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Soul music

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Aretha Franklin Before Atlantic: The Columbia Years

Franklin found her voice in songs such as "I Never Loved a Man" for Atlantic Records in the 1960s. Before Atlantic, however, Franklin recorded for Columbia, and in those early recordings you can hear the legend just beginning to emerge.


The Fabulous Butler Boys

Fresh Air's rock historian considers the intertwined fates of the Impressions' Jerry Butler, and his brother, Chicago soul singer Billy Butler.


Looking Back at 'Sister Love': Lorraine Ellison on CD

Fresh Air's resident rock historian remembers soul singer Lorraine Ellison, who recorded a handful of albums and dozens of singles in the '60s and '70s; though she charted a few R&B hits, she never quite broke through to stardom.

Ellison's biggest success was with the string-saturated ballad "Stay With Me," which topped out at No. 11 on the R&B charts and has since been covered by everyone from Bette Midler to teenybopper idol Rex Smith.


Rock historian Ed Ward

Rock historian Ed Ward tells the story of Frisco Records, a New Orleans soul label run by a female fry-cook.


Sam Cooke

Rock historian Ed Ward looks back at the music of Sam Cooke.


Leiber and Stoller's Red Bird Records.

Rock historian Ed Ward remembers the record label, Red bird, founded by songwriters and producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Their hits included "Chapel of Love," and "Leader of the Pack."

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