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  1. #1

    Who actually invented Soul music, Ray Charles or Sam Cooke?

    So this has got me thinking, over the years both men have been credited for pioneering Soul music over the years. In their box set releases, Ray Charles box set is called "Birth Of Soul' and Sam Cooke's box set is called "The Man Who Invented Soul." The media have given them nick names regarding this.

    So who actually invented it or can both claim the title?

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    who first used the word "soul"?

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    Both are all kinds of soul, granted. As far as its creator....hmmmm. IMO, that's like the multi-decades old question - who invented rock and roll? Chuck Berry or Little Richard?

    However, in my world, Otis Redding gets the princely crown of Great Grand of Deep Soul.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelSherry59 View Post
    So this has got me thinking, over the years both men have been credited for pioneering Soul music over the years. In their box set releases, Ray Charles box set is called "Birth Of Soul' and Sam Cooke's box set is called "The Man Who Invented Soul." The media have given them nick names regarding this.

    So who actually invented it or can both claim the title?
    Good Question! For me, both Ray Charles & Sam Cooke can share the title of "Creator Of Soul". Both of these men came out of 1950's and fused Rhythm & Blues with Gospel Music. I also see the first James Brown recordings ["Please, Please, Please", "Try Me", etc.] as part of the Birth Of Soul in the '50s. PS: I've got those collections by Sam & Ray and they're both Great!

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    I'll go with Laverne Baker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    Good Question! For me, both Ray Charles & Sam Cooke can share the title of "Creator Of Soul". Both of these men came out of 1950's and fused Rhythm & Blues with Gospel Music. I also see the first James Brown recordings ["Please, Please, Please", "Try Me", etc.] as part of the Birth Of Soul in the '50s. PS: I've got those collections by Sam & Ray and they're both Great!
    Yeah, Sam jump shipped from the gospel group, Soul Stirrers.

    I'd agree with your assessment, Motown Ed and will throw in the mix, for good measure - The Iceman, Jerry Butler. I still get chills listening to his Deep Soul classics to-date. [[Our fellow Soul Laureate In Residence, Heikki [[?) breaks down Deep Soul in his musical dissertations on Soulexpress.com. I let him know of my abiding fondness for his pieces over the years on here.)

  7. #7
    I suppose there are other soul pioneers before Ray Charles and Sam Cooke but the problem is that the media has made the claim that both pioneered the genre over the years, I agree with Motown Eddie that you can include James Brown into the mix, especially his 50s ballads.

    Then you have different soul artists as well that barely get any mentions at all. Is an interesting topic.

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    Let's be real: Black folks been doing soul music since time began.

    It's so annoying these labels of "firsts" and "invented" for stuff like this. I don't mind labeling someone as personifying a genre, but can there ever really be an accurate answer to "who invented soul music" or "rock and roll"?

    For my money, I would crown Ray Charles as King of Soul, as he probably set the template of success. Sam wasn't any less soulful, but I would categorize him as much pop as soul...maybe.

    While Ray Charles got the biopic, and he certainly isn't forgotten, I still feel like he doesn't get the shine he so rightfully deserved. Either that or my fandom is clouding my judgement.

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    FYI, when I said "annoying" I wasn't referring to your question MichaelSherry, but to the issue in general.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Let's be real: Black folks been doing soul music since time began.

    It's so annoying these labels of "firsts" and "invented" for stuff like this. I don't mind labeling someone as personifying a genre, but can there ever really be an accurate answer to "who invented soul music" or "rock and roll"?

    For my money, I would crown Ray Charles as King of Soul, as he probably set the template of success. Sam wasn't any less soulful, but I would categorize him as much pop as soul...maybe.

    While Ray Charles got the biopic, and he certainly isn't forgotten, I still feel like he doesn't get the shine he so rightfully deserved. Either that or my fandom is clouding my judgement.
    Yeah, I see what you're saying, I also find it annoying whenever the media gives the name out such as "Birth Of Soul" or "The Man Who Invented Soul" which don't get me wrong Ray and Sam were incredible stars during their peak and changed the landscape and would be on my mount Rushmore for soul music [alongside with James Brown and Sly and The Family Stone], but it is annoying when they rarely acknowledge Ruth Brown too, James Brown [like Motown Eddie said] could be credited with the 50s ballads and you have Nancy Wilson etc.

    I think Ray Charles gets his dues but I feel like the younger generation... When it comes to oldies for Rhythm and Blues/Soul, I've noticed their cut off point is the 70s, that's furthest they go back to, they rarely mention the 60s or 50s and Ray's best years were between 1954-1962 and his songs are hardly played on adverts [[commercial just in case the American users get confused), Ray's core fans are... Retired now and
    the lack of reissues etc, we're in a whole new era now to keep their names alive.

  11. #11
    Ike and Tina as a duo could be up there too.

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    IMHO I don't think any one artist 'created' Soul Music in the 1950's since it was the inevitable outgrowth of the trends that dominated Black Music at that time; R&B, Blues, Gospel. I place artists like Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, Jackie Wilson, Ruth Brown, James Brown, LaVern Baker & Clyde McPhatter as the first Soul Artists. Singers that emerged later in the '50s like Jerry Butler, Ben E. King, Etta James [and others] moved the genre forward into the '60s and beyond.

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    Let's give some credit [although not a singer] to the memorable Alan Freed. Cleveland 1953.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodward View Post
    Let's give some credit [although not a singer] to the memorable Alan Freed. Cleveland 1953.
    Respectfully, while Freed certainly is owed major credit for promoting early rock 'n' roll, he did not invent it whatsoever. I'm not sure that he belongs in a discussion about the invention of soul.
    Last edited by sansradio; 05-09-2022 at 10:24 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    IMHO I don't think any one artist 'created' Soul Music in the 1950's since it was the inevitable outgrowth of the trends that dominated Black Music at that time; R&B, Blues, Gospel. I place artists like Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, Jackie Wilson, Ruth Brown, James Brown, LaVern Baker & Clyde McPhatter as the first Soul Artists. Singers that emerged later in the '50s like Jerry Butler, Ben E. King, Etta James [and others] moved the genre forward into the '60s and beyond.
    Yeah, agreed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sansradio View Post
    Respectfully, while Freed certainly is owed major credit for promoting early rock 'n' roll, he did not invent it whatsoever. I'm not sure that he belongs in a discussion about the invention of soul.
    Yeah, major difference between being a component in the spread of popularity vs the creative engineering of it.

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    I would have to say, left to the choice between Ray and Sam, Brother Ray all the way. His "I Got a Woman" was revolutionary in secularizing the gospel sound, which is the essence of soul music; it also predates "Dale Cook's" "Lovable" by roughly 3 years.
    Last edited by sansradio; 05-09-2022 at 12:54 PM.

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    I've heard it attributed to both.

    It's like the "who invented funk music?" I've heard James Brown most often, But the last few years I've heard Dyke & the Blazers mentioned

    At some point is comes down to a handful of people doing similar things at roughly the same time and it could be all around the country

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    I heard Cannon Ball Adderley use the word on an album.1960 or so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Optimal Saint View Post

    At some point is comes down to a handful of people doing similar things at roughly the same time and it could be all around the country
    Great take!

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodward View Post
    Let's give some credit [although not a singer] to the memorable Alan Freed. Cleveland 1953.
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    WHY???? Alan Freed was a DJ who was a Jazz fan, who happened to discover R&B music, and decided to bring that to the attention of his mainly "Caucasian" radio [[and later, TV, Film, and live audiences. He was more involved in increasing the popularity of vocal group harmony [[later coined "DooWop" music). I suppose his bringing R&B to the attention of largely "Whitebread" audiences allowed many of them to banch from general R&B into so-called "Soul Music" when R&B shifted its sound to what later would be called "Soul Music". But, I wouldn't say that was being "a pioneer of Soul Music".

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    Quote Originally Posted by ralpht View Post
    I heard Cannon Ball Adderley use the word on an album.1960 or so.
    this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ralpht View Post
    I heard Cannon Ball Adderley use the word on an album.1960 or so.
    Yep. Also, think of Betty Carter's "Jazz [Ain't Nothin' but Soul]" or John Coltrane's Soul Trane. Maybe jazz musicians like these were in search of a wider audience or the commercial rewards and relevance that soul music was enjoying at the time.

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    Good find, Boog.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sansradio View Post
    Yep. Also, think of Betty Carter's "Jazz [Ain't Nothin' but Soul]" or John Coltrane's Soul Trane. Maybe jazz musicians like these were in search of a wider audience or the commercial rewards and relevance that soul music was enjoying at the time.

    wow this is fantastic ....birth of "soul" indeed !



    living high off nickels and dimes ...



    is this a reach in its relevance??


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    Quote Originally Posted by ralpht View Post
    Good find, Boog.
    I am not familiar with Cannonball and I let his music run on youtube in the background while on the computer and found it pleasantly listenable even an hour into it.

    Usually I find an artist distracting by then. I'll add him to my go tos .

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    When I was in The Sunliners,Boog, we played some of his songs. Titles are lost in my aging brain.

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    Didn't Cannonball have a son in the biz?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nativeNY63 View Post
    Didn't Cannonball have a son in the biz?
    You may be thinking of his nephew Nat Jr., who was one of Luther V.’s main collaborators.

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    When it comes to the early days of soul, I think we should give an honourable mention to Brook Benton and Jackie Wilson… as well as Motown's Miracles and Marv Johnson!



    [I see Eddie already mentioned Jackie now ]
    Last edited by TomatoTom123; 05-15-2022 at 08:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomatoTom123 View Post
    When it comes to the early days of soul, I think we should give an honourable mention to Brook Benton and Jackie Wilson… as well as Motown's Miracles and Marv Johnson!



    [I see Eddie already mentioned Jackie now ]
    I agree with your mention of Brook Benton, TomT! On my Soul playlist.

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    Ella Fitzgearld and Louis Jordan!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bob_olhsson View Post
    Ella Fitzgearld and Louis Jordan!
    Especially Louis Jordan. The average listener today doesn't even know his name, let alone how massive he was. Great call!

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    I believe James Brown himself noted him as an influence, in an old interview.

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    Both Jordan and Fitzgearld had sung in Cab Calloway's band. This was Fitzgearld's early career as a pop superstar prior to her jazz career in the 1950s. Music history got rewritten during the 1950s. Little Richard and Chuck Berry amounted to Louis Jordan cover bands. Ella and Cab pioneered the swing dance.

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    How about Wilson "Wicked" Pickett ? I think he belongs on the list with other great soul singers in the 60's.

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