The Whispers

The Whispers were an American soul group from Watts, Calif., formed in 1964. A four-year run of singles on Dore preceded the group’s self-titled album on Soul Clock in 1969. The group released three albums on Janus between 1972 and 1974, followed by a pair of albums on Soul Train in 1976 and 1977. The […]

The Waters

The Waters were an American soul group comprised of the surnamesake brother/sister singing clan. The group released a self-titled album on Blue Note in 1975, followed by a second eponymous album on Warner Bros. in 1977. A third album appeared on Arista in 1980. Members: Julia Waters, Luther Waters, Oren Waters, Maxine Waters Discography: Waters […]

The Undisputed Truth

The Undisputed Truth were an American soul-psych group from Detroit, formed in 1970. The group released six albums on Motown’s Gordy imprint between 1971 and 1975, followed by two further albums on producer Norman Whitfield’s surnamesake label during the second half of the decade. Members: Joe Harris (lead vocals), Billie Rae Calvin (lead vocals, 1970-74), […]

The Trammps

The Trammps were an American soul group from Philadelphia, formed in 1972. Early on, the group released a string of singles later compiled on the 1975 Buddah release The Legendary Zing Album. In 1975, the group released a self-titled album on Golden Fleece, followed by six albums on Atlantic between 1976 and 1980. The members […]

The Supremes

The Supremes were an American soul-pop trio from Detroit, formed in 1961. Their classic lineup featured singers Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard, and frontwoman Diana Ross, who all grew up on the city’s east side. Signed to Motown, The Supremes were part of that label’s classic roster of chart-topping sixties artists, along with the Four Tops, […]

The Stylistics

The Stylistics were an American soul group from Philadelphia, formed in 1966. The group released seven albums on Avco between 1971 and 1975, followed by five albums on H&L during the second half of the decade. Members: Airrion Love (tenor vocals, lead vocals), Herbert “Herbie” Murrell (baritone vocals, lead vocals), Russell Thompkins Jr. (lead vocals, […]

The Pointer Sisters

The Pointer Sisters were an American soul-pop group from Oakland, formed in 1969 by sisters Anita, June, and Bonnie Pointer. Starting life as a retro-1940s cabaret act, the sisters released four albums and a live disc on Blue Thumb/ABC between 1973 and 1977. Switching to contemporary soul-pop, the Pointer Sisters released six albums on Richard […]

The Montclairs

The Montclairs were an American soul group from East St. Louis, Ill., that released the album Dreaming Out of Season on Paula Records in 1972, followed by a sting of singles on the label over the subsequent two years. Members: Phil Perry, David Frye, George McLellan, Kevin Sanlin, Clifford Williams Discography: Dreaming Out of Season […]

The Moments

The Moments were an American soul trio from Washington, D.C., formed in 1965. Signed to Sylvia Robinson‘s All Platinum-subsidiary Stang Records, the group released 10 albums on the label between 1969 and 1978. In 1979, they dropped the Moments moniker and issued subsequent albums under their collective surnames: Ray, Goodman & Brown. Members: John Morgan […]

The Impressions

The Impressions were an American soul group from Chicago, formed in 1958 and initially a singles act for Abner. Between 1963 and 1968, the band released a string of albums on ABC-Paramount, followed by a run of titles on Curtom over the subsequent eight-year period. Members: Sam Gooden (vocals), Jerry Butler (vocals, 1958-60), Curtis Mayfield […]

The Dynamic Superiors

The Dynamic Superiors were an American soul group from Washington, D.C., that released four albums on Tamla/Motown between 1975 and 1977. Members: George Spann (first tenor vocals), Tony Washington (lead vocals, 1963-80), Maurice Washington (bass vocals, 1963-80), George Wesley Peterback, Jr. (second tenor vocals, 1963-80), Michael McCalpin (baritone vocals, 1963-80) Discography: The Dynamic Superiors (1975) […]

The Delfonics

The Delfonics were an American soul group from Philadelphia, formed in 1965 and initially a singles act on Moon Shot and Cameo. Between 1968 and 1974, the group released five albums on Philly Groove Records. Members: William Hart (lead vocals, guitar), Wilbert Hart (vocals, 1965-75, 1980-85), Randy Cain (vocals, 1965-71, 1980-95), Ritchie Daniels (vocals, 1965-68), […]

The Chi-Lites

The Chi-Lites were an American soul group from Chicago, formed in 1959. After a string of 1965–68 singles on Blue Rock and Revue, the group released eight albums on Brunswick between 1969 and 1975. Members: Marshall Thompson (baritone vocals, lead vocals), Robert Lester (tenor vocals, 1959-2010), Eugene Record (lead vocals, 1959-76, 1980-88), Clarence Johnson (vocals, […]

Táta Vega

Táta Vega (born Oct. 7, 1951) is an American soul singer from N.Y.C. who sang in the bands Pollution, Earthquire, and the Andrae Crouch Singers during the early 1970s. She released four albums on Tamla between 1976 and 1980. Discography: Full Speed Ahead (1976) Totally Táta (1977) Try My Love (1978) Givin’ All My Love […]


Syreeta Wright (Aug. 3, 1946 — July 6, 2004) was an American soul singer and songwriter who debuted with a self-titled album produced and arranged by then-husband Stevie Wonder, released in 1972 on MoWest. Despite divorcing, their partnership yielded a second album on Motown in 1974, after which she released four more solo albums on […]

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder is an American R&B musician, vocalist, songwriter, and producer who began recording for Tamla/Motown in 1962 at age 12. During the mid-to-late 1960s, he scored a string of pop hits for the label, culminating with the decade-ending ballad “My Cherie Amour” and 1970’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours.” Upon turning 21, he gained […]


Smoke was an American soul group from Kansas City, Mo., that released the album Risin’ on local-press J.Bridge Records in 1976. Members: Ernest Malone, Arthur Malone, Melvin Manning, Larry Brown Smoke coalesced when Kansas City brothers Ernest and Arthur Malone teamed with singers Larry Brown and Melvin Manning. Brown sang backing vocals on the 1975 […]

Side Effect

Side Effect were an American soul group from Los Angeles, formed in 1972. The group debuted with an album on Canada’s G.A.S. Records in 1973, followed by four albums on Fantasy between 1975 and 1978. A further trio of titles appeared on Elektra during the early 1980s. Members: Augie Johnson (1972-2014), Louis Patton, Gregory Matta, […]

Sharon Redd

Sharon Redd (Oct. 19, 1945 — May 1, 1992) was an American soul-funk singer from Norfolk, Va., who sang in Bette Midler’s backing trio The Harlettes during the 1970s and released three albums on Prelude between 1980 and 1983. Discography: Formerly of The Harlettes (1978 • Sharon Redd, Ula Hedwig & Charlotte Crossley) Sharon Redd […]


Shalamar was an American soul-funk vocal trio from N.Y.C. that debuted with an album on Don Cornelius’ Soul Train imprint in 1977, followed by 10 further albums on parent-label Solar between 1978 and 1990. Co-founder Jody Watley left the group in 1983 and scored several solo hits in the late 1980s. Members: Gary Mumford (lead […]

Roberta Flack

Roberta Flack (born Feb. 10, 1937) is an American soul singer and pianist from Black Mountain, N.C., that released seven studio albums and two collaborative efforts with vocalist Donny Hathaway on Atlantic between 1969 and 1979. Another five albums appeared on the label over the subsequent 15-year period, including one of two collaborative efforts with […]

René & Angela

René & Angela were an American soul-funk duo from Los Angeles, formed in 1977 by René Moore and Angela Winbush, who both sang and played keyboards. The band released three albums on Capitol between 1980 and 1983, followed by a fourth on Mercury in 1985. Members: René Moore, Angela Winbush Discography: René & Angela (1980) […]

New Birth

New Birth was an American soul-psych ensemble that released seven albums on RCA Victor between 1970 and 1976, plus two albums on Warner Bros. and a title apiece on Buddah and Ariola during the second half of the decade. They formed through a merger of three entities: male vocal quartet The Now Sound, female vocal […]

Narada Michael Walden

Narada Michael Walden (born April 23, 1952) is an American jazz-funk/soul musician and producer who drummed in the second lineup of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, playing on the 1974/75 albums Apocalypse and Visions of the Emerald Beyond. In 1976, he played on jazz-rock albums by Weather Report, Jaco Pastorius, Jeff Beck, Allan Holdsworth, and Nova. As […]

Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye (April 2, 1939 — April 1, 1984) was an American R&B vocalist, songwriter, and producer from Washington, D.C., who was musically active for a quarter-century, achieving worldwide renown as one of Tamla/Motown’s leading performers. He first rose to fame with a string of duets, first with Kim Weston and then with Tammi Terrell, […]

Lou Bond

Lou Bond — aka Ronald Edward Lewis (1945 — Feb. 1, 2013) — was an American soul singer/songwriter from Chicago who released a self-titled album on Stax-subsidiary We Produce Records in 1974. Discography: “Ooh, You Cheater” / “What Have I Done” (1966) “You Shake Me Up” / “Don’t Start Me Crying” (1967) Lou Bond (1974)

Loleatta Holloway

Loleatta Holloway (Nov. 5, 1946 — March 21, 2011) was an American soul singer from Chicago who released two albums on GRC-division Aware between 1973 and 1975, followed by four albums on Salsoul-subsidiary Gold Mine Records between 1976 and 1980. Loleatta Holloway was born on November 5, 1946, in Chicago, where she started singing with […]

Leon Haywood

Leon Haywood (Feb. 11, 1942 — April 5, 2016) was an American soul singer from Houston who initially emerged as a singles artist for Fantasy, Imperial, and Fat Fish during the mid-1960s. Early in the following decade, he re-emerged as a soul-funk album artist with four longplayers on 20th Century between 1973 and 1977, followed […]

Lenny Williams

Lenny Williams (born Feb. 6, 1945) is an American soul singer from Little Rock, Ark., who sang with Tower of Power on three albums during the early 1970s, appearing on the band’s 1973 self-titled release and staying for the following year’s Back to Oakland and Urban Renewal. After leaving the band, he released Pray for […]


Labelle were an American soul-funk trio from Philadelphia that emerged from the 1960s vocal act Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles, retaining the namesake frontwoman along with fellow ‘belles Sarah Dash and Nona Hendryx. The group collaborated with Laura Nyro on the Columbia release Gonna Take a Miracle and issued two albums on Warner Bros. in […]


Kashif Saleem — aka Michael Jones (Dec. 26, 1956 — Sept. 25, 2016) — was an American R&B singer, songwriter, and keyboardist from Manhattan who first emerged as a member of B.T. Express, joining the band in 1974 at age 17 and appearing on their first five albums. After leaving the band, he served as […]

Jackson 5

The Jackson 5 was an American soul-pop act from Gary, Ind., comprising five brothers of the Jackson musical clan: Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael Jackson. They formed in 1964 when the boys were between six and thirteen years old. After winning talent competitions and cutting one local single, they signed to Motown and released […]

Isaac Hayes

Isaac Hayes (Aug. 20, 1942 – Aug. 10, 2008) was an American R&B musician, vocalist, composer, producer, and actor who was musically active from the early 1960s on up through the 21st century. The lavish orchestration and elongated arrangements of his second album, Hot Buttered Soul (1969), spearheaded the transformation of soul music into maximalist […]

Hodges, James & Smith

Hodges, James & Smith were an American vocal trio from Detroit. The nameplate was briefly suffixed with a fourth surname, Crawford, to account for vocalist Carolyn Crawford, who recorded two singles with the group circa 1971/72. Members: Pat Hodges, Denita James, Jessica Smith, Carolyn Crawford (1971—72) Discography: “Somewhere a Valley” / “Ain’t That Right” (1969) […]

Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes

Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes were an American soul group from Philadelphia, formed in 1954 as The Blue Notes. Members: Harold Melvin (lead vocals), Roosevelt Brodie (1954-72), Jesse Gillis, Jr. (1954-72), Franklin Peaker (1954-72), Bernard Williams (1954-65), John Atkins (1965-70), Teddy Pendergrass (lead vocals, drums, 1970-76), Bernie Wilson (1972-77), Larry Brown (1972-1975), Lloyd Parks […]