Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sweet Soul Music: Top 15 Soul Singers

A couple of ground rules:

  • No groups, so acts like the Sam & Dave, the Staple Singers and Sly and the Family Stone, etc. aren't eligible.
  • Stevie Wonder was excluded as, unlike many below, his musical skill set extends well beyond both his singing and the soul genre itself. Otherwise he probably would have been #2.
A quick word on my #1. Not that it means anything to put a label on it, but to me the plane crash that killed Otis Redding is the most tragic music death of all time. The murders of Cooke and Gaye were terrible, but they got a chance to record their best music. Hendrix and Cobain were talented and had great music ahead of them, but they had a hand in their own demise. No one's career was cut short so early and so tragically, in my mind, as Otis's. He was only 26 and had recorded "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay" just three days previously. It is impossible to listen to the live studio sessions from that day (on the album "Remember Me" but not, unfortunately, on Grooveshark) and not wonder what was to come and what was lost over Lake Monona that night.
  1. Otis Redding
  2. Sam Cooke
  3. James Carr
  4. Marvin Gaye
  5. Solomon Burke
  6. Wilson Pickett
  7. Al Green
  8. Aretha Franklin
  9. James Brown
  10. Dusty Springfield
  11. Clarence Carter
  12. Ben E. King (post Drifters)
  13. Bobby Womack
  14. O.V. Wright
  15. William Bell
The Grooveshark playlist includes one of my favortie songs from each artist.

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