‘Northern Soul Sunday’
Sunday 9.00 pm – 12.00 midnight
If you are constantly trying to ‘Keep The Faith’, and have fond memories of
‘All -Nighters’ in either Manchester, Wigan, Blackpool, Stoke or Cleethorpes, then
‘Northern Soul Sunday’
is the show for you.
Its our 4 hour Sunday evening venture into the phenomenon known as ‘Northern Soul’.
If you’re not already steeped in this scene of the 60’s and 70’s, and want to know more,
here’s a potted history of the genre.
Northern Soul is a music and dance movement that emerged independently in Northern England,
the Midlands, Scotland and Wales in the late 1960s from the British mod scene.
Northern soul mainly consists of a particular style of black American Soul music based on the heavy
beat and fast tempo of the mid-1960s Tamla Motown sound.
The Northern Soul movement, however, generally eschews Motown or Motown-influenced
music that has had significant mainstream commercial success.
The recordings most prized by enthusiasts of the genre are usually by lesser-known artists,
released only in limited numbers, often by small regional American labels such as Ric-Tic
and Golden World Records (Detroit), Mirwood (Los Angeles) and Shout
and Okeh (New York/Chicago).
Northern Soul is associated with particular dance styles and fashions that grew out of
the underground rhythm & soul scene of the late 1960s at venues such as the Twisted Wheel in Manchester.
This scene and the associated dances and fashions quickly spread to other UK dancehalls and
nightclubs like the Chateau Impney (Droitwich), Catacombs (Wolverhampton),
the Highland Rooms at Blackpool Mecca, Golden Torch (Stoke-on-Trent) and Wigan Casino.
As the favoured beat became more uptempo and frantic, by the early 1970s,
Northern Soul dancing became more athletic, somewhat resembling the later dance styles
of disco and break dancing. Featuring spins, flips, karate kicks and backdrops,
club dancing styles were often inspired by the stage performances of touring American soul acts
such as Little Anthony & The Imperials and Jackie Wilson.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, popular Northern Soul records generally dated from the mid-1960s.
This meant that the movement was sustained (and “new” recordings added to playlists)
by prominent DJs discovering rare and previously overlooked records.
Later on, certain clubs and DJs began to move away from the 1960s Motown sound and
began to play newer releases with a more contemporary sound.
The phrase ‘Northern Soul’ eminated from the record shop Soul City in Covent Garden, London,
which was run by journalist Dave Godin. It was first publicly used in Godin’s weekly column
in Blues & Soul magazine in June 1970. In a 2002 interview with Chris Hunt of Mojo magazine,
Godin said he had first come up with the term in 1968, to help employees at Soul City
differentiate the more modern funkier sounds from the smoother, Motown-influenced
soul of a few years earlier. With contemporary black music evolving into what would eventually
become known as funk, the die-hard soul lovers of northern England still preferred the mid-1960s
era of Motown-sounding black American dance music.
Godin referred to the latter’s requests as “Northern Soul”.