Sunday, March 29, 2009

R & B's Northern Soul

Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan album coverImage via Wikipedia

The R & B's Northern Soul by Tex Johnson

The term Northern Soul was termed by Dave Godin, a journalist for the "Blues and Soul" magazine back in 1968. Godin came up with the term when helping employee's stock music on the shelves of his record shop in London England.

As newer Rhythm and Blues (R&B) music was arriving, he wanted to be able to differentiate the smoother sounds of early R&B from the newer funkier sounds that was hitting the airwaves. The term northern soul now refers to the golden oldies of Rhythm and Blues that are played at many of the most popular nightclubs in the North.

Back in the 60's when most clubs where changing up their beats to the more modern genres of music, many Northern England nightclubs chose to keep the rare soul music beats. This has not slowed business down for these well-established clubs today, if anything it brought in more patrons then ever before. Patrons knew what they liked and did not feel the need to follow the fads of the time.

Northern Soul music played a huge role in the beginning of the DJ culture in England. The United States was filling up with R&B artists and England opened up a whole new venue for artists to not only collect on, but for some, to make it big in the music industry who wouldn't have had a chance otherwise in the States due to the huge amount of R&B artists already circulating. Artists like Tammi Lynn, The Fascinations, The Velvelettes, The Tams, and many others made top hits in the UK due to the love of Northern Soul.

So just who makes up the Northern Soul genre one may ask? The answer is simple yet vast, as thousands make up the Northern Soul genre. This genre includes top R&B artists to one hit wonders. Northern Soul music isn't a style, voice, musical instrument choice, or even topic of song, northern soul music is a feel, a beat, and the ability to dance to it. Some of the Northern Soul choices are very rare and even hard to come by today, others more popular, some had a slow groove beat while others have a upbeat tempo.

Remember Kool and the Gang, Bill Withers, or Gwen Guthrie; they all added to the Northern Soul movement in the northern parts of England as well as several hundreds to thousands more R&B artists. Names such as Randy Crawford, Bobby Womack, Gerald Levert, and even the O'Jays still play a part on the dance floors in nightclubs around the world. More current artists such as Kenny G, Whitney Houston, and Chaka Khan also play a large role of the northern soul genre. If the feet can be put to the beat of the Rhythm and Blues, more then likely it has become a part of the Northern Soul genre.

Tex Johnson runs the highly popular R&B and Rare Soul Grooves website featuring Soul Music TV. Want to watch FREE 24 hour Soul music Internet TV and receive 4 FREE Rare Soul CD Samplers? Then visit:

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