“It’s Better to Cry” by E. Mark Windle
A new book exploring the connection between rare northern soul and the beach music scene of the 1960s in the south eastern states...
What the blurb says....
“1960s south east USA. A time characterised by racial tension and oppressive Jim Crow laws, but also of a political uprising leading to the 1964 Civil Rights Act and gradual desegregation. For white teenagers this brought easier access to race music and a new dimension in cool: the sound of soul and R&B. Even before the mid sixties, radio stations with wide broadcasting capabilities were promoting national acts to every corner of the Carolinas, Virginia and Georgia. Neighbourhood friends, high school students and college bands were inspired to create their own brand of soul to play in the beach pavilions, inland waterway dance clubs, sock hops, frat parties and campus venues.
These blue-eyed and integrated beach bands, soul influenced garage bands and vocal groups have long been embraced by the northern soul scene of the UK and Europe. Their music provides a whole other subgenre for rare soul enthusiasts to investigate. This book brings the era to life, exploring this vibrant music scene in the south east states through interviews, record label scans and previously unseen band photographs. It will serve as an invaluable reference source for northern soul collectors, beach music fans and indeed anyone who wishes to dig deeper into the history of sixties soul music, beyond the well documented stories of Berry Gordy, Ahmet Ertegun and the major labels.....”
What the author says....
Comprehensive published literature and online resources exist on the soul of the south east states, such as Greg Haynes’ Heeey Baby Days tome and his ongoing online work, Jason Perlmutter‘s Carolina Soul website or Rick Simmon’s Carolina Beach Music: the Classic Years. I wanted to build further on this work. Specifically, I wanted to present the interface between the rarer end of northern soul and 1960s beach / R&B of the Carolinas, Virginia and neighbouring states.
The Rivieras at Tanglewood Country Club, Winston-Salem NC, 1967. Permission of Nat Speir.
Bands on the hit list included Anthony and the Aqua Lads, Bob Meyer and the Rivieras, The Tempests, The Embers, The Delacardos, The Appreciations, Bob Collins and the Fabulous Five, The Berkshire Seven, The Greater Experience, The Generation, Athens Rogues, Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, The Soulmasters, Lost Soul, Gene and the Team Beats, The Chashers, Ron Moody and the Centaurs, The Spontanes, Novas Nine and The Soul Six. Tracking down surviving artists for interview took a huge amount of detective work. However as a result the histories of many of these acts are now documented for the first time, with a few suprises revealed, as well as some myths dispelled. Other important stateside individuals who assisted in this venture included label representatives, managers, promoters, archive specialists, press photographers and local beach fans who lived through it all.
Scotty Todd and the Soul Six. Permission of Tim Newell / Jack Kelly.
On the other side of the Atlantic, well known and respected DJs and collectors on the northern scene have contributed in different ways, helping to show how, when and where these records were introduced to an eager audience on UK shores. The chapters are illustrated with dozens of label scans of local and national label releases, artist publicity pictures, personal photos of the bands, tour bus pics, copies of label contracts, booking letters and much more.
7” acetate of Anthony and the Aqualads. Permission of Mark Dobson.
This book should be of interest to soul fans from a range of backgrounds, but particularly those from the latter days of Wigan Casino, Stafford’s Top of the World and to the present.
Now available (B&W only) for purchase online at:
100% of all profits to the UK reg. Charity Children’s Heart Surgery Fund.