-- Paul B Allen III: October 19, 2019


I saw a video once where a tough gang-banger was harassing an elderly man on a bus. Someone with a camera phone recorded the whole thing. The older man, trying to maintain peace, got up, walked to the front of the bus and took an empty seat there. 

The buff gang-banger followed him up to the front of the bus and then proceeded to put his hands on the older man. The older guy had enough. He stood up, punched the bully in the face one time, and the bully hit the floor, knocked out cold. Everyone on the bus applauded. So did I. 

This was a David and Goliath story, and upon seeing this video, I smiled, shook my head and said, "You can never judge a book by its cover." 

That same maxim holds true in music.

I believe that everybody has “soul,” and how that soul is expressed is as unique as the person themselves. 

Anthony Hamilton has soul, but so does Yo-Yo Ma. 

Case in point, I would like to share some of my favorite soulful voices with you today, all singing songs that have touched my life in one way or another. But notice that these are not songs by Otis Redding, or Keb Mo, or the Temptations, or Aretha Franklin, or Gladys Knight. Those artists are favorites of mine too, but they are not the ones I am sharing with you today. 

No, instead, the soulful voices I am sharing with you today have names like Dusty Springfield, Chris Stapleton, Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers, Len Berry, and there is even a guy named Ji-hwan, who is a member of the group 2Bic in South Korea, and when he sings, I get a lump in my throat and tears well in my eyes. His may be one of the most soulful, pleasing, and disciplined voices of our time. 

If there is one take-away from today’s Saturday Morning Song Chronicles, I hope it is this. When it comes to soulful voices, you can never judge a book by its cover. 

Enjoy these rare and historic videos, and I hope to see you back here again next week for another Saturday Morning Song Chronicles.

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