Oh my god, the voice on this man. He is considered "The King of Soul" and for good reason. From his sweet, toe tapping love songs to soulful, heart wrenching ballads, it seems Sam can do no wrong. Throw on Twistin' The Night away the next time you have to do you dishes and you'll be wiggling as you scrub before you know it! A lot of his songs have a tinge of gospel to them, but he certainly knows how to party as well, even if he has trouble finding ladies according to "Another Saturday Night". It's so sad we lost such a talented musician at only 33 years old. Who knows what amazing songs he would have gone on to create if he had the chance.
Download: A Change is Gonna Come, Twistin' The Night Away, Good Times
The first white woman to sing soul and R&B, in 1966 she was the best selling female artist in the world. Her soft, seductive voice and blonde beehive are irresistible. Beneath her glamorous gowns and heavy eyeliner hid a very self concious girl who always felt she didn't quite measure up to her peers that she admired so much. Although "Dusty in Memphis" is considered one of the greatest albums of all time, she was always crying during recording because of her crippling insecurity. I think that her vulnerability is what makes her music so touching, it sounds as though she's singing straight to you. Dusty is a true talent whose music and legacy should be treasured for years to come. (Fun tidbit: she suggested to her record label that they should sign a unknown band called Led Zepplin, as John Paul Jones had played for her, and they were signed before the label even saw them play!)
Download: I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself, Spooky, Breakfast in Bed, Wishin' and Hopin'
Louis Prima & Keely Smith
I am so fond of Louis, I think of him like I would a best friend. He cheers me up when I'm sad, always makes me dance and his wife, Keely, is always there when I need some girl time. His career is amazing; spanning from a jazz band in the 20's to a Vegas lounge act in the 50's and pop-rock in the 60's. He plays King Louis in The Jungle Book! What other reason do you need to love him? He is such a charismatic showman, not afraid to be silly or make people laugh. Keely was the ultimate "straight man", hardly ever cracking a smile as she raised an eyebrow at his wacky onstage antics. It is physically impossible for me to listen to his music without tapping my toe or clapping along. Who needs drugs when you've got Louis? I wanna be like you-ooh-ooh! (To see them in action, you must watch this video! It melts my heart every time I watch it.)
Download: Angelina, Don't Worry Bout Me/I'm In The Mood For Love, Too Marvelous For Words, Buona Sera
Alright, well that seems to have covered my favorites of the late 50s and 60s. I'm totally doing 20s and 30s next! Who are your favorite artists from days gone by that you think need a bit of recognition?