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The Heart of Soul
Marvin Gaye said "If you want to reach people you have to give them a taste of themselves." Join KEXP Documentaries for a look inside the hearts of legendary greats: James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield and Bill Withers. We'll also spotlight today's soul artists who are carrying on the legacy of truth, emotion and the eternal groove: Bettye Lavette, Jamie Lidell and Sharon Jones.


# 10 Bettye Lavette Is Gonna School You

Singer Bettye Lavette started in the music biz in 1962, but it wasn’t until 2003 that her talent and fame made her a legend. In this interview Bettye schools us on the reasons why there is no such thing as “soul” music.

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"Scene Of The Crime" Released: 2007

"Child of the 70s" Released: 2000

# 9 Sharon Jones Feels It

Soul fireball Sharon Jones transforms the moment she steps on stage. Born in 1956, she has been singing soul music since she was a girl. It wasn’t until 2004 that she recorded a record with her band the Dap Kings, and started to pack audiences worldwide. Sharon remains humble and thankful, and this inside look is inspiring. Really.

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"100 Days 100 Nights" Released: 2006

# 8 Amy Winehouse Is So Bad She’s Good

Amy Winehouse writes songs that are outrageously honest. And she lives in a dark, difficult world, struggling with love and addiction. In this short radio documentary, Amy tells her side of the story.

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Amy Winehouse

“Back to Black” Released: 2006

# 7 Jamie Lidell Is Out Of The Box

Modern-day soul man Jamie Lidell takes his love for electronic beats and uses them as the base for his own kind of soul music. He creates samples on-the-spot for his live show, then improvises intensely personal vocals over them. His crossover electronic-soul release “Multiply” is at the heart of soul music today.

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Jamie Lidell (from myspace)

“Multiply” Released: 2005

# 6 Curtis Mayfield Relates

This inside look at Curtis Mayfield shows the grace and greatness behind the man many might call a radical. His philosophy is that all people are the same deep down, and expressing that through music is what really matters.

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"Curtis Live" Released: 1971

“Superfly Soundtrack” Released: 1972

# 5 Marvin Gaye Gives it Up

Marvin Gaye said “If you want to reach people you’ve got to give them a taste of themselves.” And soul star Marvin Gaye opened himself up on stage and in the studio, singing magnetic, velvety songs that seem the opposite of his largely tragic life and death.

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"What’s Going On" Released: May 21,1971

“Let’s Get It On” Released: 1973

# 4 Otis Redding Wants One More Day

Otis Redding was 26 years-old when his plane went down in a Michigan lake. But in his short life he became one of the top soul performers of all time by living each day to the fullest with his writing, recording and performance. Both Otis and his record label, the integrated Stax records, were instrumental at bringing the races together during the 60’s Civil Rights Era. And both went up in smoke when Otis passed away.

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# 3 Bill Withers is For Real

Bill Withers writes songs that are both brave and vulnerable. But this still doesn’t prepare you for his honest take on what music is all about. Get the inside scoop from the man who wrote “Lean On Me”, “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone” and “Use Me”.

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# 2 Aretha Has The Gift

Aretha Franklin was trained in gospel as a teenager in her preacher father’s church. Since an early age she was able to stop people in her tracks with a voice that no one could compete with. To this day she remains the undisputed “Queen of Soul”.

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# 1 James Brown Never Quits

Every artist has their own definition of soul. James Brown started out poor with a “never surrender” attitude and the gift of confidence. To this he added his need to express his physical and mental pain, his signature scream and a new kind of funky percussion. James says, “Don’t give me a hand out, give me a way out.”

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James Brown's Greatest Hits



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