Skip to main content

Soul and R&B

Filter by

Select Topics

Select Air Date


Select Segment Types

Segment Types

338 Segments




In Memoriam: Soul Icon Teddy Pendergrass

broke into the R&B world in the 1970s as a drummer for The Cadillacs, then as a singer for Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. When he went solo, Pendergrass became known for the love ballads "I Don't Love You Anymore," "Close The Door" and "Turn Off The Lights," and for playing "for-women-only" shows. Pendergrass died Wednesday following a battle with colon cancer. He was 59. After a 1982 car accident left him paralyzed, Pendergrass continued to perform and make music. He released his last album of new material, You and I, in 1997.

R&B singer Teddy Pendergrass sings into a microphone

The Whole Story Of The 'King Of The Queen City'

While most record companies of the 1940s and 1950s made money in one genre, Cincinnati-based King Records spread the love to R & B, rockabilly, bluegrass, western swing and country. Jon Hartley Fox tells the story in his new book King of the Queen City.


Hank Crawford, Memphis Rhythm King

Saxophonist Hank Crawford died Jan. 29 at the age of 74. The Memphis-born musician backed B.B. King and Ray Charles before going solo. He later became the musical director for Charles' band. Fresh Air remembers Crawford with a 1998 interview.


Remembering Soul Icon Isaac Hayes

Award-winning soul singer Isaac Hayes died August 10. Hayes' "Theme From Shaft" won both Academy and Grammy awards, and his album Hot Buttered Soul helped pave the way for disco.

Musician and actor Isaac Hayes

A Deeper Sort Of 'Soul'

A new "best of" collection, The Soul Years, showcases the soulful vocals and composing skills of soul and R&B singer and composer Bobby Womack — and has become a favorite of many critics.


Chuck Berry in Perspective: A Rock History

Rock historian Ed Ward looks at Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer Chuck Berry and the career that made him a star. Berry's entire record output from the 1950s was recently released on a four-disc set from Hip-O-Select titled, Johnny B. Goode: His Complete '50s Chess Recordings.


The Fabulous Butler Boys

Fresh Air's rock historian considers the intertwined fates of the Impressions' Jerry Butler, and his brother, Chicago soul singer Billy Butler.


Bettye LaVette Is the Comeback Queen

Bettye LaVette recorded her first hit, "My Man — He's a Lovin' Man," at the age of 16. She toured with Ben E. King, Barbara Lynn and Otis Redding. And now she's being crowned the Comeback Queen for her recent albums, I've Got My Own Hell to Raise, which came out in 2005, and her recent The Scene of the Crime. LaVette recorded The Scene of the Crime at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Ala., with the Southern rock band Drive-By Truckers and the legendary session musician and songwriter Spooner Oldham.


R&B Legend Ike Turner, 1931-2007

Ike Turner, the soul-music star and rock 'n' roll pioneer, died this week. He was 76, and had reportedly suffered from emphysema. Turner shaped the sound of early rock 'n' roll, co-writing and playing piano on the 1951 song "Rocket 88." (He was the "Jackie Brenston" of Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats.) Then, in 1958, he discovered a singer named Anna Mae Bullock; before long, she and his band both had new names, and the Ike and Tina Turner Revue became one of the hottest acts of the '60s and early '70s.


Sharon Jones Is 'Nobody's Baby'

Sharon Jones, head of the old-school funk and soul band Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, is working it. She and her band have a new album, their third, called 100 Days, 100 Nights. They've been touring to support the album, and Jones was recently part of the cast of Berlin, along with Lou Reed. She also shot a part for the upcoming Denzel Washington film The Great Debaters.

Did you know you can create a shareable playlist?


There are more than 22,000 Fresh Air segments.

Let us help you find exactly what you want to hear.
Just play me something
Your Queue

Would you like to make a playlist based on your queue?

Generate & Share View/Edit Your Queue