Northern Soul Music

The Story of Northern Soul Music


What exactly is meant by the phrase - northern soul music ?

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The phrase Northern Soul did not exist until 1970 when Blues and Soul journalist Dave Goddin ventured North from London to sample the all-nighter scene and coined the phrase Northern Soul. This was referring to the type of soul played up North (of Watford). Usually more up tempo than than the tunes played in the South.

Not sure who came up with the phrase - "Keep The Faith" - but it still used today.

What's with the black power thing a friend once asked ? referring to the symbol of a black raised fist. Well it was never a power thing at all, simply a mod thing of wearing black driving gloves.

Dave Knight got ousted from the Co-op after building it up - so they could take all the money and they bought in Geoff Scragg and Geoff asked me to stay on which I did until 1974. I also continued to do sessions at The Brit until about 73 I think.

Northern Soul in its original first generation cult form had lasted less than months. But put it to prospective with an earlier musical genre - Buddy Holly's entire recording career lasted only 18 months.

Visits to Up The Junction at Crewe and The Golden Torch at Stoke and later Blackpool Mecca were OK but not magical for me.

Things had changed by 1972, the country had a different currency for one thing and new times were afoot. Soul music had started to move in a different direction, leaning towards 100 mph instrumentals. Numerous times friends asked me to go to Wigan Casino the new hot spot which opened in 1973 - but it wasn't my scene. The fashion of enormous jeans and vests was not for me, mods don't dress like that - neither did David Ruffin or Otis Redding !

Suddenly it seemed like time had passed me by (yes even at only 20) after five years on the scene - and it felt appropriate to move aside and make way for the second generation.

Reality is - that it was simply not my time. History has proved that several great records were discovered at Wigan and indeed other subsequent venues that followed. All that matters is that people who went there had a good night - because that was their time. Looking even further back for some people it was probably all over after Brighton in 1965. We all have our opinions about which was the best time and usually this coincides with where you just happened to be in a certain point in your life. Now we can all look back and smile and share our times together.

continued ....... Story of Northern Soul Music part 4

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