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    Soule, George (12 November 1945 – Present)

    Producer and singer-songwriter from Meridian, Mississippi, who began playing the drums when he was only eight years old and grew up listening to Hoss Allen and John R. on WLAC in Nashville, Tennessee.  It inspired him to become a disc jockey himself and he held radio jobs at WOKK and WQLT-FM before writing his way into the annals of rock-soul history.  His mom got him the hook-up on TV as she had been childhood friends with ABC President, Tom Moore.  This led to an appearance on Shindig, on which he sang “I Love the Way You Love”.  It did not lead to overnight success.  Instead, George donned his production hat and manned the helm for The Six Soul Survivors on their record, “I Gotta Find a Way”, backed with “It’s over My Head”.  Both sides were penned by Soul Survivor, Paul Davis, who would later become George’s writing partner.  Writing success would come for George in the form of “Someone”, which he had co-written with teenage friend, Richard Cherry.  The two of them recorded four demonstration reels and managed to get a foot in the door at Hickory Records to seek an audience with Wesley Rose.  He liked “Someone” and assigned it to Sue Thompson in 1964.  It made some waves in New Orleans, Louisiana, but that was about it.  The song has since been covered by Floyd Brown, Frank Ifield, and Etta James.  George inked a deal with Acuff-Rose which paid nothing except the opportunity to meet artists such as Don Gibson and Roy Orbison.  In the late ‘60s, George and Paul Davis moved to Jackson, Mississippi, to join Malaco Records.  The pair turned out to be a formidable songwriting team, churning out “Warm Loving Man” for Cozy Corley and “Simon Says” for Eddie Houston.  George covered Paul’s “Mississippi River” and backed it up with “Talking ‘bout Love”, which they co-wrote.  They also co-wrote “Love Sure is a Powerful Thing”, which was recorded by Arthur Conley.  After this initial success, George decided to shill some of his songs to Muscle Shoals big-wig, Jerry Wexler, who bought four of his songs.  This encouraged George to move to Muscle Shoals, Alabama.  One of the first sessions he attended featured Judy Clay singing “Saving it All for You”, written by George, and produced by Jerry.  A quadruple threat, George soon found himself drumming in the famous Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section on tracks by artists ranging from Swamp Dogg to Willie Nelson.  He even got to sing some background vocals.  In the early ‘70s, he got another turn as lead vocalist on “So Glad You Happened To Me”.  It took off in the nation’s capital but didn’t capture the imagination of the rest of the country.  In 1970, Brook Benton had a hit with “Shoes”, which George co-wrote with Don Covay.  It was later recorded by Carl Carlton and Bobby Womack.  In 1971, George released a solo LP, We’re Into Something Good, under the pseudonym, George Glenn.  “Glenn” was the birth surname of his ex-wife, and was easier for most people to pronounce than “Soule”, which is not pronounced “soul”, but “sue-LAY”.  In 1973, Dan Penn recorded “Stony”, which he had co-penned with George.  George sang lead on “Get Involved”, which would turn out to be his biggest hit, cracking the top twenty on the black chart and the top forty on the R&B chart.  The song was written by George Jackson and the recording was produced by Rick Hall.  It became something of an anthem for black Americans, and garnered George an invitation to Harlem’s Apollo Theatre.  George also wrote “I’ll Be Your Everything”, which became the title track of a 1974 album by Percy Sledge.  He then began an artistic collaboration with Ava Aldridge that would last several years, producing her album, Frustrated Housewife.  The title track from this album was also included on the soundtrack of the Peter Honda film, Fighting Mad.  In 1978, he and Ava teamed up on a recording of Ava’s “I Hate the Way I Love It”, on MCA Records.  Then Joan Baez employed his services on her 1979 offering, Honest Lullaby.  In 1992, Etta James included one of his songs, “Evening of Love”, on her album, The Right Time.  Again, Jerry Wexler produced.  Ava and George reunited in 1994 to sing backing vocals on the Dan Penn album, Do Right Man.  George also did the same on Jerry Joseph’s Love & Happiness.  In 2003, he got involved with the Casual Records project, Country Got Soul, Vol. 1, writing and singing “I’m Only Human”.  “Get Involved” was also included on this compilation.  Some of the artists on the album went on to form Country Soul Revue in 2004.  The group comprised George, Bonnie Bramlett, Donnie Fritts, Dan Penn, Tony Joe White, and a bevy of musicians from the Muscle Shoals arsenal.  On 11th February 2004, they recorded their first album, Testifying.  One of their first live concerts was in London, England, at The Barbican Centre, in front of a standing-room-only audience.  In 2006, at long last, George Soule recorded and released a full-length album under his own name, entitled Take a Ride.  The track listing is a mixture of original compositions and remakes, including the title track and “Shoes”.  Other recent titles to which he contributed include The Best of Tony Joe White Featuring Polk Salad Annie, Excellent Sides of Swamp Dogg, Vol. 4, and Malaco Soul Brothers, which features George singing “The Easiest Thing I’ve Ever Done”, “Talkin’ About Love”, and “That’s Why I’m the Man”.  The man resides in his home town where he continues to compose, and has a regular gig at Golden Moon Casino in Choctaw, Mississippi.  A link is listed below. 

     

    George Soule and Ava Aldridge recordings

    I Hate the Way I Love It (Ava Aldridge)

     

    Sources:

    1. http://www.myspace.com/georgesoule
    2. http://www.thebeachcomber.org/newtheory.htm
    3. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Take-Ride-George-Soul%C3%A9/dp/B000HEWFZ2
    4. http://testifyse15.blogspot.com/2006/10/soule-man.html
    5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crescent_City
    6. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117984516.html?categoryid=16&cs=1
    7. http://www.last.fm/music/George+Soule/+wiki
    8. http://www.last.fm/music/George+Soule
    9. http://www.geocities.jp/hideki_wtnb/danpennsingle.html
    10. http://indangerousrhythm.blogspot.com/2006/11/george-soule-take-ride-zane-cd.html
    11. http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=107318618&blogId=185134290
    12. http://www.zanerecords.com/artists/soule/index.html
    13. http://www.furious.com/perfect/georgesoule.html
    14. http://testifyse15.blogspot.com/2006/10/soule-man.html
    15. http://forum.defected.com/viewtopic.php?t=42315&sid=5733fa555b8da4a79990ddbdd32727c9
    16. http://www.faqs.org/copyright/we-can-work-it-out/
    17. http://www.joanbaez.com/Discography/HL.html
    18. http://www.jerryjoseph.com/music.aspx
    19. http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/reviews/music/1724/The-Country-Soul-Revue-Testifying.htm
    20. http://www.contactmusic.com/new/home.nsf/webpages/countrygotsoulx19x10x04
    21. http://www.jebloynichols.co.uk/discog_testifying.htm
    22. http://napusisemajmune.blogspot.com/2009/04/george-soule-take-ride.html
    23. http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/artist/Oklahoma/a/Oklahoma.htm
    24. http://www.audiolunchbox.com/album?a=199811
    25. http://www.rhapsody.com/tony-joe-white/the-best-of-tony-joe-white-featuring-polk-salad-annie--2009
    26. http://www.bluebeatmusic.com
    27. http://www.partyatthemoon.com/?gclid=CJewuuzzqJsCFSMeDQodnTu0CA
    28. http://www.meridianstar.com/
    29. http://www.discogs.com/artist/George+Soule
    30. http://www.soulfulkindamusic.net/fame.htm
    31. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:g9frxq85ld6e~T3
    32. http://rhythmsinblacksatin.com/2008/11/02/ribs-tptd-get-out-and-vote/
    33. http://www.wxdu.org/plmanager/world/printplaylist.php?show_id=5135
    34. http://www.malaco.com/Catalog/Compilations/Blues-R-B-Compilations/Item/252/The-Last-Soul-Company-A-30-Year-Prospective.php

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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