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Morning Song – California Soul

October 20, 2015

Motown took three swings at Ashford & Simpson’s lovely “California Soul” (with The Messengers, The Fifth Dimension, and a Marvin Gaye-Tammi Terrell duet), but give me this Chess Records version with the criminally underrated Marlena Shaw.

The strings are edgier, the beat is funkier (you can hear why rappers prefer it), and Shaw’s voice more soulful.  In the late 1960s Motown was in the midst of moving from Detroit to Los Angeles—putting the “California” in soul music.  Shaw puts the soul in California.


From → Music

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