Soul Comes Homes FORUM: SoulfulDetroit Forum: Soul Comes Homes
Top of pageBottom of page   By john dixon ( on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 12:03 pm:

Hey everyone, the PBS station in my area is showing a program tonight called "Soul Comes Home: a concert celebrates the opening of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music in Memphis, Tenn."

I read about the event when it took place but has anyone seen this program? Is it well put together or a slapdash cash-in? I'd like to read a few opinions here before I cancel my previous plans and center my Saturday night around it.

Top of pageBottom of page   By SisDetroit ( on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 12:41 pm:

A friend called me from Memphis last night, all geeked over the show. My friend actually had me on the phone for about an hour, making me listen to Al Green, and Mavis Staples over the phone. Issac Hayes, Rance Allen, Michael McDonald and others are also in the show.

I was told it was fantastic.

Top of pageBottom of page   By janebse ( on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 06:33 pm:

It came on PBS on Thursday here. Unfortunately, I turned it on in the middle and watched someone singing, don't know who, and I was busy and he sounded lifeless so I turned it off.

However, don't consider this a definitive report. I watched another program and heard the announcer raving about one of the singers who would be on it. I had heard this singer, and, believe me, found nothing at all to rave about. It's a little bit like listening to someone else's opinion on a restaurant. Test it yourself.

Top of pageBottom of page   By DavidSeaFan ( on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 10:48 pm:

Sis, PLEASE, if you know anyone who has a copy of this let me know. I've checked my PBS station and doesn't look like it's airing here any time in the near future. After David, you know my other love is Rance. Come over once in awhile and say "HI" at the Tempsinfo board.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Sue ( on Sunday, August 17, 2003 - 12:11 am:

It's on right now in Detroit on PBS

Top of pageBottom of page   By Nish ( on Sunday, August 17, 2003 - 08:12 am:

i saw some of it last nite. I really loved Rance Allen, and Isaac Hayes killed it! The MG's were on ire with "Green Onions"... Although my musical heart is in Detroit, it's great to see the Memphis Gang getting some action, too. Can we get a Philly thing going next???

Top of pageBottom of page   By john dixon ( on Sunday, August 17, 2003 - 10:07 am:

First of all, sorry I misspelled the header; makes me and the whole topic look ignernt.

Overall I enjoyed this program more than the PBS show that was raved about here on the forum about six months ago. The main difference was the band sounded much more crisp and clear than the sometimes muffled backing on that show.

It didn't start out promisingly. Eddie Floyd stretched out "Knock On Wood" to three times its natural length. As he kept going on, I mused that he could have sung "I've Never Found A Girl" during the tiresome portion of "KOW" that he spent walking the stage with his mic held out to the audience for no apparent reason.

My favorite parts were similar to those in Nish's post. I must confess to being unfamiliar with Rance Allen but man, he killed! Definately the high point of the show. (I thought he was tremendous until Solomon Burke came out!)Isaac Hayes was about the only guy to stretch his song out to good effect; "Shaft" kept building momentum in such a way that I didn't notice I was on the edge of my couch! Booker T. & the MGs were smokin' too.

Carla Thomas...well, it was hard to reconcile the fresh-faced teen who sang "Gee Whiz" to the woman who looked like Moms Mabley singing "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby" with special guest Michael McDonald. Seems like she could have rounded up some front teeth for the show, y'know? It's distracting to watch a woman singing when her upper lip flapping.

Little Milton was very good. I had not realized before how similar he is(if not back in the day, then certainly now)to B.B. King. William Bell was great on "You Don't Miss Your Water". Rev. Al Green was in a playful mood and enjoyable as usual. It was nice to hear him sing "Love And Happiness" since usually all I see him do on tv guest spots is "Let's Stay Together". Solomon Burke was fine on "Try A Little Tenderness" although you couldn't help but get a little melancholy thinking about Otis. When Mack Rice came out to help Solomon on "Mustang Sally", they were all over the place and apparently didn't rehearse. Sam Moore was conspicuously absent.

Mavis Staples gave it her best but, sadly, her voice is gone. In the requisite everybody on-stage final number sing-along, Mavis was croaking out "I'll Take You There" and went over to Rance Allen for his contribution. Suddenly, the song came to life w/ Rance at the helm but deflated immediately once she moved on.

It would have been nice if they had mixed in some historical background and perspectives and archival footage into the program or even a glimpse of the new Stax Museum. Guess I'll have to go to Memphis for that. Nevertheless it was a very enjoyable program.

Top of pageBottom of page   By john dixon ( on Sunday, August 17, 2003 - 06:38 pm:

Oh, forgot to mention Percy Sledge. Percy may not be able to belt it out like in '66 but he did a great job on "When A Man Loves A Woman" and the band sounded fantastic. I couldn't help but notice just how country Percy sounded, with much more in common with George Jones as a vocalist than, say, Curtis, Jackie, Marvin, or even Solomon or David Ruffin. But I guess that shouldn't be surprizing; uptempo, punchy numbers were never Percy's strong suit. He always excelled at those anguished ballads, steeped in the church yet heavily informed by the Grand Ol' Opry.

Top of pageBottom of page   By soulkikker ( on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - 08:55 am:

You're right about Percy Sledge, he's a perfect mix of country and soul. My own favourite Percy Sledge recording is True Love Travels On A Gravel Road (also recorded by Elvis BTW). If you don't know it, it's worth cheching out.

Top of pageBottom of page   By john dixon ( on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - 09:17 am:

hey soulkikker,
that's my favorite Percy Sledge song, too! Nick Lowe also did a cool version of it; I wasn't aware that Elvis cut it. I guess I'm obliged to check that version out.
Next to TLTOAGR, my favorite Percy Sledge song is "Take Time To Know Her". That one really gets the ol' tear ducts going on us Southern boys.
I'm sure it's the inclusion of Mama in the narrative!

Top of pageBottom of page   By TonyRussi ( on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - 09:39 am:

I just heard on the radio and saw in the newspaper this morning that MAVIS STAPLES is the opening act this week-end for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers(a 70's/80's Rock Band)at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach.

Top of pageBottom of page   By john dixon ( on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - 10:24 am:

hey Tony, that same show was in Charleston last Friday. I attended and Mavis' opening set, though well recieved, was rather sad if you remember the power she used to wield as a vocalist. It's a little uncomfortable to watch someone visibly struggle just to get through a barely passable rendition of a song which was once, I'm sure, second nature for him or her to sing.
Oh well. I will always love Mavis Staples and cherish my Staple Singers CDs.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Tony Russi ( on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - 12:15 pm:

I hear ya John, I'm not planning on going.If it was just Mavis at a club I would go check it out.Maybe weight and or smoking has harmed her voice?I can't beleive all the great singers who do or have been heavy smokers!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Randy Russi ( on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - 12:35 pm:

For those who have seen this PBS special, how does
Mavis sound? I know she is there.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Randy Russi ( on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - 01:43 pm:

Sorry, I goofed. I missed John Dixon's review.
What a GREAT opportunity she has opening for
Tom Petty. Wonder how that came about.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Reese ( on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - 04:01 pm:

I don't know for sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if lack of formal vocal training has contributed to Mavis' current voice. I read an article with her not long ago, and she mentioned that she wanted to take vocal lessions at one point, but Dizzy Gillespie talked her out of it.

As someone said earlier, it can be somewhat painful to watch her perform at times. Its almost as if she's about to choke. But then again, she almost always still pulls it off. I tend to notice it more when she sings her older material, because she doesn't always drop the key. But on her last album (a Mahalia Jackson tribute), she sounded okay.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Handsome ( on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - 05:33 pm:

One thing I notice about some of these artists, like Mavis....they smoke. Sooner or later this has an effect on their voice, thus decreasing their vocal range. I have noticed this with Phyllis Hyman & Dionne Warwick. Aretha used to smoke, but to my understanding has stopped. Although Aretha still has some of her upper 2nd soprano range, she will never sound like she did in the 60's, JMO.

P.S.-One of my favorite songs by Mavis Staples is on Volt Records, something about "I Have Learned to Love". Someone please give me the correct name of this song. Thanks.


Top of pageBottom of page   By Handsome ( on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - 05:49 pm:

The name of the song is-"I Have Learned to Do Without You"


Top of pageBottom of page   By Don ( on Thursday, August 21, 2003 - 05:53 pm:

I can't wait for a #2!!!!

Add a Message


  You must enter your name or nickname into the "Username" box.
Your e-mail address is optional.