1958 was a transitional year when soul was evolving out of R&B, rock & roll, doo-wop and gospel music, adding a depth of feeling rarely encountered in pop music at that time. Many say Sam Cooke was the inventor of soul music, blending his background in the Soul Stirrers group and his songwriting abilities to create hits like “You Send Me” and “Love You Most Of All”. Other pioneers such as Bobby “Blue” Bland and James Brown displayed their vocal power on the classics “Little Boy Blue” and “Try Me”. They both went on to have many more successes and long and glittering careers.
Jackie Wilson also sang with local gospel groups before a spell singing lead with Billy Ward’s Dominoes. On going solo, he hooked up with a young songwriter named Berry Gordy who provided Jackie with the smashes “Lonely Teardrops” and “To Be Loved”. The song royalties helped Gordy to go on and found the Motown label the following year. Another refugee from the Dominoes, Clyde McPhatter rose to fame scoring hits as lead with the Drifters. His greatest solo success “A Lover’s Question” is presented here. The Impressions vocal group included future soul giants Jerry Butler and Curtis Mayfield in their line-up and Jerry’s distinctive baritone lead is featured on their first two hits “For Your Precious Love” and “Come Back My Love”. Little Willie John had been going through a quiet patch, with no hits since 1956, until he scored with the intense ballad “Talk To Me, Talk To Me” which gave him his highest pop chart placing. Gene Allison was from Nashville and recorded in the style, with pleading vocal delivery and organ and brass backing, that would become known as southern soul.
Two examples are his “You Can Make It If You Try” and “Everything Will Be Alright”. Brook Benton had already found success as a songwriter, he penned the McPhatter track and the latter Allison title, before charting himself with a song he didn’t write “A Million Miles From Nowhere”. The Pastels yearning “Been So Long” was led by Difosco Ervin, who would later find solo fame as Big Dee Irwin. Ed Townsend was better known as a songwriter and producer, his only hit as a singer was with the future soul standard “For Your Love”. R&B stalwarts Chuck Willis, Tommy Edwards and Nappy Brown proved they could adapt to the style on the favourites “What Am I Living For”, “It’s All In The Game” and “It Don’t Hurt No More”. On the lighter side but still soulful are Dee Clark’s “Nobody But You”, Wade Flemons’ “Here I Stand” and Billy Myles’ “The Joker (That’s What They Call Me)”.
Soul Breakout ‘58 combines 25 recordings by various artists displaying the development of soul music in the US charts of 1958. All of the songs were R&B and/or pop hits and many have become classics of the genre. The artists include such world-famous stars as Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, James Brown and Bobby “Blue” Bland. The collection, including full details of the original label issues, is the first of an ongoing year-by-year series following the evolution of soul. The informative booklet notes are authored by respected Echoes/Record Collector journalist Mike Atherton. A parallel series, R&B Spotlight, is being introduced simultaneously. The two series are intended to complement each other, with no duplication of tracks.
- Little Boy Blue (Bobby “Blue” Bland )
- Love You Most Of All (Sam Cooke )
- Try Me (James Brown & The Famous Flames )
- Lonely Teardrops (Jackie Wilson)
- Nobody But You (Dee Clark)
- For Your Precious Love (Jerry Butler & The Impressions)
- You Send Me (Sam Cooke)
- A Lover's Question (Clyde McPhatter)
- Here I Stand (Wade Flemons & The Newcomers)
- Win Your Love For Me (Sam Cooke)
- Need Your Love (Bobby Freeman)
- Talk To Me, Talk To Me (Little Willie John)
- Everything Will Be Alright (Gene Allison)
- A Million Miles From Nowhere (Brook Benton)
- Been So Long (The Pastels)
- I'll Come Running Back To You (Sam Cooke)
- For Your Love (Ed Townsend)
- To Be Loved (Jackie Wilson)
- (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons (Sam Cooke)
- You Can Make It If You Try (Gene Allison)
- What Am I Living For (Chuck Willis)
- It's All In The Game (Tommy Edwards)
- It Don't Hurt No More (Nappy Brown)
- The Joker (That's What They Call Me) (Billy Myles)
- Come Back My Love (The Impressions featuring Jerry Butler)