Soul Serenade: Dorothy Moore, “Misty Blue”

We lost another King last week. While we were still grieving the loss of Ben E. King, the news came that B.B. King had passed away. B.B. was one of those people who seemed as if they were always a ...

Soul Serenade: Rare Earth, “Get Ready”

When Rare Earth decided to cover “Get Ready” they weren’t fooling around. In fact, their version of the Temptations classic ran to over 21 minutes in length. There was a good reason for this extravagance however. The band simply didn’t ...

Soul Serenade: Ben E. King, “I (Who Have Nothing)”

It’s been almost five years since I last wrote about Ben E. King. At that time I featured an early classic of his solo career, “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied).” It was one of the first records I ever ...

Soul Serenade: The 5th Dimension, “One Less Bell To Answer”

When most discerning music fans are asked to name a classic song by composer Burt Bacharach and lyricist Hal David, one that perfectly embodies the team’s signature sound, they are inevitably going to choose one of Dionne Warwick’s hits from ...

Soul Serenade: Percy Sledge, “It Tears Me Up”

When word came yesterday that Percy Sledge had died at the age of 74, social media lit up with mentions of “When a Man Loves a Woman.” And why not? Sledge’s 1966 smash was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 ...

A Fan’s Notes: Brian Wilson, “No Pier Pressure”

There are some people who think that Brian Wilson should be graded on a curve. Personally, I find that insulting, and I suspect that he would too. While artists may be proud of their legacies, the best of them want an ...

Soul Serenade: The Isley Brothers, “That Lady”

 

I spent last weekend in New Jersey. It’s always good to be back in my home state, but I’m beginning to wonder if there’s a place for me there, if I still fit in. It’s been over four years ...

Soul Serenade: The Coasters, “Down In Mexico”

 
What record do you think of when someone mentions the Coasters? Most people would have said “Yakety Yak,” “Charlie Brown,” or “Poison Ivy.” That was before Quentin Tarantino entered the picture with his 2007 film Death Proof. The ...

Rest In Peace, Michael Brown (1949 – 2015)

Popdose writers pay tribute to Michael Brown who passed away last week.

Ken Shane: I try to avoid calling anything “the best” or “the greatest.” It’s all subjective, isn’t it? In the end it’s just one opinion. So while I may ...

Soul Serenade: Gary U.S. Bonds, “New Orleans”

Those of you who have been following along may have  noticed that there was no Soul Serenade column last week. It was the first time that the column didn’t appear in its weekly spot for nearly five years, but there was a very ...

Soul Serenade: The Orlons, “South Street”

This week I am seeking an answer to the age-old question — where do all the hippies meet? If you’re from Philadelphia, please don’t shout out the answer.

Audrey and the Teenettes got together in Philly in the late ’50s. The original ...

Soul Serenade: Joe Tex, “Show Me”

Do you know who Joseph Arrington, Jr. was? If I told you where he was from you would figure it out quickly. He was born in Rogers, Texas in 1935 and moved to Baytown with his mother when his parents divorced. In ...

Soul Serenade: Don Covay, “Mercy, Mercy”

Don Covay left us recently. He left behind a splendid resume that reflected his work as a singer and songwriter. Covay never allowed himself to be pigeonholed into one genre or another. His music reached out to fans of soul, R&B, and ...

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

Popular songs are a funny thing. What is it that makes some hit songs live on forever, while others are forgotten with the passage of time? Is there something in the melody or lyrics that give a song its staying power? I ...

Soul Serenade: The Valentinos, “It’s All Over Now”

I read an interview with Bobby Womack a few years ago in which he said that when he first heard that the Rolling Stones planned to record “It’s All Over Now,” he was not happy. He asked his manager to tell Mick ...

Favorite Albums Of 2014

I know, I know. List season is over. We’ve moved on to a new year. Ok, so I didn’t get it done in time for some hypothetical deadline. At least I got it done, right? One thing I have to say ...

A Fan’s Notes: The Night Before Christmas

I’ve been posting this on Christmas Eve for the last few years. People seem to enjoy it, so I thought I would share it with you again this year. Consider it my little gift to everyone who has been so supportive ...

Soul Serenade: The Temptations, “My Girl” at 50

I saw the classic Temptations lineup at a local college in 1967. My date was a pretty girl named Mary who took the train all the way from Long Island to New Jersey in order to go to the show with me. ...

Soul Serenade: The Shirelles, “Tonight’s The Night”

There’s a lot of talk about girl groups, and rightfully so. Girl groups made some great music in the ’60s. But if you ever try to journey back to where it all started it’s inevitable that you will run into the Shirelles ...

Soul Serenade: The Contours, “First I Look At The Purse”

Statistics tell us that the economy is improving. The stock market is reaching new highs, lots of jobs have been created, and the unemployment rate is down. Here in Rhode Island however, it’s hard to see things getting better. The state has ...

Soul Serenade: The Chiffons, “One Fine Day”

There are a variety of ways that songs and artists move to the top of the list (yes, there is a list) of potential features for Soul Serenade. Sometimes it can be a simple as hearing the great opening riff of a ...