The Little Lighthouse

Flashlite #28

November 6th, 2008

In the past several months, three great soul musicians left this ugly world. We say goodbye to Levi Stubbs, Isaac Hayes and Norman Whitfield. Levi Stubbs was an unforgettable baritone in The Four Tops. Desperate drama of The Four Tops classics Reach Out, Standing In The Shadows Of Love would be impossible without his strong interpretation. The Four Tops formula of success was created when Stubbs forces his natural baritone into higher ranges, creating a sense of urgency and drama. The best example is perhaps Bernadette, which is now considered one of the artistic heights of the entire Motown catalog. Another Motown giant, Norman Whitfield also left us earlier this fall. He is best known for his work with The Temptations. In his hands, Temptations achieved psychedelic artistic heights when Whitfield penned amazing hit Papa Was A Rolling Stone. But Whitfield’s best known song is perhaps I Heard It Through The Grapevine, a classic he wrote originally for Gladys Knight, but Marvin Gaye’s version is the one that you’d probably think of first. Isaac Hayes, the black Moses from Memphis started as a songwriter in the sixties. He wrote such soul staples as Soul Man and Hold On, I’m Coming for Sam and Dave. In the late sixties, Hayes launched an acclaimed interpretative career, recording lps such as Hot Buttered Soul and earning an Oscar for his soundtrack for Shaft. Rock’n’roll will be forever in debt to this golden trio!

The Four Tops – Baby I Need Your Loving;
Sam & Dave – Soul Man;
Edwin Starr – War;
The Four Tops – Bernadette;
The Four Tops – Reach Out (I’ll Be There);
Creedence Clearwater Revival – I Heard It Through The Grapevine;
Marvin Gaye – I Heard It Through The Grapevine;
The Slits – I Heard It Through the Grapevine;
Isaac Hayes – Theme From Shaft;
Isaac Hayes – By the Time I Get to Phoenix;
The Four Tops – Standing in the Shadows of Love;
The Rolling Stones – Ain’t Too Proud To Beg;
Temptations – Ain’t to Proud to Beg;
Sam & Dave – Hold On, I’m Comin’;
Sam & Dave – You Don’t Know Like I Know;
The Undisputed Truth – Smiling Faces Sometimes;
The Four Tops – 7-Rooms of Gloom;
The Four Tops – Walk Away Renee.

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