He was signed as a songwriter to Nashville’s Acuff-Rose Publishing, had recorded a privately released song, “Would You Even Care,” at Memphis’ Stax Studios in the early ’60s, and had seen an early composition, “Someone,” cut by Sue Thompson, Etta James, Frank Ifield, and New Orleans artist Floyd Brown. (“Someone” became a minor hit in the Crescent City.) Soulé worked in Jackson, Missisippi during the early days of soul label Malaco. There he wrote “Simon Says” with Paul Davis; this became a small hit for Eddie Houston. He pitched songs to Jerry Wexler in northern Alabama, and relocated to Alabama from Jackson after Wexler gave him the nod.
The list of artists who cut Soulé’s songs is impressive, and includes Mavis Staples, the Patterson Twins, Archie Bell & the Drells and Dee Dee Warwick. He wrote for Candi Staton and Odia Coates, reviewed and recorded demos, played on sessions (including, interestingly, drumming on recordings by Jerry “Swamp Dogg” Williams) and sang his first national hit with “Get Involved,” written by George Jackson and produced by Rick Hall.
“Get Involved” became a favorite of fans of “Northern Soul,” an amorphous term that basically means records deemed obscure and therefore hip and collectable by English soul-music fans. In 2003, Casual Records released Country Got Soul: Vol. 1, a collection of classic works by blue-eyed Southern soul songwriters and performers that featured “Get Involved.” In 2004, Jeb Loy Nichols, along with Casual, created the Country Soul Revue, a group featuring Soulé, Dan Penn, Donnie Fritts, Tony Joe White, Bonnie Bramlett, backed by members of the Muscle Shoals Swampers, the Muscle Shoals and Memphis Horns.
George Soulé currently resides in Meridian, and works in a nearby casino. England’s Zane Records released Take a Ride in late 2006 to good reviews.
Edited by MisterF2 on 26 Jan 2014, 16:26
Sources (view history)
interviews with George Soulé winter 2006
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