1960s Soul & Funk Music that Defined a Generation

by Administrator 25. July 2017 07:37

Music is an essential piece of the human experience. It not only gives us a way to express our identities, but it also allows us to step into roles that we may otherwise never get to experience. In many ways, a song is an open invitation into the both the personal experiences and historical period that influenced its artist.

The 1960s was truly one of the most fascinating decades in music history. While both soul and funk were still newly emerging music genres, they had already established themselves as symbols that defined a new generation of Americans. While not all of us had the honor to live through this exciting time of musical—and social—change, the music of individual artists like Otis Clay and groups like The Cadillacs the opportunity to travel back in time and see the world from their perspective. All we have to do is put their record on.

Here are three funk and soul records that will make you see the 60s with new eyes.

White Gardenia Capitol 4825 Record

White Gardenia by The Cadillacs – Capitol 4825 (Released 1962)

Side A: White Gardenia

Side B: Groovy Groovy

 

“White Gardenia” was recorded towards the end of a long series of releases by The Cadillacs, an American rock and roll and doo-wop group from Harlem, New York. While many groups of the time focused on domestic love stories, the eponymous song offered something novel: the story of a matador who searched for his love in the crowd as he squared off a bull during his last performance. And instead of the usual dance-inspired beat or vocal harmony that the band was known for, the lyrics of “White Gardenia” are set to an awe-inspiring funk / soul melody that truly brings the story to life. You’ll have to listen to the song yourself to know how the story ends but, like many songs released by The Cadillacs, it is one that universally attracts an audience.

Of course, one can’t talk about The Cadillacs without also clarifying just which of the many versions of the group is being discussed. After all, between 1953 and 1962, the group reinvented itself over a handful of times, beginning as The Carnations in 1953 and eventually becoming The Four Cadillacs, Earl Carroll and the Cadillacs, and Jesse Powell and the Caddys over time. Over the nearly decade long history of the group, 19 men in all could claim that they were part of “The Cadillacs” at one point or another. Roland Martinez, Curtis Williams, Ray Brewster, and Irving Lee Gail were the members of the then-current iteration of the group who recorded Capitol 4825. Both “White Gardenia” and “Groovy Groovy” also seem to be strongly influenced by The Coasters, a blues/rock and roll vocal group that The Cadillacs tried to emulate at the time. Pulling from such a rich and extensive history of talent, it should come as no surprise that Capitol 4825 is standout example of American rock and roll and doo-wop.

That Kind of Lovin' Cotillion 40009 Record

That Kind of Lovin' by Otis Clay – Cotillion 40009 (Released 1968)

Label owner: Ahmet & Jerry Wexler, 1841 Broadway, New York, N.Y. (1968-1972). Label distributed by Warner Bros from 1976-1982.

 

Side A: That Kind of Lovin’

Side B: Do Right Woman, Do Right Man

Otis Clay is a name that is immediately recognizable as much today as it has ever been. Clay charted R&B and soul singles from 1967 to 1980 and remained popular throughout the world over the following decades, leading up to his 2013 induction into the Blues Hall of Fame. Even now, his mastery of the blues genre continues to attract listeners from all walks of life and will continue to do so long into the foreseeable future.

“That Kind of Lovin’” was recorded by Cotillion, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records, on the heels of Clay’s 1967 Billboard hits “That’s How It Is (When You’re In Love)” and “A Lasting Love”. While Clay had been recording secular music for close to three years by this time, his early history as a traditional gospel singer still heavily influenced his style. “That Kind of Lovin’” artfully blends together elements of traditional black gospel music—a catchy rhythm, call and response, and a beat that you’ll want to clap your hands to—with Clay’s remarkable voice and talent for the funk / soul genre. Simply put, “The Kind of Lovin’” is a song about a man testifying to the love he has found with a woman.

My Baby's Gone Away Down to Earth 71 Record

My Baby's Gone Away by The Chymes – Down To Earth 71 (Released 1970)

Label owner: Walter & Burgess Gardner, 746 East 75th St, Chicago, Ill. (1970-1973).

 

Side A: My Baby’s Gone Away

Side B: Where I Come From

 

The Chymes, also known as the Star-Tells, consisted of harmonizing brothers Victor, David, and James Martin. For their Down To Earth 71 recording, the group also received support from the Burgess Gardner & The Soul Crusaders Orchestra, a Chicago based soul group who served as the house band for Down to Earth as well as Lamarr and More Soul.

"My Baby's Gone Away" is both a fine example of 70's funk / soul music as well as a thoughtful commentary that reflects on the everyday experiences of young black men of the time. Released near the end of the Vietnam War, the eponymous track derives its name from the experiences of soldiers who have returned home only to find that their "baby's gone away."


Own a Piece of Music History

Pricing, details (grade, side A/B, quantity) and sound clips for each of the above records can be found via the following links:

White Gardenia – The Cadillacs

That Kind of Lovin’ – Otis Clay

My Baby’s Gone Away – The Chymes

We provide a simple online ordering process for any of our records. Enter your billing and shipping information, provide details about the record you’re requesting, and hit submit. From there, sit back, relax, and enjoy knowing that your records are on their way!

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Comments (1) -

Safari Casa
Safari Casa United States
7/19/2019 4:15:29 AM #

I have read several excellent stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how so much attempt you put to make such a excellent informative web site.

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