Southern Soul Music originated from a combination of styles, including blues, jump blues, country, early rock and roll, and a strong gospel influence that emanated from the sounds of Southern African-American churches. The focus of the music was not only on its lyrics, but on the feel or the groove. This is the rhythmic force that made it a strong influence in the later rise of funk music. The focal points for the creation of this music were often recording studios. Here’s just two of the legendary locations where it all went down. If we only considered the music that came out of these two locales we’d have enough Southern Soul to last a lifetime!

The City
: Memphis, Tennesee
The Studio: Stax Records
The Rhythm Sections: Booker T. and the MG’s and the Mar-Keys.
The Singers: Otis Redding, William Bell, Eddie Floyd, Sam and Dave, Carla and Rufus Thomas, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge, Joe Tex, The Staple Singers and more.
The Hits: You Don’t Miss Your Water, In The Midnight Hour, 634-5789, Knock on Wood, Hold On! I’m Comin’, Soul Man, (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay, These Arms of Mine and many others.

The City: Muscle Shoals, Alabama
The Studios: FAME Recording Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound
The Rhythm Section: The Swampers The Singers: Arthur Alexander, Jimmy Hughes, Wilson Pickett, James & Bobby Purify, Arthur Conley, The Staple Singers, Aretha Franklin, Clarence Carter and Etta James, Wilson Pickett, and many others.
The Hits: Do Right Woman, Do Right Man, I’m Your Puppet, Let’s Do it Over, The Dark End of the Street, Sweet Inspiration, Funky Broadway, Sweet Soul Music, Tell Mama, I’ll Take You There and dozens more.

And this was only the beginning...

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