Mediagraphy - Discography - Trackography - Videography - Gigography - Biography - Chronology

13 March 2010

The Birth Of Soul (Pt 1 Of Soul Deep: The Story Of Black Popular Music) (2005)

The Birth Of Soul actually is part 1 of Soul Deep: The Story Of Black Popular Music, a BBC documentary series directed by Sebastian Barfield, Kate Broome, Anna Gravelle, Alastair Laurence, Deep Sehgal, Francis Whately; narrated by Colin Salmon; released on 7 May 2005.

From the BBC episode guide:
Soul music has conquered the world in the last 50 years - growing from the raw, electric rhythms of the black underclass, it is now a billion dollar industry with R&B and hip-hop dominating the world's charts. It's been the soundtrack to some of the most extraordinary social, political and cultural shifts. And, together with the civil rights movement, it has challenged the white hegemony, helped breakdown segregation and encouraged the fight for racial equality.
This [...] six part series [...] charts the evolution of soul music - with a fascinating combination of rare archive and contemporary interviews. From rhythm and blues to today's R&B, via gospel, southern soul, Motown, funk and hip-hop soul, Soul Deep tells the story of the rise of black popular music - in the words of its greatest performers, producers, musicians and commentators. Starting with a previously unseen BBC interview with Ray Charles, he reveals how his innovations first brought soul to a wider audience. "Ray was the genius. He turned the world onto soul music," comments Bobby Womack. [...]. After many years touring on what was known as the 'chitlin' circuit' (a network of black clubs and bars) with artists like Ruth
Brown, Ray finally created his own style - by unifying the sexually-charged music of the dance floor with the spiritually-charged sounds of the church hall. Life was hard and sometimes dangerous for black musicians in a segregated society. Ruth Brown explains: "When the dance was over sometimes it was so scary we wanted to get out of town as soon as we could.There were still crosses burning in the middle of the night. There was a price paid for this music."
The creation of the Atlantic record label took the music to a wider, more mainstream audience. Ahmet Ertegun who, with his brother Nesuhi, started the label, says: "We had a good feel for where the music was going. Our target audience in the beginning was the black audience - which understands the music they like. Their tastes change and, once they change, don't go back."
As the black sounds crossed the racial divide, rhythm and blues gave birth to rock 'n' roll - a far more sanitised version of the black sound which was seen to be "too uninhibited, too loose, and too sweaty". Ray Charles says: "Rock 'n' roll is the white version of rhythm and blues. There was a big difference, if you really listened to the music, between the two styles. One is more pure, one is more dirty. R&B has got more toe jam in it."
Black artists were squeezed out of the mainstream charts by white covers of their songs and Charles looked back to his roots for his inspiration and the creation of his own distinctive sound. He quotes his mother's influence in his music and his fusion of gospel and sheer dance hall sex. "I started taking my music and saying it the way that I felt it - the gospel sound that was part of my growing up. I knew all I was doing was being myself." [...].

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Part 6:

Part 7:

No comments :

Post a Comment