Soul Breakout ‘59 combines 30 recordings by various artists displaying the development of soul music in the US charts of 1959. All of the songs were R&B and/or pop hits and many have become classics of the genre. The artists include legends like Ray Charles, the Drifters, the Isley Brothers, the Miracles, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, James Brown and Bobby “Blue” Bland. The collection, including full details of the original label issues, is the second 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 released simultaneously. The two series are intended to complement each other, with no duplication of tracks. Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson did a great deal to pioneer soul music, though several writers are of the opinion that Ray Charles was the musician most responsible for developing the form by merging fifties R&B with gospel-powered vocals.
In 1959 Ray ran off a series of R&B hits that were sophisticated without sacrificing any emotional grit and, although they weren’t called soul at the time, they certainly exemplify the evolving category. His breakthrough was with “What’d I Say” (also a major pop hit) which caught the fervour of the church with its dynamic call-and-response vocals with the Raelettes. Jackie Wilson’s successes continued this year with the powerful “That’s Why (I Love You So)”, “I’ll Be Satisfied” and “You Better Know It”. It was whilst performing Jackie’s “Lonely Teardrops” live that the Isley Brothers improvised an extension of the song that became their own classic “Shout”, providing them with their first hit single. Berry Gordy had written the first two aforementioned Jackie Wilson hits, which helped in funding the launch of his own Tamla label. The first local Detroit release was Marv Johnson’s “Come To Me”, which became his inaugural charter when transferred to United Artists. Marv, again with Berry writing and producing, achieved an even higher position later in the year with “You Got What It Takes”. Another Gordy production, the Miracles’ “Bad Girl” was test pressed on the Motown label and became the future mega-stars’ first chart entry when issued on Chess.
Sam Cooke’s soulful vocals enhance his light but tuneful compositions “Only Sixteen” and “Everybody Likes To Cha Cha Cha” which were big R&B hits in 1959. The Drifters had gone through a major change of personnel, when the existing line-up was replaced by a group including the singer later known as Ben E. King. On “There Goes My Baby” and “Dance With Me” producers Leiber and Stoller wrapped their strong voices in an arrangement which included strings and Latin rhythms, a style that would in time be designated as uptown soul. The instrumentation on the Falcons’ sides was more basic, but the emotive punch of Joe Stubbs’ lead vocals led to “You’re So Fine” and “Just For Your Love” doing well in the charts.
Female singers are well represented this year with the sultry tones of Baby Washington on “The Time” and “The Bells (On Our Wedding Day)”, girl group extraordinaire the Shirelles on their version of “Dedicated To The One I Love” and one-off hitter Beverly Ann Gibson’s steamy “Love’s Burning Fire”.
- Shout (Part 1) (The Isley Brothers)
- What'd I Say (Part 1) (Ray Charles)
- That's Why (I Love You So) (Jackie Wilson)
- Hurtin' Inside (Brook Benton)
- No Regrets (Jimmy Barnes)
- (Night Time Is) The Right Time (Ray Charles)
- The Time (Baby Washington)
- Lost (Jerry Butler)
- Love's Burning Fire (Beverly Ann Gibson)
- Everybody Likes To Cha Cha Cha (Sam Cooke)
- Come To Me (Marv Johnson)
- You're So Fine (The Falcons)
- Guess Who (Jesse Belvin)
- I Want You So Bad (James Brown)
- I'm Not Ashamed (Bobby "Blue" Bland)
- Endlessly (Brook Benton)
- I Need Your Lovin' (Roy Hamilton)
- There Goes My Baby (The Drifters)
- I'll Take Care Of You (Bobby Bland)
- The Bells (On Our Wedding Day) (Baby Washington)
- Only Sixteen (Sam Cooke)
- Dedicated To The One I Love (The Shirelles)
- You Better Know It (Jackie Wilson)
- Bad Girl (The Miracles)
- You Got What It Takes (Marv Johnson)
- Dance With Me (The Drifters)
- Always (Sammy Turner)
- Just For Your Love (The Falcons)
- I'll Be Satisfied (Jackie Wilson)
- I'm Movin' On (Ray Charles)