First blog post

This is your very first post about music. Read about my radio show called The Happening on and my passion for music.



The Happening – 11/11/18 – The Usual Eclectic Mix No 11

This Sunday was the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day, colloquially known as “Poppy Day” in the United Kingdom. People buy Poppies to show their support for the British Legion a charity for those who have served in the armed forces. The Poppy was chosen as a symbol for the British Legion its inspiration came from the World War I poem “In Flanders Fields”, by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. There is extensive coverage of Remembrance Services and other events elsewhere, however towards the end of this weeks show, I have chosen some gospel music and a jazz-fusion number from Weather Report as my acknowledgement of this important day.

Working backwards is Weather Report’s Unknown Soldier from the album I Sing The Body Electric, Wayne Shorter is featured on Reeds and Eric Gravatt is on Drums.


A somewhat jazzy version of the Negro Spiritual – Just A Closer Walk With Thee precedes Weather Report. Today’s version is from Ella Fitzgerald. Before Ella, is Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir with their version of the soul/rhythm & blues love song. Stand By Me to my mind has been elevated to the Gospel genre. Originally recorded by Ben E King, and co-written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller together with Mr King, is known by many as a soul classic, it is now associated with the recent Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and former model/actress Meghan Markle. Lauryn Hill’s To Zion and Eye On the Prize from Sweet Honey In the Rock are the earlier choices in the spiritual and gospel section of this week’s show.

To go back to the beginning of the show, introduces Here I Am (the Alex Di Cio’s Remix) by Rai. Celebrating 50 years in the music business we have two tracks from Tower of Power first up is What Is Hip?, and then You’re Still A Young Man,as I wanted to demonstrate the musical versality of this band. Continuing with the Funk theme are The Meters with Just Kissed My Baby.  The Funk music genre is generally seen as a totally male domain, however there are a few notable female vocalists including Marva Whitney with I Made A Mistake, Vicki Anderson known as Mother Popcorn gives us a bossa nova influenced take on Home Is Where The Hatred Is and Marlena Shaw’s jazz-funk leaning Go Away Little Boy Funk continues albeit in a softer vein with Living For The Weekend from The O’Jay’s and The Undisputed Truth’s UFO’s.

William Goldstein’s Midnight Rhapsody evokes memories of 70’s film tracks, whilst Sunlightsquare’s Vamanos Pal Monte is pure Latin and Sophisticated Wheels by Gzabor Szabo is psychedelic and Indian music with instruments that are a fusion of East and West.

The Folk/Country selection this week is Bob Dylan’s acoustic version House of the Rising Sun.

“Reggae Time” showcased VC’s By His Deeds this song still sounds as fresh as it did eighteen ago years when it was first released in 2000.

By now regular readers and listeners will know that I am a devotee of the Black British Reggae artist Bitty McLean, his latest album Love Restart is a treasure chest of good music, from love songs, to songs of devotion with a Jamaican Rastafarian influence and social comment. Every Word And Move probably falls into the songs of devotion category.


Bitty McLean’s new album Love Restart distributed by 

On The Happening I chose a slightly different version of this Ronnie Dyson song, from the album When You Get Right Down To It. I’m used to thinking of Ronnie Dyson as a pop/soul singer – perhaps this a British phenomen it seems that he has ‘crossed over’ into the Northern Soul genre. In any event Ronnie Dyson has a sweet voice, sadly he died aged 40 of a heart condition, although he certainly made his mark in the theatre, starring in the musical Hair and as a soul singer of quality.

The Delfonics with their fabulous harmonies were next with one of their signature tunes La La La Means I Love You. Barbara Lynn vocalist, left-handed guitar player and lyricist followed with Unfair find it on vinyl or CD in the Jamie Singles Collection. The now classic Since I Fell For You is on the playlist by Wilbert Harrison

Last year we lost The Reverend Dr Della Reese, singer, actor and preacher (see the tribute show on November 2017The Happening by DanceQueendq – Tribute Show for Rev Dr Della Reese in a NOLA style). Today she sings a slow sad song called How Did He Look but she still knocks you out with her powerful vocals.

To finish as I stated earlier we had:

To Zion                           Lauryn Hill

Eye On The Prize         Sweet Honey In the Rock  

Stand By Me                 Karen Gibson & The Kingdom Choir

Just A Closer Walk With Thee    Ella Fitzgerald

Unknown Soldier        Weather Report

The Happening – Rememberance Sunday 11/11/2018

It has taken a long time for the presence and contribution of Black British, African Caribbean, African American, African and Asian soldiers, medics, pilots and other professions to be recognised. Long may we remember them and ALL others who made sacrifices in different ways.

On today’s edition of The Happening on or via the TuneIn App 4-6 pm GMT I will play Weather Report’s – Unknown Soldier as my contribution to remembering Armistice Day.

The Happening – #tbt – Throwback Thursday 8/11/18

If you are someone who has a Twitter Account then you’ll know that – #tbt stands for Throwback Thursday. I use Throwback Thursday to post a song, or piece of music. The content of the #tbt Tweets aren’t deeply researched. Sometimes a song or artist comes to mind, or I hear a tune that I remember from “back in the day”, as they say, if it’s Thursday I’ll post it.

Today’s #tbt is Wilbert Harrison’s LET’S STICK TOGETHER first released in 1962 on the Fury record label. Wilbert Harrison was an American rhythm and blues singer, pianist, guitarist and harmonica. (See Wikipedia for more information)

Listen to The Happening every Sunday 4-6 pm @dwronline

The Happening – 04/11/18 Saxophones, Trumpets, Piano’s and Voices (update)


Hey folks, I forgot to add the link to The Happening Show Blog I posted yesterday. Apologies for any inconvenience. Hope you enjoy the show.

I also post my shows on as DanceQueendq.


The Happening – 4/11/2018 – Saxophones, Trumpets, Pianos and Voices

This week, The Happening has a loose theme based around musical instruments and significant artists who have been associated with them. WordPress Blogger Cincinnati Babyhead this show should be particularly suited to your music tastes – lots of saxophones in this edition.

First off the blocks is Change with Love 4 Change featuring Figo’s remix. Change is a band who have been around for over thirty years with a variety of personnel in their line up at different times. At one point the late Luther Vandross was the lead singer in the early days of the band.

The Blackbyrds Happy Music is the first song to feature a Trumpeter the late Donald Byrd who put the original band together. Members of The Blackbyrds have continued to make music since the seventies. Donald Byrd was amongst other musicians from the bebop jazz era to move into the jazz funk genre.

Donald Byrd.jpegDonald Byrd

I Gotcha is a song written by Joe Tex and falls into the funk genre it was released in 1972. Joe Tex has a gravelly voice which to my mind is very distinctive.

Another contribution from the funk genre is Breaking Bread by Fred Wesley & The JB’s. Wesley is a Trombonist who worked for many years with James Brown, then Funkadelic and Parliament. Fred Wesley is still active as a jazz musician.

Freddie Hubbard was a trumpeter whose career began in the bebop era. Gypsy Blue was released in 1960 as part of the Open Sesame album. It still sounds fresh and lively, it’s the kind of jazz that makes you want to get up and dance.

Joe Henderson’s tenor Saxophone can be heard on many recordings both his own and in collaboration with other musicians. Today’s choice is Johnny Come Lately is from the album Lush Life: The Music of Billy Strayhorn. If you’re a fan of Duke Ellington you will hear the connections between Strayhorn and The Duke.

The great Charlie Parker’s Ornithology, a tune which in its title reminds us of Parker’s nickname ‘Bird’. On a ‘bucket list trip which I took to New York (and New Orleans) in 2016, I visited one of the most famous music venues in the world Birdland, see photograph below. Bird’s nickname is repeated in the name of a jazz venue in New York called Birdland. Charlie Parker was one of the regular acts at the venue. Charlie Parker played alto and tenor saxophone.

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Something of a curved ball in amongst the jazz selection is Fever by Peggy Lee the Stavros Remix, as well as the voice of Ms Lee the sound of the saxophone is prominent making this sultry song’s sexy overtones even stronger.

I Should Have Known Better is a piece of music from the Ska genre, which emerged in Jamaica in the early 1960’s. Musicians from this band were part of the ska/rocksteady group The Skatalites. This track features saxophone from Roland Alphonso and Don Drummond on Trombone. Alphonso and Drummond both attended the Alpha School in Jamaica, the school turned many young delinquents into world renowned musicians and singers. I Should Have Known Better was a song originally composed and recorded by The Beatles.



Known as a world class guitarist the late Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson also had a magnificent singing voice, which is why he is included in the voices section of the show. Nothing Left To Be Desired, is a track from the album A Real Mother for You one of Watson’s best selling albums.

The jazz standard The Way You Look Tonight here we have the Thelonious Monk piano treatment. Bugge Wessltoft is a jazz pianist who hails from Norway. Heim is a track from the Moving album which was released in 1998, it not only features piano, its percussion at the beginning and end is as haunting as the piano.

Returning to the voices we have Love To Keep You In Mind from Curtis Mayfield, began his singing career with The Impressions. A new discovery for me is Dakota Staton, a jazz singer who performed in many clubs on the American jazz circuit. There are so many tracks to choose from, today I Could Make You Care gets an outing on the show.
Blessed with a heavenly voice is Chet Baker who was also a Trumpeter, Long Ago And Far Away highlights both these talents.

Nancy Wilson’s version of I Can’t Get Started is performed with skill, dexterity and irony. Listening to it through headphones in the studio made me realise how funny this song can be depending on how it put across.

This week’s curved ball is Joe Jackson’s Steppin’ Out. He is listed under the alternative/rock, (genre according to iTunes). It’s just a good piece of music with compelling lyrics.

Taking us to church this week’s gospel contributors were the voices of Eva Cassidy with Wayfaring Stranger and This Love Won’t Fail from Oleta Adams.

The second and final reggae track came from the new album Love Restart by Bitty McLean. Broke My Heart is a plaintive song about heartbreak, one can feel the pain coming through Bitty McLean’s voice. On first hearing I was almost moved to tears.

Although well known as musicians, Earth, Wind and Fire’s That’s The Way Of The World showcased their vocal talents in what has become a popular song but with its roots in soul music.

Marvin, You’re the Man by Digable Planets is a mixture of rap and spoken word in a homage to Marvin Gaye. Find it on the Inner City Blues tribute album to one of Motown’s finest.

The show concludes with a few minutes of Nile Rodgers and Chic (Live) singing At Last I Am Free.



Bernadette Hawkes aka @1dancequeendq © November 2018


















The Happening – 28/10/2018 – The Usual Eclectic Mix No 9

Welcome back to a ‘live’ edition of The Happening which is broadcast on Sunday’s from 4-6 pm GMT on Sadly, my voice although back is not quite 100% so please bear with me folks.

I officially joined Dance Web Radio on 8th October 2017, on this day the first edition of The Happening went on air (see DanceQueendq on I wasn’t able to celebrate my anniversary on the exact date this year due to family commitments, so this show is a nod to my first year with To this end I opened the show with Ella Fitzgerald’s version of Mack The Knife (the Berlin version) this song is a favourite of my Mother’s, who when she asked me to play it last year described it as “the one where she get’s the words wrong”. Now, I have many versions of this song by Ella Fitzgerald (on vinyl and CD), so I had to go through quite a lot of material to find it but the hunt was successful. On CD you can find it on Cheek To Cheek the very best of Ella Fitzgerald (2014).

From this mini celebration we went to church with Sam Cooke’s Jesus, I’ll Never Forget and Jesus is Love by The Commodores, It is unusual to hear gospel music from The Commodores so I hope this is nice treat for the lovers of gospel music. Not quite gospel but spiritual nonetheless, is Terence Trent D’Arby’s, If You All Get To Heaven from his smash hit album released in 1987 – Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’Arby. Mr D’Arby became a controversial figure in the music business and has subsequently changed his name to Sananda Maitreya apparently “it was that or death” check out Paul Lester’s article in The Guardian 05/10/17. 

Craig David’s You Don’t Miss Your Water (Till The Well Runs Dry) was next. Craig David is a British singer and songwriter he has many hits credited to him, he is also a producer.

The more uptempo Shine by the late great Luther Vandross was next, with Oleta Adams Never Knew Love and Glen Jones following on with his sultry vocals on Round and Round.

The really old skool selections came from Etta James with Bobby Is His Name, not a well known song by Etta but beautiful in my opinion. Lately, I’ve been listening to Dakota Staton a vocalist who covered several genre’s including jazz, rhythm and blues, soul and blues. Dakota Staton was also known as Allyah Rabia, for a time. For this show is her version of Trust In Me. 

Gwen McCrae better known for her disco and dance hits (e.g. All This Love That I’m Giving) is on this playlist with Let’s Straighten It Out Johnnie Taylor’s, I Believe In You (You Believe In Me) from the Atlantic label is a laid back soul song. Celebrating Bettye Swann’s 74th birthday is her classic Kiss My Love Goodbye. Ms Swann has retired from show business but her music is still loved by many people and kept alive on the British Northern Soul circuit. Moving on to R n B and Blues we have Betty James, who says “I’m A Little Mixed Up” and Robert Nighthawk who is suffering from the Annie Lee Blues

In the United Kingdom the ritual of turning our clocks back is performed every October, thus ushering in Winter, saying goodbye to Autumn is Autumn Leaves by vocalist Eva Cassidy and the instrumental version by jazz giant, alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley. One can never have too much of a good thing, lol.

Choosing something different from the Jackson 5, is Who’s Loving You , here the boys, are singing in a Doo Wop style. Around a year ago the great Fats Domino died my one tune tribute in this show is Fell In Love On Monday. (see DanceQueendq at The Happening Celebrating Fats Domino & Nat King Cole on Dance Web Radio UK on for many more tunes from Mr Domino).

Reggae Time, this week included a limited edition version of Stand Up Jam Rock by Bob Marley and The Wailers, you may recognise the rhythm as used on Welcome To Jamrock  by Bob’s son Damien Marley. Last but by no means least was Jimmy Cliff’s Those Good Good Old Days, chosen to wish Mr Cliff well as he is living with ill health at present.

At this point in the show, my voice was wearing thin, so there is not much talking. A lively energetic track from Herbie Mann had me dancing…a little, in the studio, doing my version of the Blues Walk. Sticking with all things blue was Blue Moon written by Rodgers and Hart, in 1934, first released for popular consumption in 1947 by Billie Holiday. In this show we have Bobby Blue Bland’s version of Blue Moon an excellent cover of a tune which became a rock n roll/doo-wop/standard favourite of music lovers across the world.

Another Northern Soul Classic came from Denise LaSalle, who died in 2017. Do Me Right is a brilliant showcase for her voice.

I seem to be collecting the versions of the old gospel/negro spiritual Wade In The Water, so I had to include the live rendition of this song by The Impressions.

The penultimate tune on this show was Dr Funkenstein by George Clinton and Parliament. This was my tongue in cheek choice for Halloween and dedicated to blogger blackwings666 who is an aficionado on horror movies, all things spooky, sci-fi comics/books and more. He is also a music lover.

Finally, Love Just Keeps On Coming from Tito Love, produced by GoldSchoolRecords and Mitch Race. 




The Happening – Let’s Dance Part 2



Arrgh! I’ve lost my voice due to the latest virus going around in the UK. As I can’t speak or get to the studio I’m posting an old Podcast from when I was between radio stations. There isn’t much talking so you can get down and dance…

First up is David Bowie with Let’s Dance, produced by Nile Rodgers of Chic. In my experience Let’s Dance always get’s people up on the dance floor. Next is Odyssey with the Brooklyn Club Mix of Native New Yorker.

Going further back in time to 1965 is Rufus Thomas – Walking the Dog

Baby’s Back, dressed in black,
Silver buttons all down her back
High, low, tipsy toe

(lyrics from © Universal Music Publishing Group)

How can you not love lyrics like that, if nothing else they make you smile?

A classic Mod tune and all round floor filler is Fontella Bass with Rescue Me – here’s the chorus:

Come on, baby, and rescue me
Come on, baby and rescue me
‘Cause I need you by my side
Can’t you see that I’m lonely

(lyrics from © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC)

Then four from the 80’s – Wait For Me by Slave featuring Steve Arrington, Changin’ by Brass Construction, Wicki Wacki by The Fatback Band and the seminal track, Life On Mars by Dexter Wansel

During the late seventies and eighties the Soul and R n B genre’s evolved into Jazz Funk. Inspired by the disco dance movement which also had it’s roots in Soul and R n B many of the top jazz musicians and composers put together songs and music that people could dance too, instead of just simply sitting still and nodding one’s head respectfully. Billy Cobham’s Stratus featured on this podcast went down well in certain dance clubs, but obviously not in the main stream venues. The people who danced to Stratus and Life On Mars had their musical roots in Funk and took their dance moves from Soul Train and contemporary dance, these dance forms were largely interpretative rather than having rigid dance steps. Other musicians who ‘crossed over’ were Herbie Hancock, Ramsey Lewis, Grover Washington all artists who I have included in The Happening live.

Aretha Franklin’s Who’s Zoomin’ Who also crossed over to the more popular end of the music scene, perhaps not a deliberate act on her part, I believe people just liked the song.

Slowing down the mood is Between The Sheets by the Isley Brothers and the Ohio Players Skin Tight (the short version), then another contribution from Slave this time, Just A Touch of Love.

Taking us back to the Funk is WAR with Cisco Kid, and Maceo Parker with Soul Power ’74 Maceo Parker was at one time part of the James Brown band.

From the Disco era was Gene Chandler’s Get Down, Burn Rubber On Me from The Gap Band and The Commodores with Machine Gun. There are many, often heated discussions amongst some folk and music aficionados as to what constitutes Disco as opposed to Funk. I’ll leave that debate for another day. A classic funk number is Earl Van Dyke’s The Stingray. Next up is Your Love by Graham Central Station, one of my favourite bands.

The really old school tunes include Wasted Days And Wasted Nights by Freddy Fender, The Elgins from the Tamla Motown label sing Put Yourself In My Place, followed by This Old Heart of Mine as sung by The Isley Brothers. From the Atlantic label is Johnnie Taylor with Ain’t That Loving You and the reggae/rocksteady version by Alton Ellis. Returning to soul was Blue Magic with Sideshow. Not Gospel and not really old school is Mark Ronson’s instrumental God Put A Smile Upon Your Face.

Definitely Gospel is I’m Rolling from The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi.

A touch of jazz from Ella Fitzgerald with Tain’t What You Do then Count Basie’s version of Sent For You Yesterday. This podcast’s penultimate tune is the original version of Let’s Stick Together by Wilbert Harrison. Bringing the show to an end is Gregory isaac’s Let’s Dance, not a reggae version of David Bowie’s song, it’s the same title but a different tune.

Bernadette Hawkes aka DanceQueendq © October 2018







The Happening 14/10/18 celebrating Black History Month (UK)

Black History Month is celebrated in October in the United Kingdom. The official celebration of Black History Month began in the UK in 1987 on an unofficial basis. It had been an event in the United States of America since February 1970.

‘The main aims of Black History Month are to celebrate the achievements and contributions of black people not just in the UK, but throughout the world and also to educate all on black history’. (

On Saturday 13 October 2018 the UK marked the 70th Anniversary of the album in 2018. BBC Radio 6 and BBC Radio 2 ran series of programmes exploring a variety of genres with celebrities including Nile Rodgers sharing thoughts on their chosen album.  I chose the album Graham Central Station by Graham Central Station, the opening track on this week’s show was We’ve Been Waiting a very short piece of music lasting only 0.59 seconds the whole album is lively and interesting collection of songs. It’s worth checking it out.

Next was Tomorrow Ain’t Promised by Saffire The Uppity Blues Women Band. This was choice was a tribute to a friend who recently passed, he loved music and dancing.

From hereon in most of the music on the playlist was put together to acknowledge the contribution of musicians, composers, and singers to Black History. As The Happening is a two hour show, there are many artists that I was unable to include due to lack of time, I’m sure you will be able fill in the gaps with your own favourites.

A rare and not often played track was What The World Now Is Low/Abraham,Martin and John by Tom Clay.  Released on the Tamla Motown label, it was a departure from the love and dance songs usually associated with the Motown Song Factory. Tom Clay was a prominent DJ in the 1950s, he was implicated in the payola scandal of 1959. Payola was a system whereby Dj’s accepted money for promoting certain records.

Clay put together a medley of What The World Needs Now Is Love/Abraham, Martin and John, the narrative included sound bites from the speeches of John and Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther KingJr., made a heartfelt social/political comment that featured The Blackberries [Oma Drake, Jessie Smith and Clydie King] on backing vocals.’ From the biography by Andrew Hamilton on

From Detroit we move to New Orleans for some funk/soul from The Neville Brothers with Let My People Go/Get Up Stand Up this song is a mixture of Negro Spiritual and Bob Marley’s reggae song Get Up Stand Up. Another often overlooked tune came from The Undisputed Truth with Smiling Faces Sometimes.

The first gospel song was Freedom by Clancy Eccles issued on the Blue Beat Label during the early 60’s. Not quite gospel but it seemed to fit in nicely alongside Clancy Eccles was Redemption Song, an acoustic version by Bob Marley from the Legend album., a roots reggae singer from Jamaica sang Sweep Over My Soul.

Back to America with Roy Ayers with Red,Black and Green from the Ubiquity Album now classic The Revolution Will Not Be Televised by Gil Scott-Heron is another socio/political comment on what was going on in America in the 60’s and early 70’s. 


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Written by Sam Cooke and covered by many artists was A Change Is Gonna Come. This time the song was performed by Leela James A Change Is Gonna Come became a non gospel anthem for the Civil Rights movement. Tom Browne with Dianne Reeves on vocals is a reworking of Donny Hathaway’s Some Day We’ll All Be Free, co written by Edward Howard, it was not meant to be a protest song according to Howard but has been incorporated into the R n B protest canon. Donny Hathaway was a psychologically troubled man who eventually committed suicide, at the age of 32, it was the longing for freedom from mental pain which was the original inspiration of the song.

The very popular and well known song is Lean On Me by Bill Withers released in 1972, is sung by different people all around the world. It demonstrates the ‘call and response’ method of singing which of course has it’s roots in the African-American church. A version of Lean On Me was featured on the TV show Glee. This song is about friendship.

From the jazz section was Billie Holiday’s God Bless The Child (with the Tony Scott Orchestra) there are several versions of this song recorded by Miss Holiday, and many other vocalists and musicians. It has become a jazz standard.

Back to the 70’s takes us to  Billy Paul’s People Power released in 1975. This was followed by Jamaica Farewell by Bob James a jazz-funk number with a Caribbean influence, which was originally a number one hit for Harry Belafonte in 1955 (featured in The Windrush Songs Part One – The Happening 16/09/18).

Brass Construction’s The Message/Inspiration is a soulful number with Randy Muller on lead vocals. Alongside some of their other songs The Message/Inspiration has been sampled by Hip Hop artists in the 80’s. Yet another underplayed track is Be Thankful For What You Got by The Intruders listeners might be more familiar with the Timmy Thomas version, which was more upbeat and a big hit on the dance floors. 

Going back to church we were transported by the fantastic voice of Mavis Staples with a live performance of We Shall Not Be Moved. There is an unresolved debate  (to some folk) as to the origins of this song. Part of the lyrics appear in The Bible Jeremiah 17, 8-9. It is argued that it was a C19 Negro Spiritual. As I mentioned in the show it was popularised by the folk singer Pete Seeger in 1955 it was later adopted by the American Civil Rights Movement and the Unions as one of their anthems. The final gospel song came from Kirk Franklin – Why We Sing. I played a tiny piece of this contemporary gospel song a few weeks ago at the end of a show, I felt it deserved a full hearing. The Civil Rights Movement used gospel music to rally the black church groups and also as a tool to diffuse tense, potentially dangerous situations, when the marched or used sit down protests. Check out Soul Music on BBC Radio 4 iPlayer Songs of The Civil Rights Movement 04/04/18. Soul Music – Series 26, Songs of the Civil Rights Movement – @bbcradio4 

The last few songs on this week’s playlist come from the secular world but each one has a message of sorts. First up was Lee Dorsey with Yes, We Can a funky/soul number, then Delroy Wilson’sLet There Be Love (reggae). From the Philly Sound came is Love Is  The Message by M. F. S. B. Marvin Gaye’s version of Always is now one of my Desert Island Discs, ostensibly a love song, I felt it was fitting to include in this show which I wanted to have an upbeat mood towards its conclusion. Stevie Wonder’s interpretation of Blowing In The Wind is a quieter but equally moving with it’s leaning towards the call and response format. The Hot 8 Brass Band’s Eldridge really makes one want to dance and prance in the New Orleans second line style. The penultimate tune was from the Sons of Kemet entitled My Queen Is Harriet Tubman, which I discovered via my radio station colleague Mitchell Roy Emery.

Finally, due to a rogue CD I finished with a British Rap song All Hail The Chap from Mr B. The Gentleman Rhymer. I’m sure the 70’s Dude’s from the Blaxploitation movies would have approved of his style advice.



15 October 2018 copyright Bernadette Hawkes


Lessons in Soul – Part Two

Just as there are different accents across America and in the United Kingdom so there are different ‘accents’ in the voices and music of Soul singers. In this piece I want to introduce you to Soul and it’s links to different parts of the United States of America and how this can affect the sound of Soul Music. Soul is a general label for a particular type of Music of Black Origin MOBO (see A Quick Lesson In Soul – In Key Magazine 14/06/18


Most people are familiar with Detroit Soul, which is better known as Tamla Motown a record label established by Berry Gordy. Detroit is one of cities in the north of America famous for it’s huge car making plant, that employed a great number of people who lived in the city, and was affectionately known as Motor City. Gordy incorporated this nickname into the title of his record label. A large number of Soul artists passed through what was known as the Motown ‘song factory’, the big names included groups like The Temptations (My Girl and The Supremes (Baby Love plus solo artists like Marvin Gaye (Abraham, Martin & John and Stevie Wonder (I Was Made to Love Her The artists and music of the Tamla Motown record company helped Black music to become more acceptable to the white record buyers both in America and the United Kingdom.

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Another regional Soul sound was Memphis Soul also known as Southern Soul which was recorded and/or produced by the Stax record label. Stax was set up by Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton = STAX. Somewhat radical at the time, given, that segregation was in full force, Booker T & The MG’s a racially integrated group became the ‘house band’ for Stax, which included white band member Steve Cropper a guitarist, who also wrote songs and was later involved in producing some artists from the label. (Soul Limbo and perhaps the better known Green Onions Their sound seemed to lay the foundation of Memphis Soul. The vocal sound of Stax was immortalised in the voice of Otis Redding, sadly in 1967 he died in a plane crash, aged just twenty-seven. Sitting On The Dock of The Bay, was the first post-humous hit to reach No 1 in the Billboard Charts.

A very popular voice from the Stax stable was that of (The Reverend) Al Green, he successfully crossed over from Gospel Music, to Soul and then into Pop music, so much so that his roots in Southern Soul and the world of Stax are often overlooked by present day listeners of his music (Take Me To the River Eddie Floyd’s song Knock on Wood ( moved the label well away from its gospel sounding roots and took the Memphis sound storming into the charts. The female voices of Stax include Carla Thomas (Gee Whiz, Mable John (Who Wouldn’t Love A Man Like That and the wonderful Mavis Staples of The Staple Singers (Tripping On Your Love The Staple Singers were firmly rooted in the Southern Gospel sound but their music crossed over into the dance music genre with many record buyers not realising they were dancing to Gospel music (I’ll Take You There I would be remiss if I did not mention Johnnie Taylor his songs ranged from a heavily Blues sound both in terms of music and lyrics to the Soul dance number (Who’s Making Love The other big name from Stax was Isaac Hayes more of this musical giant another time (I Stand Accused live version https//

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The famous city of New Orleans in the state of Louisiana, also gave its name to another branch of the Soul family tree. Similar to other types of Soul music New Orleans Soul owes a debt to Gospel music. However, it is heavily influenced by the sound of the New Orleans brass bands, as well as a Caribbean and Rock styles (see Robert Fontenot 2017). The father of New Orleans Soul is Allen Toussaint a musician, songwriter and producer. His work included Southern Nights, Lee Dorsey’s (Working In A Coal Mine, and Right Place Wrong Time by Dr John. It would be a serious sin of omission not to mention The Neville Brothers a soul/R’n’B/funk band from NOLA* their music was influenced by Cajun music, which is the traditional music of state and rooted in the French speaking Creole community. (Fire On The Bayou There is no unifying label as such for New Orleans Soul (and Funk more to be said about this derivative form another time), according to Wikipedia the songs are always accompanied by a piano and a saxophone. There is no one label image to represent New Orleans Soul. *NOLA New Orleans Louisiana.

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Back to the North and a soul genre also named after a city was The Sound of Philadelphia. Fondly known by its fans as TSOP – The Philly Sound fused funk and strings to produce an orchestral sounding music. Although influenced by orchestral techniques it was also very popular as dance music. This music travelled well across the ocean and went down easily with British audiences and record buyers. The Philly Sound was a softer soul sound often brought to the public by The O’Jay’s (Back Stabbers, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes (Wake Up Everybody with female singers such as Phyllis Hyman (You Know How To Love Me and The Three Degrees (When Will I See You Again? Behind the Philly bands were the song writers and producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff (Me and Mrs Jones sung by Billy Paul, also Gene McFadden and John Whitehead (Bad Luck recorded by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes).

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I will discuss Atlantic Label in Part 3. There are more sub-genres of Soul music which will also be explored in future articles.
Copyright October 2018