Anonymous asked in Entertainment & MusicMusicR&B & Soul · 1 decade ago

what was 1970s soul music?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hi! I'm a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin's School of Information, and I'm studying to be a librarian. On the 10th of each month, librarians demonstrate reference services by participating in an event called "Slam the Boards," where we answer questions posted to boards like Yahoo!Answers.

    I found this definition of "Soul Music" in the Oxford Music Online Encyclopedia. This is a subscription resource that you might be able to access through your local public library or through your school if you are a student. I have pasted the first, most general paragraph below followed by the section specifically on the 1970s. A citation for the text is found under "sources." I hope this answers your question. A free resource you could try, if you need more information, would be Wikipedia (with caution, of course); see You also might try consulting the sources given at the end of the Wikipedia article if you want to read books about the topic.

    Have a great day! Visit your library!

    From Oxford Music Online:

    "A black American popular music style. The term soul in black American parlance has connotations of black pride and culture, but its usage in conjunction with music has a complicated genealogy. Gospel groups in the 1940s and 50s occasionally used the term as part of their name, as in the Soul Stirrers. In turn, jazz that self-consciously used melodic figures or riffs derived from gospel music or folk blues came to be called soul jazz by the late 1950s. As singers and arrangers began using techniques from gospel music and soul jazz in black popular music during the 1960s, soul music gradually functioned as an umbrella term for the black popular music of the time, with gospel music in particular providing a rich foundation for the singing styles of many stars. In addition to its association with a cluster of musical practices, the ascendancy of the term is inextricably linked to the Civil Rights movement, and to the growth of black cultural and political nationalisms of the period."

    "In the 1970s soul music diverged towards a ‘sweet’ soul style that took its cue from Motown and balladeers such as Curtis Mayfield, and towards a ‘funky’ soul style, after James Brown, the Southern soul practitioners and Aretha Franklin. The leading exponents of the sweet soul category resided in Philadelphia. Producers Gamble and Huff, and Thom Bell, along with a core of studio musicians, created a body of work that dominated soul music in the early 1970s. Musical trademarks included crisp, clear recordings enhanced by the generous ‘sweetening’ of strings and brass. The distinctive drum sound emphasized the mid-range, and often accented every beat; in evidence as early as Jerry Butler's Only the strong survive (1969), these musical trademarks reached maturity in the O'Jays' Love Train (1973) and Harold Melvin and Blue Notes' The Love I Lost (1973), creating a rhythmic and sonic approach that set the stage for Disco. The unabashedly romantic sound of the ballads of groups such as the Delfonics (La La means I love you, 1968) and the Stylistics (Betcha By Golly Wow, 1972), usually featuring falsetto voices and rich orchestration, also enjoyed crossover success. Recording in Memphis, Al Green had a string of hits in the early 1970s beginning with Tired of Being Alone (1971), and that represented a synthesis of the ‘sweet’ and the ‘funky’.

    By the early 1970s the funky stream of soul began to cohere into a style that was increasingly differentiated from soul music. Brown's influence and the influence of bands such as Sly and the Family Stone, who blended Brown's funk style with elements of psychedelic rock, was felt by many soul artists. At Motown the producer Norman Whitfield recorded a series of songs with the Temptations, among others, that showed the company moving in new directions, and clearly displayed the influence of Brown and Sly and the Family Stone. These included Cloud Nine, Ball of Confusion and Papa was a rolling stone, all from 1968–72. The early work of the Jackson Five also falls into this category, as with I want you back (1969). Long-established Motown artists also moved in new directions with concept albums, such as Marvin Gaye's What's Goin' On (1971) and Stevie Wonder's Talking Book (1972).

    By the mid-1970s the up-tempo numbers in the sweet style began to be called disco. Ballads formed the most obvious aural connection to soul music of the late 60s and early 70s, but by 1982, even Billboard had to concede that Soul was no longer an adequate label for black American popular music in general, and changed the name of the soul chart to Black Music. Aspects of soul music live on in contemporary rhythm and blues, and in the samples of many hip-hop tracks: Salt 'n' Pepa's Tramp (1987) pays homage to Otis Redding and Carla Thomas's Tramp of 20 years earlier. Contemporary usage of the term, however, refers to a style that began with a few scattered efforts of the pioneering singers in the 1950s, gathered momentum throughout the 60s with the twin streams of Southern soul and Motown, and eventually diverged into funk and disco in the 70s."

    Source(s): Oxford Music Online. S.v. "Soul music." By David Brackett. (accessed November 10, 2009).
  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It was a great time for music, can't really explain it but it was the best era for soul music.-- so many great artists---------------------- The Staple Singers .. Al Green .. Bobby Womack,

    Johnnie Taylor .. The Dramatics... The Detroit Emeralds.. Marvin Gaye... Smokey Robinson... Curtis Mayfield ...James Brown Parliament-Funkadelic... Earth, Wind and Fire.. Tower of Power... The Delfonics .. The O'Jays ... The Spinners...The Intruders.. Jerry Butler.. Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes ... Stylistics

  • AGM
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It was indeed the the best decade ever for R&B Groups and Artists who involved in that era.

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