Can the concept of "northern soul" be exported to the continent? I really wonder.

Here is a list of awkward requests from Berlin.

I know the feeling of ennui or even irritation when you are being disturbed with some apparently irrelevant question.

But is Soul man by Sam & Dave really such a bad idea? (I would play the Ramsey Lewis version instead, if I had it with me, which would probably not be the case).

Should Pata pata (that is the way you spell it, liebe Freunde) really be banned as a totally ignorant request? It is a great dance record. Though it was a hit in 1967 it is hard to find in any vinyl version, at least in NL. Reintroducing apartheid again on the dancefloor does not sound as a very tasteful idea to me. Gently saying "I have not got it with me at the moment", if true, would be the only suitable way to deal with this request. If untrue, play it!

What might be wrong with Otis Redding or James Brown is a complete mystery to me. Even worse is the jokingly mentioned request for "country".

Country music is as soulful as can be, Hank Locklin sang, and it is true. But it is particularly ignorant to deride it when you think of great "northern" related numbers by Roy Head, Billy Joe Royal, B.J. Thomas, Gayle McCormick and so many more.

Even worse: Joe Tex and Bobby Hebb are as country as can be.

The people who complain about country mention him as their favourite!

And to add insult to injury, they also mention The First Edition's Just dropped in to see what condition my condition is in as a great northern soul song, by Betty Lavette - who may be considered country herself. The First Edition, featuring Kenny Rogers, remember? And yet, we do not play country.

This all amounts to a question I put on the Soul Source Forum recently. I was told the listings are antique in internet terms. Yet the question remains, even if the protagonists know better now: can Northern Soul truly be exported to where it has not got a tradition?

Let us know if you feel like it

Have a great time at your German Ganzenachter...

Right back where we started from

Hosted by