Soul Music

Triangle-based musician Jasmé Kelly grew up singing in church choirs and eventually decided to pursue music as an independent musician. Kelly combines her upbringing in gospel with popular blues and soul aesthetics in her new album called "Lady Jasmé."

Actors from Raleigh Little Theatre's "Memphis"
Curtis Brown

Dewey Phillips made history in the 1950s as one of the first white radio disc jockeys to play music by black artists. He was opinionated, eclectic, and gained notoriety for being the first DJ to play Elvis Presley’s music on the radio.

The Suffers are a Gulf Coast soul band out of Houston, Tx.
Daniel Jackson

The Suffers, a 10-piece band out of Houston, Texas, features a horn line, rhythm section and the gigantic soulful voice of front woman Kam Franklin.

The Suffers draw their inspiration from the diversity of their hometown of Houston. While the overall effect of their music harks back to the soul greats of the 1960s and 1970s, diverse elements, including gospel, cumbia and reggae, give their songs a fresh, eclectic feel.

Vernelle Mack, pictured second from the right, posing with the U.S. Welfare Band.
bullcitysoul.org / Durham County Library

  

Soul was a mainstay in the Durham music scene during the 1960s and 70s.

Durhamites were dancing to songs like "Bull City Party" in 1977. It’s one of many songs that show Durham’s soul music had strong ties to the city, and built lasting connections within the African-American community. 

Today, a group of artists and collectors is on a mission to archive and preserve Durham’s soul. The Soul Souvenirs exhibit is on display now at the Durham History Hub

  

Chapel-Hill based band Dark Water Rising mixes southern rock, gospel harmonies, and traditional Lumbee influence to create their "rocky soul" sound. They got together in 2008, when none of them had any formal music training. Since then, they have gained local and national recognition throughout Native American communities. 

Jaybird Williams of the Soul Central Band, grasping a microphone
http://www.soulcentralband.com/ / Soul Central band

  

You may have seen him at Fincastles in downtown Greensboro. He’s dubbed “the singing waiter” for his profession and his passion. Bobby “Jaybird” Williams and the Soul Central band bring the funk, as well as the R & B and soul, to the Triad. Host Frank Stasio talks to them, and they play live at the Triad Stage in Greensboro. 

Black and White Portrait of Billy Taylor sitting at piano, New York, N.Y., ca. 1947
Library of Congress via Flickr

Eastern North Carolina has yielded a rich crop of nationally recognized African American musicians. People like jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk.

But many musicians hailing from this part of the state have gone unnoticed. A new book, African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina, takes readers on a musical journey through this overlooked region.

Here are five musicians whose roots run deep in Eastern Carolina:

Ironing Board Sam
www.musicmaker.org/ / Music Maker Relief Foundation

  Ironing Board Sam has been playing rhythm and blues professionally since he was 16 years old in Rock Hill, SC. He's now 73, living in Chapel Hill and his passion for music-making is as strong as ever. Sam is part of Hillsborough's Music Maker Relief Foundation, and he's just released a new album, “Going Up.”

This segment was originally broadcast on January 11, 2013. The following is new information:

America's Music is a film and performance series at the North Regional Branch of Wake County Libraries.
http://www.wakegov.com/libraries/events/Pages/americasmusic.aspx

America’s Music is a film and performance series that traces the soundtrack of a nation. The program features documentary screenings and discussions about the history of 20th century American popular music from blues to Broadway and bluegrass to rock 'n' roll. 

Chaka Khan! Chaka Khan! It’s a name that just rolls off your tongue.  The famous R & B and “funk” superstar has a voice that has mesmerized fans for decades with its range and flexibility.  And who can forget the feathers and the hair!   Chaka Khan takes the stage in Durham this weekend.