“Soul Children” – The Soul Children (1968) Part 1 of 3

March 17, 2008


soulchildren.jpgI just couldn’t pick one song to start off with for this vocal group so I just decided to go with three! And there will be more. I just hope the music police don’t get me. But I know that you will love the soulful sounds of this group so much that you will rush out and buy the CD — and when you do please tell ‘em I sent you. 8-)

This is another purchase I made back when music cassette tapes first came out along with my The Young Holt Unlimited’s “Soulful Strut” LP. I still have this tape today and I still play it on a regular basis in my care on my commute to work. Obviously they don’t make stuff now like they used to. Both the tape and the music have held up almost forty years.

As you may know, this group was the brainchild of Stax songwriters Isaac Hayes and Dave Porter. Hayes and Porter wrote all of those great hits for Sam & Dave. But when the Stax label lost Sam and Dave they needed a new outlet for their songwriting skills. One of the artists they had been working with was John Colbert, who went by the stage name of J. Blackfoot. Since his recordings weren’t exactly what Hayes and Porter wanted, they decided to use their successful Sam & Dave duet format and made Blackfoot part of a group with two male and two female vocalists.

The group made of J.Blackfoot Norman West, Anita Louis and Shelbra Bennett went in the studio and the three songs below were their first recordings and first singles released. What dynamite music these four made for just meeting and recording together. Listen and tell me what you think. Instant genius or what?

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” Give ‘Em Love”  1968 Peaked at #40 R&B.

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“I’ll Understand”  1968  Broke the top 30 R&B

These first two had been tried as solo efforts on Blackfoot, but the group is what made these cuts! The ballad “I’ll Understand” was a favorite at all of the high school parties I attended in that era. And it is one of my personal favorite ballads of all time.

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“Tighten Up My Thang” 1968 Peaked at #49 R&B.

Modeled after Sam & Dave’s “Hold on I’m Coming”, I just can’t understand why this and the two earlier releases charted so low. “Tighten Up Our Thang” has got to be one of the funkiest songs ever!

Stay tuned for part 2 of 3 on the making of this classic debut LP by The Soul Children.

Sincerely,

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Source: “Soul Children/Best of Two Worlds-Two albums on one CD” – Liner notes by Rob Bowman, 1995

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Filed under:Co-ed Vocal Groups,Give 'Em Love,I'll Understand,Isaac Hayes & David Porter,R&B/Soul,Sixties,Soul Children,Stax of Soul,Stax/Volt,The Soul Children,Tighten Up My Thang

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