wineandrosesandyou-deactivated2 asked:

Hello! I am a college student in need of help. I have to write an essay for monday about the birth of soul music, and I've been googling stuff but the only thing with actual information I've found was the wikipedia page lol. I was wondering if you knew any websites or books I can read about it, and if you could tell me something I'd be eternally grateful. Thank you so much, your blog rocks! :)

Hi fancybecks,

Thanks for your question. It is such an impossibly huge question, the birth of soul, you could take it academically in dozens of directions. In a very general sense, realize the intersections of black/white gospel, blues from various regions, tin pan alley, jump-blues, jazz of varying styles and regions, country music, doo wop, country & western. Here are a few articles to consider and a couple books: 

http://www.scaruffi.com/history/soul.html

http://www.timeisonourside.com/STSouthSoul.html

http://www.sirshambling.com/sir_shambling/articlelist.php

http://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Soul-Music-Southern-Freedom/dp/0316332739

http://www.amazon.com/Say-It-One-Time-Brokenhearted/dp/074754137X

One big problem you’re probably running into is research that falls into the “nonacademic” category. Collectors, bloggers, Rolling Stone-level musicology. This isn’t very helpful for a college-level paper. Musicologists and cultural anthropologists have yet to create a sizable body of work that explores the cultural tradition and history of soul music. Basically, it’s not a paper you can write in a weekend as you need to take time to read and absorb many snippets of information, verifiable or not. I’ve been “studying” it for a long time and I’m still trying to understand.

WHATEVER YOU DO, please don’t reduce your paper to Motown, Stax and Hi records. It’s so much greater than that.