The story of Stax Records unfolds like a Greek tragedy. A white brother & sister build a record company that becomes a monument to racial harmony in 1960’s segregated south Memphis. Their success is startling, & Stax soon defines an international sound. Then, after losses both business & personal, the siblings part, & the brother allies with a visionary African-American partner. Under integrated leadership, Stax explodes as a national player until, Icarus-like, they fall from great heights to a tragic demise. Everything is lost, & the sanctuary that flourished is ripped from the ground.

A generation later, Stax is rebuilt brick by brick to once again bring music & opportunity to the people of … More

Born OTD in 1942, American singer, songwriter, pianist, and civil rights activist, Aretha Franklin.”…Then there was Houston’s Soul Bowl ’69, a three-day benefit concert at the Houston Astrodome where Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and Sam & Dave performed to raise money for low-cost ghetto housing and to support micro-businesses in inner-city America.”

In 1969, among Harlem’s Rabelaisian cast of characters are bandleader King Curtis, soul singers Aretha Franklin and Donny Hathaway, and … More

Born OTD in 1933, American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and activist in the civil rights movement, Nina Simone. Simone’s bearing and stage presence earned her the title “High Priestess of Soul”. She was a piano player, singer and performer, “separately, and simultaneously.” As a composer and arranger, Simone moved from gospel to blues, jazz, and folk, and to numbers with European classical styling.

‘From her raging, handwritten letters to late-night phone calls with David Bowie, this biography gets up close and personal with … More

Otis Redding remains a living presence in the canon of American popular music on the strength of such classic hits… As a singer, songwriter, bandleader, and arranger, Redding was the chief architect of the distinctly southern, gospel-inflected style of rhythm & blues associated with Stax Records in Memphis…

Yet, while Redding’s music has long served as the gold standard of 1960s soul, an aura of myth and mystery … More

Final installment of The Soul Trilogy, ‘Harlem 69 : The Future of Soul’ by Stuart Cosgrove is now available in store & online. Also, Stuart will be launching the book with guest DJ’s Wednesday 14th November at Crowley’s Bar, Hastings – not to be missed!

In 1969, among Harlem’s Rabelaisian cast of characters are bandleader King Curtis, soul singers Aretha Franklin and Donny Hathaway, and … More