ETTA JAMES, JIMMY CASTOR, and WHITNEY HOUSTON. Also, though he was not a singer, he influenced a nation as innovator, creator and host of the show "SOUL TRAIN", the great DON CORNELIUS.
The list also includes; PERCY SLEDGE, GEORGE DUKE, MARVIN ISLEY, JIMMY RUFFIN, BIG BANK HANK (Of the Sugar hill Gang), LOUIS JOHNSON, LEROY "SUGARFOOT" BONNER (Ohio Players), BOBBY "BLUE"BLAND, and quite a few others.
The contributions these artists made to Soul Music is immeasurable and unforgettable.
In an era where rap music has taken over the airwaves, the old soul music of the 60s, 70s, and 80s, will never die out.
When rap music first came out it was about having fun at a house party.
Neighborhood rap battles abound with the winners and losers admiring each other,s talents and having just plain old good times.
Over the years, gangsta rap became prevalent and to the forefront, with stories about the hood, bling, sex, dope.
Gangstas, guns, girls, etc., became the norm for the listener of today, filling minds with dark images of revenge, killing, treating women as sex objects.
I didn't, want to listen to my parent,s old soul collection when I was entering my teens, mainly because it was their music.
In the same vein, the young people of today want to form their own music expressions that mirror the times we live in.
But can we really BLAME them for the advent of gangsta rap?
My answer is yes and no; everyone is responsible for their own actions.
If someone puts out information about building bombs on the internet, and someone else actually follows through with that info, does that let the author off the hook?
No! When information is put out over the internet or printed; therefore, whatever the format it is presented in, the author is responsible.
Some people will disagree, that the person is not responsible for what others may or will do with the words put out there.
It,s like opening a door; be careful what door you enter, because you may enter the wrong house.
Back in the day, old dirty blues records were played at juke joints or private parties, stag and x-rated films were shown at theaters which catered to them.
One example would be Clarence Carter,s hit "STROKIN" (Be forewarned, this is a borderline X-RATED song).
Check out the ISLEY BROTHERS hit song, "POP THAT THING" (they performed this live on the first episode of the NBC-TV show"THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL").
Is it any wonder, that with the rise of technology (dvds, twitter, facebook, streaming internet content) that the door has swung open very wide?
The Bible states that every generation gets wiser but weaker.
With all the technological advances today, people tend to throw common sense out of the window now more than ever.
Many things that were once taboo(and should have been left behind closed doors) have come to the forefront.
The soul music of the 60s 70s and 80s was about family unity, education, having a good time etc.
But there were many songs falling in or out of love, cheating or being cheated on, what happened behind closed doors, singing the blues over lost loves etc; you get the message.
Check out this hit by DON COVAY below;
Also this old but goodie song by RICHARD "DIMPLES" FIELD,
Regardless of what direction music goes in, we have the soul artists, deceased or living, to thank for music that will never die.
Music that we could tell where we where, what and when we were doing; who we were doing it with (when our kids were conceived lol).
The next wave of rising artists have studied the old school and do songs and performances in a new(?) way.
In all actuality, they take from the best and copy or adapt. Not such a bad thing when you consider there is nothing new under the sun.
There is a new crop of entertainers that work very hard but mainly sell sex appeal.
This is not imply that there are people that have positive song messages that inspire and uplift others.
The music industry knows it can sell more by put controversial artists out front.
The old school artists nearly killed themselves trying to outdo one another when they appeared on shows together.
A lot of the old school artists have left the building, but the legacy they have left behind will live on.