Soul Serenade: Brenton Wood, “Gimme Little Sign”

As I’ve told you before, inspiration for this column comes from all sorts of places. It could be a song I hear on the radio or television, or simply something in the air that tripped something in my brain and helped ...

Soul Serenade: The Velvelettes, “Needle In A Haystack”

Last week’s Soul Serenade column was #260 in this series. That’s right, I’ve been writing the column for five years now and what an education it’s been. I was going to make a big deal of the anniversary but somehow I ...

A Fan’s Notes: “Love & Mercy”

I don’t recall ever praying that filmmakers would get it right before I heard the news that a movie was going to be made about Brian Wilson’s life. After all, no musician has ever been as important to me as Brian, ...

Soul Serenade: Etta James, “I’d Rather Go Blind”

If you look up R&B in the dictionary there should be a picture of today’s record because the record pretty much defines R&B. It is a slab of southern soul sung by a great singer, played by storied musicians, and ...

Soul Serenade: B.B. King, ‘Worried Life”

All of the Kings of the blues guitar are gone now. We lost Freddie King back in 1976, and then Albert King in 1992. The most renowned member of this esteemed trio left us on May 14 when B.B. King ...

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 ...