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Just had a heated debate at work about wether a white singer can sing soul music.

As a soul purist, a Soul record must be sung by a Black artist ............ what opinions on this one ?

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totally disagree. I am confident that the majority here on soul source will disagree too.

Could be a lengthy thread this one.....

Shane

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A colour can't sing...you use your voice.

Throughout the history of music there has also been some very poor black singers. Especially in recent times.

Shane

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Can we bring Paul Weller into this thread as well?(LOL) After all, I have just put a post on that thread describing him as the greatest British soulful singer!!

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If you're talking about Northern Soul per se I don't think it matters and never have. Obviously records like Tim Tam are crap, but I just went through the first 50 of my own records and pulled out

reflections - adam & eve

epitome of sound - you don't love me

embers - watch out girl

adams apples - don't take it out

john & the weirdest - can't get over

freddie chavez - they'll never know why

is john hendley black or white, dunno, but I love all of those records and have done since they were first played, in fact I don't think I've ever met anyone who didn't like the Epitome Of Sound record.

The soul police do their best to rule this scene with their black-or-nothing policies. Bollocks, I reserve the right to enjoy Paula Parfitt :rolleyes:

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I believe a lot of the old values and opinions about race and colour have been turned upside down in recent years....

....the best rapper in the world is white, the best golfer in the world is black, the Germans won't go to war and the French believe the Americans are arrogant!

Strange times. :rolleyes:

Shane

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I believe a lot of the old values and opinions about race and colour have been turned upside down in recent years....

....the best rapper in the world is white, the best golfer in the world is black, the Germans won't go to war and the French believe the Americans are arrogant!

Strange times.  :rolleyes:

Shane

link

I hope you mean Vijay !

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OK, got an opinion on this one, to me soul music is about emotional expression in the voice of the artist so practically anyone can vocalise soul music. However i firmly believe on these grounds that instumentals cannot be soul music, anyone agree? :rolleyes:

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Just had a heated debate at work about wether a white singer can sing soul music.

As a soul purist,  a Soul record must be sung by a Black artist ............ what opinions on this one ?

link

Disagree!

Rufus Lumley, as mentioned, plus many, many more. I personaly, love the white "beach" tunes, Oxford Nights, Athens Rogue, etc. Its the feeling and emotion put into the song, not the colour.

A lot of the white artists did not come from 'priveliged' backgrounds just because they were white. Many, especialy the italian americans grew up in ghetto surroundings too, and new tough times. Soul comes from the heart, not the skin, as many of the crap records by black artists prove!

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If you're talking about Northern Soul per se I don't think it matters and never have. Obviously records like Tim Tam are crap, but I just went through the first 50 of my own records and pulled out

reflections - adam & eve

epitome of sound - you don't love me

embers - watch out girl

adams apples - don't take it out

john & the weirdest - can't get over

freddie chavez - they'll never know why

is john hendley black or white, dunno, but I love all of those records and have done since they were first played, in fact I don't think I've ever met anyone who didn't like the Epitome Of Sound record.

The soul police do their best to rule this scene with their black-or-nothing policies.  Bollocks, I reserve the right to enjoy Paula Parfitt  :rolleyes:

link

epitome of sound had 2 black singers.

john/weirdest are black.

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Two words:

BARI TRACK

link

How can you call that awful person Paul Weller, who jumps on any bandwagon to get noticed, the greatest British soul singer, what about people like Dusty.

I seem to have been here before about Paul Weller. two or three months ago.

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OK, got an opinion on this one, to me soul music is about emotional expression in the voice of the artist so practically anyone can vocalise soul music. However i firmly believe on these grounds that instumentals cannot be soul music, anyone agree? :rolleyes:

link

Soul is not just expressed in the voice imo. What about the strings section solo in Lonely Girl - Annabelle Fox? It rips your heart out, stamps on it and leaves you a physical wreck!

I do prefer vocal tracks because I love the 'heartbreak factor' of the story if you know what I mean. But there is much more to Soul music than just the vocal. Its the whole feel of something, the expression, the passion and so on....

Shane

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As i said in the Paul Weller thread, SOUL is a feeling, from within, from the heart, often it seems Black performers do it the best possibly by tradition rather than by right, not all Black performers can sing either, so then we have Northern Soul often the tempo and beat has been the important issue over the years rather than ethnic origin, some of the titles already mentioned are simply great records be they Black, White or otherwise, god there are bad so called Black Northern records so we can't have it all ways, or can we???????????

Like 'Shane' said this debate will go on and on, don't forget not all Black performers are SOUL singers, Tina Turner was for example now i would consider her to be more of a soft rock act, Tom Jones can mix it with the best of em',

Check out Amy Winehouse, white, possibly Jewish i think with a voice that will level a city and leave it begging for more, what about Dusty, Timi etc. not soulful i think not.

I think soul singing is more about attitude, power and emotion in the voice and song, i have often said 'you have had to live it' to sing about it, what so Black people only fall in and out of love then................... Love pretty much being the bases of a good SOUL tune.

Personally in the main i enjoy.collect and play Soul music, but i hold my hands up and say that yes there are non Black soul records in my collection, and if we dug a bit deeper we may be suprised just how many Northern Soul records are infact by White performers, i'll think you will find the likes of Little Ritchie which is a classic Northern dancer to be far from a Black performer............. colour has no bounderies..does it?

Regards - Mark Bicknell.

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OK, got an opinion on this one, to me soul music is about emotional expression in the voice of the artist so practically anyone can vocalise soul music. However i firmly believe on these grounds that instumentals cannot be soul music, anyone agree? :rolleyes:

link

Bari Track? Ill have to listen again but dont remember any vocals. Rest my case.

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How can you call that awful person Paul Weller, who jumps on any bandwagon to get noticed, the greatest British soul singer, what about people like Dusty.

I seem to have been here before about Paul Weller. two or three months ago.

link

OK my dad used to get emotional to mozart does that make it crossover?

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epitome of sound had 2 black singers.

john/weirdest are black.

link

How do you know two of Epitome are black? You can't possibly know that. The singer is white, the producer is white, they are from New Jersey and are American-Italian.

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How do you know two of Epitome are black?  You can't possibly know that.  The singer is white, the producer is white, they are from New Jersey and are American-Italian.

link

Ok you win but i thought epitome were white boys too.

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How can you call that awful person Paul Weller, who jumps on any bandwagon to get noticed, the greatest British soul singer, what about people like Dusty.

I seem to have been here before about Paul Weller. two or three months ago.

link

how come you replied to my comment about Bari Track with a slagging off of Paul Weller - I never expressed an opinion on him!

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Come on Mick.....Please have a photograph you can post of 'The Epitome Of Sound' then we can get back to the debate...lol... I thought they were from Slough anyway.....

Mark Bicknell.

link

Ok for years i thought construction were black atrists and too my amazement i only learnt a couple of years ago that they are white, see its all in the vocal expression not the skin. Anyway my mate Kev invented northern soul.

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how come you replied to my comment about Bari Track with a slagging off of Paul Weller - I never expressed an opinion on him!

link

Sorry StoneIsland must have clicked the wrong button, did not mean that box to be at the beginning.

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Guest garv

Great topic, as mark has already said Paul weller is a soul singer & there has been a lot of white artists who have tried to copy the style of black music but failed to understand that you have to have lived it or feel it eg.... paul young is a classic example of the bad one. But Dusty must be classed as a soul singer. As i logged on ive got Jamiroquai " blow my mind" on, now tell me if you did`t know that they were white what would you think????????. You my not like the style but its soul music, As one of the members of Outkast said recently soul aint black or white ITS A FEELIN.

Garv.

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I believe a lot of the old values and opinions about race and colour have been turned upside down in recent years....

....the best rapper in the world is white, the best golfer in the world is black, the Germans won't go to war and the French believe the Americans are arrogant!

Shane

link

V good Shane, PMSL is, I believe, the modern way of putting it.

Of course you don't need to be black to sing soul but most people surely would agree that most soul records are by black artists?

I do believe that black singers have something - dunno what - that gives them a head start. You don't have to be black to win the 100m either but there ain't that many white runners challenging are there?

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Oh No...Next you will be telling me that Dean Parrish and Paul Anka are white...please don't burst the bubble...lol

Mark Bicknell.

link

Paul Anka is actually Chinese and Dean Parrish is an Aztec

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Paul Weller is a soul singer
????????/

I think people are confusing Northern Soul and Soul here, they can be two separate beasts often, and I am a major Northern Soul fan so not having a go, I was one of the first to play Tony Colton in the 80's so cant be too critical, however I do think often Northern Soul people have no interest in soul in its wider genre.

I also think there is a lot of confusion in the above statements especially the singing with feeling makes it soul type statement, that ignores a lot of previously documented links with soul and gospel singing and the call and response structure, also to a lesser extent the connections with improvised jazz phrasing. Due to this there is no doubt in my mind soul is predominately an Afro-American (or Blackamerican to use an oft quoted DG saying) invention, had its peak in the late 60's to mid 70's, although there continues to be be great soul music produced from that period until today, and is done best by black Americans, there are good white soul singers (Eddie Hinton, Dusty Springfield etc) but people like Paul Weller, Jamoriqui etc I find quite insulting to include.

As someone said there are a number of black singers today that probably are not the greatest soul singers (and again I buy a lot of new release soul which I enjoy but often does not measure up to what I call classic soul) but that is due to evolution of style and less gospel influence in my opinion.

Re the evolution of soul I would suggest reading Leroi Jones - Blues People or Ben Sidrans (or is Archie Shepps) Black Music, although neither talk specificly about soul, they have great evidenced theories on the evolution of black music.

Hopefully not preaching but its something I think is far more misunderstood now than ever.

Cheers

Jock

:rolleyes:

PS I love a good NS instrumental although not sure they are Soul however would suggest that much classic jazz has soul so there are a few contradictions from me also!!

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We were having this sutch debate in our house the other night and I am of the opinion that a black soul singer is far superior to a white one anytime.White artists may of made some cracking soul records but in terms of vocals there is generally a great difference.Take 2 of Motowns finest vocalists for example Edwin Starr and Brenda Holloway , there are no white singers who could ever come near to their sublime voices.IMO. <_

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V?

I do believe that black singers have something - dunno what - that gives them a head start.

How about heartfelt lyrics by writers who have ' lived it ' Generally, all the best soul records are usually about lost love. Paul Weller may be good, but he's never made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. That still happens when I hear a great soul record, 60's 70's etc

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Chris Clarke

Lilly Fields

Greater Experience

Joss Stone (She sings loads better than some big $$$ 'black' soul 45's I've heard)

Soul Incorporated (I think)

DEAN PARRISH!

And a million more we'll never be aware of.

I can't believe we're having this discussion. It's like saying you'd disregard your most expensive, prized 45 if you found out it was sung by some pasty pikey from Texas....

Puuuurlease.

Soul comes from the heart. Where it belongs.

And unfortuantely for some, every black and white person alike possesses one.

On the fence again.

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If you're talking about Northern Soul per se I don't think it matters and never have. Obviously records like Tim Tam are crap, but I just went through the first 50 of my own records and pulled out

reflections - adam & eve

epitome of sound - you don't love me

embers - watch out girl

adams apples - don't take it out

john & the weirdest - can't get over

freddie chavez - they'll never know why

is john hendley black or white, dunno, but I love all of those records and have done since they were first played, in fact I don't think I've ever met anyone who didn't like the Epitome Of Sound record.

The soul police do their best to rule this scene with their black-or-nothing policies.  Bollocks, I reserve the right to enjoy Paula Parfitt  blush.gif

link

Don't forget Bobby Goldsboro Smudger :rolleyes:

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Disagree!

Rufus Lumley, as mentioned, plus many, many more. I personaly, love the white "beach" tunes, Oxford Nights, Athens Rogue, etc. Its the feeling and emotion put into the song, not the colour.

A lot of the white artists did not come from 'priveliged' backgrounds just because they were white. Many, especialy the italian americans grew up in ghetto surroundings too, and new tough times. Soul comes from the heart, not the skin, as many of the crap records by black artists prove!

link

What about the Duprees especially in their incarnation as the IAP Co superb top notch soul. Soul is not a colour but by the same token Northern isn't neccessarliy soul two totally seperate debates IMVFHO

Trouty

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Oh No...Next you will be telling me that Dean Parrish and Paul Anka are white...please don't burst the bubble...lol

Mark Bicknell.

link

and wasn't Dean F**king excellent at the 100 Club 25Th ! blush.gif:rolleyes:

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I agree that the colour of someone`s skin is no guide as to whether they can sing soulfully.

We had a topic recently about loving a track, dancing to that track, even singing along without knowing the name of the song or the artist so skin colour does not come into it.

For years I thought Timmy Yuro was a man!

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Guest garv

Jocko i agree with your views on afro-american soul & the influence of the church & the gospel. But the topic is white soul singers & Weller has recorded some great soul tracks, i may have jumped the gun by saying he is a SOUL singer & the Jamiroqai track was being used as an example that white folks can sing soul.

Its another topic to ask if all there recorded output is soul, we would be very hard pushed to come up with a white artist who could claim ALL there recording are SOUL. I worked at RAF upper Heyford in Oxfordshire where there were 20 thousand American troops based, the vast majority were black & i got to know some of them very well & the one thing i learned from those days was that most of the brothers & sisters had 1 critera they wanted from there music...... can i move to the grove. That is not ment to insult anyone, it may surprise you to know that a large amount of the guys were well into Phill collins!, they thought he really had it "goin on man" & could`t belive that i thought he was shite.

The political & social wrongs that were/are forced on Afro-Americans have been well read & discussed by this member.

Garv.

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Got to disagree about White Man Can't Sing...anyone who's seen Dean Parrish will disagree with you :rolleyes: There's plenty of good blue eyed soul on the scene..Righteous Brothers, Tony Galla, Intentions.....

As for intstrumentals...no soul in them IMO blush.gif

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Got to disagree about White Man Can't Sing...anyone who's seen Dean Parrish will disagree with you  :rolleyes:   There's plenty of good blue eyed soul on the scene..Righteous Brothers, Tony Galla, Intentions.....

link

Ellusions - You Didn't have To Leave - Lamon

Topics - Hey Little Girl - Tropic

Tim Murray - Thinkin Of You on Detroit Tracks (for all you x-over babies out there, what a tune!!)

And there's quite a few where I've always thought hmmmmm, dunno what colour that is whistling.gif (so if I like it, I don't suppose it matters! :thumbsup: )

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For years I thought Timmy Yuro was a man!

link

I think I'm right in saying that Simply Red's Money's Too Tight To Mention was being bought by the barrowload in US black communities until they discovered that the singer was a pasty-faced Manc ginger not a new black female artist. That says something, though I'm not sure what.

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