Leroy Hutson - Don't It Make You Feel Good


This is a happiness power jam.

Bill Withers - Harlem



This might be my favorite Bill Withers tune of all time, and this is an awesome arrangement. Don't miss our interview with Mr. Withers from last year, and check out the awesome documentaries Soul Power and Still Bill, both of which are stream-able on Netflix.

RIP, Nate Dogg


The Long Beach Press-Telegram is reporting that Nate Dogg is dead at 41. The greatest singer in hip-hop history, though I suppose that's a bit of an odd distinction. If I might recommend a record to appreciate Nate beyond the expected, try his album "Music & Me," which features the track above, I Pledge Allegiance. It's a really solid LP, criminally underappreciated in my opinion, and this particular track, which features past TSOYA guest Pharoahe Monch, is one of the highlights. I also love "I Got Love," which I've also included above.

Below, I've included a Nate-heavy 213 track that always makes me feel fantastic, "I'm Fly."

Nate and his voice will be missed.

Daryl Hall, Singer, Songwriter and Producer: Interview on The Sound of Young America

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Daryl Hall

Daryl Hall, best known as the lead vocalist and co-founder of Hall & Oates, is a singer, songwriter and producer with a collection of #1 songs to his name. He spent his formative years in Philadelphia around soul singers like Smokey Robinson.

Daryl Hall and John Oates met as students at Temple University, and went on to form a best-selling musical duo with chart-toppers like "Rich Girl", "Sara Smile", and "Private Eyes".

His newest project is a web series called Live from Daryl's House of performances and collaborations with a diverse set of musicians that's included Todd Rundgren, Toots and the Maytals, Chromeo and the Neon Trees.

JESSE THORN: It’s The Sound of Young America, I’m Jesse Thorn. My guest on the show is Daryl Hall. He’s half of the legendary, chart-busting duo Hall & Oates. He sang lead and wrote or co-wrote six number one hits with the band, and had a really astonishing string of chart successes beginning in the late 1970s and running through the mid-1980s. Now he’s decided to bring the concerts to his house with a series called “Live from Daryl’s House” that features musical collaborations with artists as diverse as Smokey Robinson and Todd Rundgren. It runs live and streaming on the web. Daryl, welcome to The Sound of Young America, it’s really great to have you on the show.

DARYL HALL: Thank you, glad to be here.

Click here for a full transcript of this interview.

TSOYA Classics: UK Soul Singer Omar (January 18, 2007)


This TSOYA classic features UK soul singer Omar. Contemporary soul singers like Erykah Badu and Bilal consistently cite Omar, along with legends like Al Green and Donnie Hathaway, as a seminal influence in their careers. He's known in the UK as the godfather of "new classic soul," and only now is his music starting to make an impact on American soil. His soul incorporates Carribean influences and the residuals of the Acid Jazz movement, and his classic sound has attracted collaborators like Common and Stevie Wonder.

Jesse talked to Omar about his influences, style, and impact on the world of soul music.

Listen Now

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Mavis Staples, Gospel and R&B Legend: Interview on The Sound of Young America

Mavis Staples

Mavis Staples is one of the greatest singers of our time -- a gospel, soul, and R&B vocalist known for her rich, throaty voice. She began as the lead singer of The Staple Singers, a family gospel group formed by Pops Staples and several of his children. The Staple Singers achieved several hits with "Respect Yourself", "I'll Take You There" and "Let's Do It Again". They also became a musical voice of the American civil rights movement with their protest music.

Mavis has reinvented her sound over the decades since The Staple Singers' introduction in 1950 and worked with Curtis Mayfield, Prince, Ry Cooder, and Bob Dylan. Her newest album, You Are Not Alone, was produced by Wilco's Jeff Tweedy.

Click here for a full transcript of this show.
Click here to download or stream the audio of this interview.

JESSE THORN: It’s The Sound of Young America, I’m Jesse Thorn. My guest on the program is one of our greatest singers, Mavis Staples. In her 50-plus-year career with The Staple Singers and as a solo artist, she has really and truly bridged genres from soul to gospel to R&B to country, and her latest record was produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy. Mavis Staples, welcome to The Sound of Young America.

MAVIS STAPLES: Well thank you, thank you. I’m happy to be with you.

Fela Kuti Re-Issues from Knitting Factory


Another segment from The Grid: a little piece I wrote recommending Knitting Factory's re-issues of some of Fela Kuti's amazing mid-70s albums. Some cool archival footage in there of Fela, too.

Prince - If I Was Your Girlfriend


This is my favorite Prince song, and I like a lot of Prince songs.

(via The Atlantic)

The Staple Singers - Let's Do It Again

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This is pretty much as good as it gets. Written and produced by Curtis Mayfield. With all this Mavis Staples publicity lately, I thought I'd post an all-time favorite.

If you've never spent time with the Staples Singers' discography, particularly their earlier secular records like Respect Yourself, The Staple Singers and Be What You Are, you owe it to yourself. Some of the warmest, most beautiful and stirring popular music every recorded. And believe it or not, they didn't even need an indie guy to pick the songs!

Bilal Oliver - Jazz and Soul Singer - Interview on The Sound of Young America

Bilal Oliver

Bilal Oliver is a jazz and soul singer; his second LP, Airtight's Revenge, was just released. He broke onto the scene in the early 2000s with the Raphael Saadiq-produced hit "Soul Sista," but he turned to jazz clubs and progressive soul just a few years later, frustrating his record label. In the meantime, he recorded with artists like Dr. Dre, Jay-Z and Scarface. His new album is his first in almost ten years.

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