Windy City Soul: Breezy Gems From America’s Second City

Although my recent vacation took me through Baltimore and New York City, the sounds of Chicago’s soul music has been on my mind for a few weeks now. I’m a big fan of how once our R&B music was so regional, influenced by the cultures established in cities plus the migrant populations that made each…

Jackie Ross “Be Sure You Know” (From the LP Full Bloom, 1964)

Jackie Ross “Be Sure You Know” (From the LP Full Bloom, 1964) Chicago gives us a bulk of our early Aquarians. Also, Jackie Ross got her big jump towards stardom with the boost of Sam Cook and his SAR label. Although she’s best known for her Fall of ’64 triumph “Selfish One,” she’s one of…

Etta James “Payback” (Argo 5445, Pop #78, 1963)

Etta James “Payback” (Argo 5445, Pop #78, 1963) When you’re dealing with a catalog as extensive and exhaustive as Etta’s, you don’t play favorites. You just select a tune that reflects your mood of the day. You say a prayer of thanks to those wonderful souls that give you little hints that take care of…

Righteous Rage and Rhythm: This is dedicated to Etta James

I’ll say, one of my biggest regrets of my concert going life was not seeing Etta James perform live before she succumbed to Leukemia 4 years ago. There’s many soul singers so omnipresent in the crafting of the adult I’ve become as my life spins its LP year (I hate Christ Year, and 33 &…

Billy Stewart “Strange Feeling” (Chess 1868, R&B #25, Pop #70, 1963)

Billy Stewart “Strange Feeling” (Chess 1868, R&B #25, Pop #70, 1963) As the veil gets thinner between Libra and Scorpio, the days draw down more rapidly and the night expands, things get a little strange indeed. So it seems the perfect time to track down some more magical, mystical soul songs to feature these next…

Marlena Shaw “Looking Thru The Eyes Of Love” (Cadet 5618, 1968)

Marlena Shaw “Looking Thru The Eyes Of Love” (Cadet 5618, 1968) You know her for extolling all of the virtues of the Soulfulness of California in so many commercials (now for Ram Trucks), but Marlena Shaw was so much more than that. This evening, we pour a strong cocktail and celebrate Shaw’s 73rd Birthday through…

The Dells “Open Up My Heart” (Cadet 5657, R&B#5 Pop#51, 1970)

The Dells “Open Up My Heart” (Cadet 5657, R&B#5 Pop#51, 1970) Some of the most underrated men in Soul Music are The Dells. Even during their time of recording, it took them a long laboring 13 years before they scored a significant chart entry. But in that time they crafted some of the most rich…