Retrospace Mix Tape #14: 60's Soul

When I hear these contemporary black pop stars, with their autotuned voices and cookie cutter hits, it makes me sad. African American music was nothing short of phenomenal in the 60s and 70s.  What artists today could ever dream of coming close to Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, The Temptations, Isaac Hayes, Al Greene.... the list goes on.

But this isn't about mourning the lack of soul in today's music.  This is about celebrating the soul that was alive and well during the mid to late 1960's.  I tried to include tracks that you haven't heard a million times, and I've included album art for each song.  I spent a great deal of time coming up with my favorite - these are by no means just thrown together.

This time period is really an embarrassment of riches: singling out 15 to 20 songs isn't exactly easy amid this creative explosion in soul music.  Please note: I fully understand that some of these songs might better be classified as blues or R&B; however, let's not get hung up on labeling. Just enjoy the music.

  1. Al Wilson - The Snake (1968)
  2. Albert King - Born Under A Bad Sign  (1967)
  3. Billy Stewart  - Summertime (1966)
  4. Chris Clark - Love's Gone Bad (1966)
  5. The Contours - First I Look At The Purse (1965)
  6. Eddie Floyd - Big Bird (1968)
  7. Edwin Starr - 25 Miles (1969)
  8. Gloria Jones - Heartbeat (1965)
  9. Joe Tex - Show Me (1967)
  10. King Curtis - Memphis Soul Stew (1967)
  11. Little Milton - Grits Ain't Groceries (1969)
  12. The Marvelettes - Too Many Fish In The Sea (1965)
  13. Marvin Gaye - This Love-Starved Heart Of Mine (1967)
  14. Miriam Makeba - Pata Pata (1967)
  15. Sam And Dave - Soul Sister, Brown Sugar (1969)
  16. The Supremes - Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart (1966)
  17. The Temptations - Cloud Nine (1968)
  18. The Velvelettes - He Was Really Sayin' Somethin' (1965)



  1. Great choice of songs. Thanks.

  2. AnonymousJuly 27, 2011

    as always mr. gilligan ... great taste

  3. Excellent! Can't wait to hear it. I often wonder what someone like Alicia Keyes could do if she did an album in this style.

  4. Great selection of tracks -- and because three of them are Norman Whitfield productions, you've instantly won a place in our R&B lovin' hearts!

    Trivia question: Who among these singers is an Academy Award nominee for Best Screenplay?

  5. I'm going to go with Al Wilson, although I honestly don't have the slightest idea. Do tell.

  6. Chris Clark co-wrote LADY SINGS THE BLUES.

  7. I just had to come back and tell you what a GREAT TIME I'm having listening to these!

  8. AnonymousJuly 31, 2011

    Amy Winehouse was the only modern artist who even came close to getting that vibe right.