Friday, August 21, 2009

Blue-Eyed Soul Closet (part 2)

Quite a few folks have knocked on the Soul Closet's door since yesterday's post on blue-eyed soul, so a follow-up is order.

And maybe a little clarification, too. The discussion is really about white acts who contributed to soul and R&B canon, as opposed to those who ripped off black music and high-tailed across town to play before white audiences. So again, a Michael McDonald gets the soul brother shake; a Michael Bolton gets to kick rocks. Hall & Oats get in. Rick Astley (sorry, reader James) does not.

One Soul Closet reader suggested the Average White Band. Agreed. AWB's "School Boy Crush" is about as funky as it gets.

Josiah, a buddy from high school gave a shout out to Ambrosia, a group (frankly, one I'd forgotten about) whose song "Biggest Part of Me" was played on black radio back in 1980:

And remember the 1987 hit, "Making Love in the Rain" by Herb Alpert? It still gets played during "Quiet Storm" programs. Alpert handled the horn playing of course and Janet Jackson does the backgrounds. But white Lisa Keith does the soulful slow burn on lead vocals.

Reader Quintin dug in the crates for the name of Gino Vanelli. His "I Just Wanna Stop" also got heavy rotation on black radio in the 1970s

Hall & Oates "Rich Girl."

And dig this white girl, Chris Clark, who sang on the Motown label in the 1960s. I'd never heard of her until a year ago when I downloaded this song by mistake. She is fierce.


Maureen O'Donnell said...

Wow, Chris Clark is good! Never heard of her. The hairs on the back of my neck rose when she sang. Thanks for these posts, Lee, I always learn something new.

Thought of one more blue-eyed female singer with soul--I'm blanking on her last name. Lisa something. English. The song went, "Been around the world and I can't find my baby." Late 80s or early 90s. Everywhere I went in those days, I saw young black girls singing along to it.

And one surprise nominee, the female singer from Dee-Lite's "Groove is in the Heart." Lady Miss Kier? Something like that. I went to a Jill Scott concert a while back and they were playing old soul before Miss Scott came on. When "Groove is in the Heart" started, everyone went crazy and started singing along.

Manumitted Negro said...

Hey Mo
That would be Lisa Stansfield. She certainly gets admission to the club. Thanks for the reminder!

Manumitted Negro said...

And Chris Clark is amazing, isn't she?

Anonymous said...

Gotta slip Dusty Springfield in through the backstage door.