• R&B and Soul Classics of the 60s

    <span itemprop="name">Classic R&B and Soul songs of the 1960s</span>




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  • Classic R&B and Soul songs of the 1960s

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     Classic R&B and Soul songs of the 1960s

    Volume One

    TalkMusic is a unique anthology of the greatest songs of the last fifty years in the history of popular music. Each song profile will enable readers to learn what inspired the songwriter and the singer and what they thought about the composition, the unique aspects of the music and the recording, and the meaning and interpretation behind the lyrics.


    Table of Contents


    A Change Is Gonna Come

    Sam Cooke 


    Ain’t Too Proud To Beg

    The Temptations 


    Band Of Gold

    Freda Payne 


    Everybody Needs Somebody to Love

    Solomon Burke 


    Everyday People

    Sly and the Family Stone 


    I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)

    The Four Tops 


    I Got You (I Feel Good)

    James Brown 


    I Heard It Through the Grapevine

    Marvin Gaye 


    I Second That Emotion

    Smokey Robinson and The Miracles 


    In The Midnight Hour

    Wilson Pickett 


    People Get Ready

    The Impressions 


    Rescue Me

    Fontella Bass 



    Junior Walker & The All Stars 


    (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay

    Otis Redding 


    Soul Man

    Sam and Dave 


    The Thrill Is Gone

    B.B. King 


    This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)

    The Isley Brothers 



    Edwin Starr 


    What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted

    Jimmy Ruffin 


    What’d I Say

    Ray Charles 


    (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman

    Aretha Franklin 


    Sample Song Profile


    I Heard It Through The Grapevine

    Marvin Gaye 

    “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” was the only song that was a R&B hit for three different artists.

    Written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for Motown Records in 1966. Marvin Gaye released the track a few years later after a version by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles was rejected by Motown owner Berry Gordy. In 1967 yet another version of the song by Gladys Knight & the Pips hit number two in the charts.

    The origins of the song has Barrett Strong, the singer on Motown Records’ breakthrough hit, “Money (That’s What I Want)”, walking down the street in Chicago when he thought to himself how people were always saying “I heard it through the grapevine”. The phrase is associated with black slaves during the Civil War, who had their form of telegraph: the human grapevine. Strong originally wrote it on a $40 piano with only 10 working keys.

    Whitfield worked with him, adding lyrics to his basic Ray Charles influenced gospel tune and the single chorus line of “I heard it through the grapevine”. The track features a classic bass line.

    The lyrics tell the story in a first person narrative of the betrayal of the singer’s romantic partner, how he heard about it indirectly via gossip from other people (through the “grapevine”), and the emotional pain and disbelief he is suffering. Marvin Gaye wrung out the emotion in the song is coupled with Whitfield’s suggestion to sing slightly higher than his normal range. This created the strained vocal. Gaye said:

    “I simply took direction, as I felt the direction he was expounding was a proper one. Had I done it myself I would not have sung it at all like that, but y’see there are many benefits in just singing other people’s material and taking directions. The job of interpreting is quite an important one, because when people are not able to express what is in their souls if there is an artist who can… then I think that is very valuable.”

    Barrett Strong and Norman Whitfield also wrote “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone,” Ain’t Too Proud To Beg,” “Just My Imagination,” and “Money (That’s What I Want).”



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