Author: Ken Shane

Ken Shane lives in Narragansett, R.I. He is the New Music Editor for Popdose and a freelance writer. Ken is far and away the oldest Popdose writer. In fact, he may be the oldest writer, period. He wants you to know that he generally does not share his colleagues' love for the music of the '80s, and he does not forgive them for loving it.
The Masqueraders

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: The Masqueraders, “I Ain’t Got to Love Nobody Else”

If you are a fan of classic soul and you watch America’s Got Talent you might have been surprised to see a singing trio that appeared...

Stax Soul Explosion

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: Stax’s “Soul Explosion”

It’s a well-known story at this point. In 1968, Stax Records co-founder Jim Stewart decided to put an end to the distribution deal...

A Fan's Notes, Music, Popdose Exclusives

A Fan’s Notes: Rick Barry, “No Such Luck (Surprise, Surprise)” (Exclusive Single Premiere)

Rick Barry enjoys working in his garden. Sometimes it seems that he’s happier getting his hands in the dirt than he is getting his...

The 8th Day

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: The 8th Day, “She’s Not Just Another Woman”

After nine years and well over 400 columns, I’ve decided to change Soul Serenade from a weekly to an occasional column. Obviously,...

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway, “The Closer I Get to You”

When an artist dies too young it is always tempting to mourn not only the loss of his or her spirit but also the loss of the great work...

The Soul Children

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: The Soul Children, “The Sweeter He Is”

We’ve heard about one-hit wonders and even no-hit wonders but what about groups that had multiple hits and still manage to be...

Garland Green

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: Garland Green, “Jealous Kind of Fella”

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Danny White, a southern soul singer who toiled for years looking for a hit that proved elusive. This...

Curtis Mayfield

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: Curtis Mayfield — Keep On Keeping On

Curtis Mayfield was 14 years old when he joined the group that would become the Impressions. He was born in Chicago in 1942 and by the time...

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: Danny White, “Can’t Do Nothing Without You”

For every musician who becomes a household name, there are hundreds, probably even thousands who toil in clubs for many years, getting a...

Rufus Thomas

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: Rufus Thomas, “Walking the Dog”

“His music … brought a great deal of joy to the world, but his personality brought even more, conveying a message of grit,...

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: Linda Creed, Songwriter

“Linda Creed was such a sweet young lady. She started out wanting to be a singer and she wasn’t a bad singer but she was a...

Teddy Pendergrass

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: Teddy Pendergrass, “Love T.K.O.”

Have you seen the new Showtime documentary Teddy Pendergrass: If You Don’t Know Me? I recommend it with a bit of reservation related...

Big Mama Thornton

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: Big Mama Thornton, “Hound Dog”

Elvis Presley has been accused of cultural appropriation. Whether you believe that or not, there is no doubt that one of his breakthrough...

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: The Exciters, “Tell Him”

I’ve written about the Exciters before in this column, back in 2013. But that story was more of a reminiscence about my first band...

Lavern Baker

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: Lavern Baker, “Tweedlee Dee”

There is no doubt that Atlantic Records played a huge role in exposing a wider audience to the sound of Rhythm & Blues. The label,...

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: The Capitols, “Cool Jerk”

  The summer of 1966. I spent it on the beach and Boardwalk in Atlantic City. Incredible music poured out of tinny sounding transistor...

Jimmy Soul

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: Jimmy Soul, “If You Wanna Be Happy”

I chose this week’s song with some trepidation. It has been on my list of prospective features for a long time. The obvious reason is...

Nancy Wilson

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: Nancy Wilson, “Face It Girl, It’s Over”

Happy New Year! During the holidays I decided to determine once and for all how long I’ve been writing this column. I searched the...

Christmas lights

A Fan's Notes, Music

A Fan’s Notes: The Night Before Christmas

Peace on earth, and goodwill to all....

Aretha Franklin - "Silent Night"

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: Aretha Franklin, “Silent Night” (Solo Piano Version)

Let’s face it, 2018 was not a very good year. The nation seemed to become even more divided and at times it felt like the whole world...

Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, “If You Don’t Know Me by Now”

Alright, I admit it. There’s more Philly Soul covered in this column than music from any other soul capitol. There are a few reasons...

Dee Dee Sharp

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: Dee Dee Sharp, “Ride!”

Some glorious Philadelphia soul preceded the glory years of Philly Soul...

The Clovers

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: The Clovers, “Love Potion No. 9”

The Clovers long, distinguished career began in 1946 and hasn't ended yet...

Edwin Hawkins Singers

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: The Edwin Hawkins Singers, “Ooh Child”

Two years after the Five Stairsteps brought a song of hope to the Top 10 the Edwin Hawkins Singers brought their gospel soul to it...

Gene Chandler

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: Gene Chandler, “Groovy Situation”

Gene Chandler's career spanned the years from doo-wop to disco with lots of hits in between...

Dobie Gray

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: Dobie Gray, “Drift Away”

"Drift Away" was a smash in 1973 and then again 30 years later...

The Delfonics

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: The Delfonics, “Ready or Not Here I Come (Can’t Hide From Love)”

Do you remember when you first fell in love with Philly Soul? For me, it was in 1968 because that was the year when the Delfonics’...

NOW NY

A Fan's Notes, Music, Video Premieres

A Fan’s Notes: NOW NY

By 1978, Brian Eno had already changed the face of art rock with his production and collaboration on David Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy, as...

Otis Rush

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: Otis Rush, “Homework”

Otis Rush died recently but not before leaving a lasting blues and soul legacy...

Stax '68

Ken Shane's Soul Serenade, Music

Soul Serenade: Stax ’68 — A Memphis Story

1968 was a momentous year for the nation, the city of Memphis, and Stax Records...