A Touch of Classic Soul - Soul Singers of the Early 1970's

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June, 2002 | Why were the O'Jays almost blacklisted from performing in the US? What's the real story behind the relationship between Teddy Pendergrass and Harold Melvin?

How does the X-rated rap queen, Millie Jackson, continue to sell out shows despite the lack of air play on traditional radio?

You'll love discovering the answers to these questions, along with some other very interesting stories compiled in a series of interviews by author Marc Taylor with over 30 legendary stars. I discovered this book by accident about a year ago through a brief mention in a community newspaper in New York City.

Wanting to know the real deal, I picked up A Touch of Classic Soul, and it's companion book, A Touch of Classic Soul 2: The Late 1970's (to be reviewed in a future issue of the Powerhouse Radio Newsletter).

Here are the inside stories of all of the super stars, solo acts, and groups who made R&B music in the 1970's. Marc interviews or profiles:

  • Bloodstone
  • Blue Magic
  • Chairmen of the Board
  • The Chi-Lites
  • The Delfonics
  • The Dells
  • The Dramatics
  • The Emotions
  • First Choice
  • The Friends of Distinction
  • Al Green
  • Isaac Hayes
  • The Intruders
  • Millie Jackson
  • Gladys Knight and the Pips
  • Jean Knight
  • The Main Ingredient
  • The Manhattans
  • Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes
  • The Moments (Ray, Goodman, and Brown)
  • New Birth
  • The Ohio Players
  • The O'Jays
  • Billy Paul
  • Freda Payne
  • The Spinners
  • The Staple Singers
  • The Stylistics
  • The Temprees
  • The Three Degrees
  • War
  • The Whispers
  • Barry White
  • Bobby Womack
  • Betty Wright

I love these kind of books where you can just start reading at any spot and just jump around. The stories are very entertaining. One serious common thread weaving through many of the tales: ignorance of the business side of the music industry held back the long term earning power of many of these R&B stars.

Now I know why there were two groups of competing Delfonics touring in the 1980's. Finally I have the 4-1-1 about all of those Playboy models hired by the Ohio Players for their risque album covers.

Taylor's writing style is informal and easy to enjoy. The tidbits of information pouring out of A Touch of Classic Soul make the book a joy for any fan of 1970's R&B. When you've finished this book, you'll be a fountain of information.

So how did The Dells become the musical consultants for Robert Townsend's movie, "The Five Hearbeats?" It's all in A Touch of Classic Soul: Soul Singers of the early 1970's.


Review written by King for the Powerhouse Radio Newsletter, June, 2002

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