Posts Tagged ‘Aretha Franklin’

The Soul Sessions Vol. 1

Soul Sessions Vol. 1Since I started I’ve been asked time and time again, “When are you doing a soul mix?”  I am a lover of 70’s soul, I mean it is the music I was created to… shout-out to all 70’s babies.  I actually started working on compiling a soul mix a few months ago… then news of  Don Cornelius’ death hit.  To say that I was broken hearted is an understatement.  When I was a little girl in D.C., Soul Train came on at 5 pm on channel 5.  Every Saturday, I’d run into the house after playing outside and watch for the latest dances, music and fashion trends broadcasted from the Soul Train dance floor.  I would run to my bathroom afterward, stand on the vanity and pretend to be one of the dancers on the platforms who got all the close-ups.

So needless to say, hearing about Cornelius’ death knocked the wind out of my excitement about my soul mixtape.  And then after Whitney’s death I was musically exhausted.  But now I’m proud to present this fantastic mix of some of my favorite 70’s soul.  I believe pretty much every song on this mix has been sampled at least once if not numerous times, as is the case with Lyn Collins’ hit Think.  

The photo featured along with this mix is a picture of some of the actual equipment from the old Stax recording studio.  I shot this photo myself while visiting the Stax Museum in Memphis last year.  Since Stax is my favorite Soul label, I thought it was fitting.

This is a mix to party and groove to.  So as we move into spring… let’s do it with Soooooooul!  And please don’t download this mix without telling your girl (me) what you think.  Love!

DJ BeTray’s 1 Year Anniversary Mix


DJ BeTray Anniversary Mix (Vol. 1) Anniversary Mix

DJ Betray Anniversary Mix (Vol. 1) with Commentary Anniversary Mix With BeTray’s Commentary

October 17, 2011 marks 1 year of!  When deciding how best to celebrate this momentous occasion, I decided a walk down memory lane was the way to go.  Then my next decision was what genre and what songs?  For this anniversary mix, I’m taking a break from R&B and Hip-hop and mixing some of my favorite pop and rock songs from the past 5 decades.  There’s also a little soul, jazz, folk and gospel squeezed in.  This is definitely a mix without genre boundaries.

I think this departure from the site’s norm is the perfect way to say thank you to all of you music fans who have made my first year so special.  I’ve included two versions of the anniversary mix… one is just the music and the other is the music with my commentary; think DVD commentary a la mix tape.  I had a lot of fun doing the commentary, since I love talking over music anyway.  It gave me a chance to share some of my insights while also telling you a little more about my musical experiences.  Hopefully you’ll learn something new and appreciate this trip into a music mix free constrictions.  The number 1 above features a picture of every artist included in this mix… see if you recognize them.

I want to hear from you, so please tell me what you think of this mega mix and of course, I’m accepting all anniversary wishes 🙂

Thank you all for your support of and please be sure to tell a friend about this site!  Accept, Share, Give, Live, Feel Speak and Hear Love!

* Commentary Correction: David Grohl is from Springfield, VA, not Silver Spring, MD.

Download the 192kbps/HQ version (165 MB) here!

Download the 192kbps/HQ version (176 MB) with commentary here!

Top 5 Soul Females

Aretha FranklinAretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin is the Queen of Soul because she oozes the ache and pain of soul music in every note she sings and every key she plays.  Aretha’s is a kind of effortless vocal perfection that deserves to be associated with the only musical format named for what gives us life.  From her days as a child singing and playing in the church choir to her early break out success as an R&B singer, Aretha feels whatever she is singing and in that truth lies what makes her music soul.  There’s no acting when she talks about being in,  “a chain of fools” and there is no duplicating her sincerity when she cries out, “You make me feel like a natural woman.”  Franklin was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and is one of the most celebrated Grammy artists of all time.  This music legend is still recording and just released a new album,  A Woman Falling Out of Love. Aretha has sung us through the complications of being women and she has a song for every up and down that’s in it.  That’s soul.

Nina SimoneNina Simmone

Take a walk down the dank alleys of jazz, sit in the darkest corner of blues, lie naked on a cold theatre’s stage and in that space is where you find the soul that is Nina Simone.  While her music may cross numerous genres her voice belongs to one, soul.  Nina was a complex vocalist with a graduate student’s approach to this often-elementary music industry.  The consummate underground sensation, Nina found her audience was folk with discrete tastes and the balls to sing, “Mississippi Goddamn!” in mixed company.  The proof of her originality is this… how many times have you heard someone say, “That singer is the next Nina Simone.”

Gladys KnightGladys Knight

I can’t pick one Gladys Knight song, or one moment that sealed this singer’s place in my heart as one of the best.  When I was a child it seemed like Gladys Knight and the Pips were just everywhere, if it was a hit either they or Lou Rawls were singing it.  The crossover success of this singer lies in the uniqueness of her voice.  Just like the other women on this list, Gladys has an unmistakable sound.  Gladys also has a delivery that is all her own.  When she sings a song she respects it and tells its story with a refinement that sets her a part from most soul singers who proved their girth by screaming their way through lyrics.  With Gladys it was never about how high or how long she could hold a note.  It was about communicating a feeling while using one of the most comforting and soulful voices in soul music to do it.

Mavis StaplesMavis Staples

Mavis Staples sang, “I’ll take you there,” and her vocal power suggested you had no choice but to go.  Mavis gained national attention in the 60’s as the lead singer of the Staples Singers.  Her raspy lower octave confused listeners who didn’t benefit from a face to face via one of the Staples Singers church tours.  Was this a little boy singing with the power of a god?  No, it was a little girl fronting her family’s gospel group and as they crossed from Negro spirituals, into gospel into soul music; her androgynous vocals painted the 70’s with some of its most memorable tunes.  Yes, let’s do it again and again!

Etta JamesEtta James

Etta James elevated Chess Records above blues, beyond R&B and straight into soul when she sang out, “At last my love has come along.”  Singer-songwriter Etta James was soul even as she sang the blues. James is a multi grammy winning, Rock and Roll, Blues and Grammy Hall of Fame Inductee.  While so much music that was once considered great has come and gone, Etta James has been charming generation after generation with her classic expression of how good it is when your “Man” finally comes along.  That sentiment helped knock down the door for sisters to feel free and sing about how they love as blues and R&B developed into soul and crossed over into the mainstream.