Ken Shane

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Soul Serenade: The Marvelettes, “When You’re Young and in Love”

One year ago in this column, I featured Ruby and the Romantics and their 1963 smash hit “Our Day Will Come.” The record was so big that it cemented …

Soul Music

Soul Serenade: Love Unlimited, “I Belong to You”

For a while there in the 1970s, it seemed like Barry White was the king of the music world. He could do no wrong whether it was as a songwriter, a …

Music

Soul Serenade: The Whispers, “Bingo”

It’s the Fourth of July as I write this but you won’t be reading it until at least tomorrow. So I’ll just say that I hope it was a great day for you …

Music

Soul Serenade: The New Birth, “Wildflower”

In 1972, a Canadian band called Skylark had a big hit with a song called “Wildflower.” The song was written by band member Doug Edwards and Dave …

Soul Music

Soul Serenade: Aaron Neville, “Tell It Like It Is”

In April, we lost Charles Neville to pancreatic cancer. Charles was an integral part of one of the finest family bands that this country ever …

Soul Serenade: Brighter Side of Darkness, “Love Jones”

Do you think boy bands began with groups like NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys? Think again. There were boy bands decades ago. The Jackson 5 was just …

Soul Serenade: Bob & Earl, “Harlem Shuffle”

Most people became familiar with the song “Harlem Shuffle” when the Rolling Stones covered it in 1986. The Stones version of the song leaped up the</i> …

Soul Serenade: Cliff Nobles & Co., “The Horse”

It’s a pretty rare occurrence for a record to be credited to an artist who doesn’t actually appear on it. One example I can think of is “River Deep, …

Soul Serenade: Johnny Nash, “I Can See Clearly Now”

I think it’s fair to say that for many Americans reggae began and ended with Bob Marley and the Wailers. Marley certainly deserves his due for …

Soul Serenade: Denise LaSalle, “Trapped By A Thing Called Love”

When Koko Taylor died nine years ago, the title “Queen of the Blues” was bestowed on Denise LaSalle. Then LaSalle died in January of this year and …

Soul Serenade: Graham Central Station, "Your Love"

The influence of Sly & the Family Stone has informed musicians for 50 years and has never waned during that time. The sound that Sly originated in …

Soul Serenade: The Independents, “Leaving Me”

This week we return to the Windy City to meet one of the finest, though too little remembered, vocal groups of the 1970s. The Independents got …

Soul Serenade: The Diamonds, “The Stroll”

Canada, a nation known for hockey, curling, poutine, and … soul? Yes indeed. I may seem to be on a mission to prove that soul music comes in all …

Soul Serenade: The Foundations, “Baby, Now That I’ve Found You”

As I’ve written many times in this column, soul can come from anywhere and in a variety of forms. This week I’m featuring a multiracial band from …

Soul Serenade: Johnny “Guitar” Watson, “Superman Lover”

We lost one of the greats when Yvonne Staples of the Staple Singers died this week. Rest in peace.Funk. The term means different things to different …

Soul Serenade: Chuck Brown & the Soul Searchers, “Bustin’ Loose”

I was discussing the column with my friend Michael last week. Michael is something of a music expert whose opinion I value. I mentioned that after …

Soul Serenade: The Ebonys, “You’re the Reason Why”

Camden, New Jersey has fallen on hard times in recent years but at one time it was not only a manufacturing center but its close proximity to …

Soul Serenade: 100 PROOF Aged in Soul, “Somebody’s Been Sleeping”

Holland-Dozier-Holland was a massively successful songwriting and production team at Motown Records. Their hits for the company are too numerous to …

Soul Serenade: “Stax Singles, Vol. 4: Rarities & the Best of the Rest”

In 1991, Atlantic Records released the landmark box set <i>The Complete Stax/Volt Singles 1959-1968</i>. The care that was taken with the release marked a …

Soul Serenade: The Holy Trinity of Soul (Isaac Hayes Vinyl Reissues)

Isaac Hayes began his career as a session musician. He was called on to sub for Booker T. Jones when Jones was at school, studying for his music …

Soul Serenade: The Show Stoppers, “Ain’t Nothin’ But a House Party”

I was in Philadelphia last Saturday. It was my first visit in a number of months and I’m pleased to report that just because Philadelphia is now a …

Soul Serenade: Dyke & the Blazers, “Funky Broadway”

A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, I was digging through some crates when I came across a record with a title that intrigued me by a group with a …

Soul Serenade: James Brown, “The Payback”

By the end of 1974, James Brown’s long and illustrious career was about to head into a fallow period. But the downswing came at the end of one of …

Soul Serenade: The Temptations, “Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World Is Today)”

I’ve written more about the Temptations in this column than probably any other group or solo artist. I’ve spoken of my love for David Ruffin and the …

Soul Serenade: The Ru-Jac Records Story

On February 2, Omnivore Recordings will release the third and fourth discs in their splendid compilation series <i>The Ru-Jac Records</i> story. Ru-Jac was a …

Soul Serenade: Hugh Masekela, “Grazing in the Grass”

Hugh Masekela died this week. The South African trumpeter had a big instrumental hit with “Grazing in the Grass” in 1968 and the Friends of …

Soul Serenade: BT Express, “Do It (‘Til You’re Satisfied)”

As the 1960s transitioned to the 1970s soul music began to transition too. The sweet sound of Motown soul began to give way to something deeper, …

Soul Serenade: Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels, “Little Latin Lupe Lu”

Before the Righteous Brothers became the megastars they would become when “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” raced to the top of the charts in 1964, …

Soul Serenade: Barbara Lynn, “You’ll Lose a Good Thing”

In this column, I’ve written about everyone from superstars who ran numerous hits up the charts to one-hit wonders who only had that single moment in …

Soul Serenade: Bobby Womack, “It’s Party Time”

<i>There’s a house party way ‘cross town</i><i>People coming from miles around</i><i>After working hard all week long</i><i>They got to get a thing going on</i>And suddenly we …