential teen queens like Maureen Gray and an early Ronnie Spector with her Relatives, sister Estelle and cousin Nedra fully audible. We have The Vandellas before Martha took over Gloria’s spot up front when they were The Del-Phis alongside Florence Ballard out front of The Supremes before Diana stepped permanently into the lead spot as well.
We have the full range of rage to survive soul survivors from a pre-cooing Mary Wells, Anna King, and LaVern Baker alongside Etta James at her Riley C. Hampton arranged peak.
Above and beyond that, we have Jazz and Blues and boundary blurring mothers of soul like Dinah Washington, Carmen McRae, Gloria Lynne and Damita Jo proving that being 30+ did not equal obsolescence at least in the soul music field.
So sit back, or not. Actually work off some of those extra calories because we’ve got some absolute barn burners in this mix. Anyways, shake off your recent past with the therapy of vintage femme soul. You’ll be thankful that you did.
7) Maxine Brown – I Don’t Need You No More