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isaiah imani (isaiah)
4-Laureate
Username: isaiah

Post Number: 156
Registered: 8-2004
Posted From: 170.224.224.124
Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - 2:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I will cut to the chase, as this is a thread dedicated not simply to our favorites, but to that person, male or female, whose sound is most unique, a sound, perhaps, often imitated but never seemingly duplicated.... As I mentioned in the Phillipe Wynne thread, I think Mr. Billy Stewart is the most unique stylist of sound in the soul-R&B world ever... His scatting, staccato, stuttering delivery while keeping perfect time is the most unique thing I've ever heard among the many hundreds of voices I've heard over the years...

Remember, this is not about who sounds best, or who has or had the best voice, but the most unique STYLE and delivery of their sound... For example, like her or not, Macy Gray's style and sound are unique... Some like it, and whole lotta folk don't, but it is unique... Patti Labelle's style is unique, Chaka Khan's style is unique, and so was Minnie Ripperton's... Who, in your opinion, had the most Unique singing style of all-times???

Peace!
Isaiah
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Nosey (nosey)
5-Doyen
Username: nosey

Post Number: 306
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 66.153.113.238
Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - 2:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Isaiah, I agree with you in regards to Billy Stewart. His rolling of his "r"s and that "chuck, chuck, a chuck, chuck" in Summertime is a classic.
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Davie Gordon (davie_gordon)
5-Doyen
Username: davie_gordon

Post Number: 270
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 81.157.157.181
Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - 2:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Probably one of the characteristics of a "stylist"
is whether or not they're imitated by other singers
- they only person I can think of offhand who
sounded in any way like Billy Stewart is General
Johnson who did a lot of rolling his "r's" but
yeah, Billy's probably unique. His records are one
of the really under-rated goldmines in sixties soul.

I've always been curious to hear GQ who revived a few of his songs in the eighties - were they any good ?

Minnie Riperton may be unique but I wish I could
say she worked for me as well as she does for many people.

Davie
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1wicked (1wicked)
5-Doyen
Username: 1wicked

Post Number: 344
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 12.102.44.68
Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - 2:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Levi Stubbs...a voice so unique in timbre & delivery that no one even dares trying to imitate him.

Nancy Wilson. If you look up "song stylist" in your Funk & Wagnalls...you'll see her picture. (And she gives props to Jimmy Scott for her phrasing...so he's gotta get some props here too.)
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Soul Sister (soul_sister)
6-Zenith
Username: soul_sister

Post Number: 1919
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 68.234.10.241
Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - 3:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Wicked, No One was more imitated but never duplicate like Little/Legendary Jimmy Scott. Just ask any of the singers, male or female, from the 40's, 50's, or 60's, even today the new Artists we meet on the road tell us "he" is their sole inspiration!!
S.S.
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isaiah imani (isaiah)
4-Laureate
Username: isaiah

Post Number: 158
Registered: 8-2004
Posted From: 66.119.33.167
Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - 3:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Davie, GQ, from the South Bronx, did an admirable job of re-doing Billy's classic hits I Do Love You, and Sitting In The Park in 1979... Nice little tribute to a singer who was BIG in New York City with a capital B... However, I don't have to tell you that they didn't come close to really doing Billy's style any real justice...

Davie, in regard to your definition of a stylist, I just think that his style was so far out there for most artists that they might even have been afraid to attempt to imitate him in any meaningful way... It would've just been so obvious whom they were imitating that it might've appeared farcical(smile!)

Peace!
Isaiah
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Tony Russi (tony_russi)
5-Doyen
Username: tony_russi

Post Number: 283
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 68.210.49.197
Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - 3:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Isaiah, I agree with you about Billy Stewart.I feel Mary Wells had a very unique sound and was a heavy influence on all female vocalists of the middle to late 60's that followed.
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Nosey (nosey)
5-Doyen
Username: nosey

Post Number: 307
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 205.188.116.138
Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - 6:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Another unique voice was Louis Armstrong's. Even though he had a gruff voice he was able to make "What a Wonderful World" a sweet, sweet song.

Satchmo was one of the greatest!
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Richard Felstead (felstead2001)
4-Laureate
Username: felstead2001

Post Number: 141
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 128.40.91.183
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 3:18 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Great question. :-))

I agree about Louis, so I guess I'd have to go with Lou Rawls and possibly Nat "king" Cole.

Totally different voices of course, but both very unique. One so smooth, the other a lot more gruff.

The late and much sorely missed Ella also had a voice that was instantly identifiable, also making her voice unique.

Others worthy of debate or consideration :

Astrud Gilberto

Diana Krall

Nina Simone

Bobby Womack

Russell Thompkins

Barry White

Donald Fagan

Glady's Knight

Billy Paul

Al Jarreau

Bobby McFerrin

Cab Calloway

What do you reckon ?.
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Morgan (leeway)
4-Laureate
Username: leeway

Post Number: 122
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 209.104.139.161
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 11:54 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I agree with Gladys, I've always thought her voice is one of a kind.

Billie Holiday (although she did admit that she got her styling from Satchmo, her voice and phrasing was/is very unique.)

Sarah Vaughn - I don't think anyone could copy this woman, even if they wanted to.

Although Gloria Lynn's version of "I'm Glad There Is You" in some parts, reminds me of Sarah- (just a teeny bit).
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isaiah imani (isaiah)
4-Laureate
Username: isaiah

Post Number: 170
Registered: 8-2004
Posted From: 66.119.33.167
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 11:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Nosey, excellent choice! I never woulda thought papa Satch, but that's because I don't identify him with the genre.... But damned if he isn't, perhaps, the most unique voice of all-time... Clearly, that's another story altogether, because his voice influenced, by default, every Jazz artist who came after him...

Now, James Brown, I would believe, is another guy who falls into the category of UNIQUE... All of that grunting and groaning, you'd be shocked how many doors of creativity it opened for other artists...

Otis Redding and Sly Stone are also unique voices, and so is Smokey Robinson... Ever quite heard a voice like his before??? Certainly a lot of imitators, but never duplicated...

Another unique voice is Big Maybelle... That way she had of cooing and gulping and squealing(smile!) Sylvia Robinson, and her breathy style, were very unique... Donna Summer give it up to Sylvia, she taught'cha everything you needed to know on Love To Love Ya baby...

Mavis Staples is another unique stylist... Great pipes, and a unique delivery... That laugh she would improvise to cajole the lyric - haha, mercy now!

Sam Cooke's yodel is the single most influential riff in the Soul Genre bar none... Again, often imitated, but never duplicated...

Richard, Bobby McFerrin, great choice! And So was Billy Paul... I think that when Isaac Hayes came on the scene with that voice... Never had the ladies heard anything like it before... Then Barry came, and well...(smile!)Al Green...aint never heard anything like him since he left...

Peace!
Isaiah
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isaiah imani (isaiah)
5-Doyen
Username: isaiah

Post Number: 171
Registered: 8-2004
Posted From: 170.224.224.124
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 12:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Davie, you and me right here on Minnie Rip... I am no fan of her voice... In fact, I can't freakin' stand it!!! Nerves, man, the nerves(smile!)

Peace!
Isaiah
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Morgan (leeway)
4-Laureate
Username: leeway

Post Number: 126
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 209.104.139.161
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 12:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You did mention "soul" in your thread didn't you?

I listed all jazz singers!!! My bad....
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isaiah imani (isaiah)
5-Doyen
Username: isaiah

Post Number: 177
Registered: 8-2004
Posted From: 216.148.244.92
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 1:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ah, hah, Morgan, you're getting confused too(smile!) Welcome to the club!!!!

Yeah, I did mention soul, but I go with the flow, ya know???(smile!) That's how these threads go most of the times... Remember the G&H Thread???(smile!)

Peace!
Isaiah
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Kdubya (paladin)
6-Zenith
Username: paladin

Post Number: 423
Registered: 5-2004
Posted From: 152.132.8.197
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 1:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thats OK Morgan, we know where soul came from, and I myself have been confused before but like Imani says it sort of the cachet of the forum. To illustrate my point I nominate the following stylists:

BB King & Bobby Blue Bland!!!!

Dam I aint gonna get no work done today !!
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Iris Smith (hellostranger)
2-Debutant
Username: hellostranger

Post Number: 21
Registered: 9-2004
Posted From: 68.76.84.240
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 2:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I believe my choice may have attempted some "Soul" but whether he is soul or not his voice is unique, and NO one IMO will ever dupicate him! "Mr. Johnny Mathis" BTW, is he considered "Pop" I know he's not R&B, or is he? :o)

Iris
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isaiah imani (isaiah)
5-Doyen
Username: isaiah

Post Number: 180
Registered: 8-2004
Posted From: 216.148.244.92
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 2:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, Iris, I would agree with you on Johnny Mathis... Just this morning I was thinking about Aaron Neville, too... Surely no one quite sings like Aaron...(smile!)

One thing I want to point out is, folk don't have to love an artist to point out their uniqueness... Just their uniqueness, for better or worse, qualifies them on this thread...(smile!)
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Robb_K (robb_k)
6-Zenith
Username: robb_k

Post Number: 679
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 204.108.65.10
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 3:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There are too many soulful singers who had very distinct, unique voices:

A few people not already listed:
Ray Charles, Ray Pollard, Lennie Welch, Sollie McElroy, Pookie Hudson, (yes, they both lasted into the soul era), Marvin Junior, Garland Green, Otis Leavell, Jerry Butler,etc., etc.
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Nosey (nosey)
5-Doyen
Username: nosey

Post Number: 313
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 66.153.113.238
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 3:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Oops, Isaiah, after re-reading your post I see that you did want it narrowed down to the soul-R&B genre. My bad!
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Gary (gary)
5-Doyen
Username: gary

Post Number: 226
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 66.73.238.2
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 3:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Does Macy Gray count? She certainly has the most "unique" sound i've heard lately.

(Message edited by gary on October 14, 2004)
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Destruction (destruction)
6-Zenith
Username: destruction

Post Number: 508
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 199.173.224.25
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 4:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Two I haven't seen mentioned are:

Sugarfoot from the Ohio Players and
Stevie Wonder - who influenced a gaggle of hip hop artists
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Manny (manny)
6-Zenith
Username: manny

Post Number: 500
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 217.124.52.136
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 8:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here's a few I think are very uniques:

Little Sonny (from Intruders)
Little Anthony
Billy Paul
O V Wright
Clarence Carter
Jimmy Elis (from Trammps; I only have heard a similar voice in a 21st Creation track; also Robert Upchurch, another Trammp, have some similar voice)
Levi Stubbs (curiously I remember the first songs by Village People where the lead voice reminded me in Levi, !!!??)
Joe Ligon (from Mighty Clouds Of Joy)
Jerry Butler
Sylvia Robinson
Curtis Mayfield
Harold Melvin (Teddy's got some equivalents as David Ebo but Harold... ?)
Archie Bell
Isaac Hayes
Carmen Lundy

Peace & Soul Food
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Frankie B. (frankie_b)
1-Arriviste
Username: frankie_b

Post Number: 9
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 65.35.204.20
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 8:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I agree with the folks who mentioned Billy Stewart. Totally unique. His version of "Somewhere over the rainbow" about brings me to tears. Nobody phrases like he could. I have a song on a compilation CD of a group from San Antonio, TX called the Commands who do a song called "Hey, it's love", and it is also unique. The lead singer has the voice of Aaron Neville with the phrasing technique of Billy Stewart coupled with backup singers doing machine perfect "blow harmonies" a-la the Moonglows behind him. Not a very common song, I believe it is bigger in the UK northern soul scene than it is here. Check it out. Also, on the gospel side, no one sings (screams) quite like Archie Brownlee of the Five blind boys of Mississippi.
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Moan (moanman)
2-Debutant
Username: moanman

Post Number: 28
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 69.119.145.245
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 9:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mad Unique Voices:

Nina Simone
Jimmy Scott
Minnie Riperton
Billie Holiday
Sarah Vaughn
Philip Bailey
Mavis Staples
Johnny Hartman
Aretha Franklin
Little Anthony
Gladys Knight
Curtis Mayfield
Tata Vega
Dinah Washington
Stevie Wonder
Patti Labelle
Louis Armstrong
Eartha Kitt
Bootsy Collins
Abbey Linclon
Nick Ashford
Syreeta Wright
Prince Rogers Nelson
Cassandra Wilson
James Brown
Esther Phillips


One.
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marilyn (marilyn)
4-Laureate
Username: marilyn

Post Number: 115
Registered: 8-2004
Posted From: 147.174.232.211
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 9:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Unique: Sam Cooke, David Ruffin, Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Wanda Young, Little Sonny, Diana Ross, Louis Armstrong, Etta James,Tammi Terrell, Dinah Washington, Paul Williams (Temptations), Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Nat King Cole, ZZ Hill...
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Kdubya (paladin)
6-Zenith
Username: paladin

Post Number: 426
Registered: 5-2004
Posted From: 152.132.8.197
Posted on Friday, October 15, 2004 - 9:04 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Marilyn good one on Paul Williams no on has ever sounded like him.

Unique: Terry Weeks of the Tempts, I'm sure no one will ever sound like him LOL.....

Hey Manny you are on point about Harold Melvin who had a wonderful voice.


Where does Sade fit in here ? No one sounds like her!!!!!!

On last comment, I have never heard anyone who sounded like Clyde McPhatter ........

Kdubya
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Soul Sister (soul_sister)
6-Zenith
Username: soul_sister

Post Number: 1956
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 68.234.10.241
Posted on Friday, October 15, 2004 - 12:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ok, I only talked of Jimmy's uniqueness & major influence on other Artists, so now I'll put down distict voices of a few others:

Billy Holiday
Louis Armstrong
Little Miss Cornshucks
Big Maybelle
Dinah Washington
Esther Phillips
Eartha Kitt
Etta Jones
Nina Simon
Carmen McRae
Betty Carter
Ella Fitzgerald
Sarah Vaughn
Morgana King
Minnie Ripperton
Linda Jones
Areatha
Mavis Staples
Macy Gray
Silvia Robinson
Nat Cole
Tony Williams (Platters)
Arthur Prysock
James Brown
Jackie Wilson
Otis Redding
Toussaint McCall
Billy Paul
Lou Rawls
Bobby Womack
George "Smitty" Smith (The Manhattans)
Eddie Levert (The O'Jays)
Little Anthony Gourdine (The Imperials)
Rudy West (The 5 Keys)
Bobby Lester (The Moonglows)
Timothy Wilson
Eddie Holman
Walter Jackson
Derek Martin
Elvis
Willie Nelson
Otis Redding
Billy Stewart
Al Jarreau
Levi Stubbs

There are many distict voices but few that are so unique they stand out differently, such as Jimmy's, Billie's, Dinah's, & Big Maybelle's, those Artist's alway pain you deep in your heart and get across the feeling so profoundly like no others. For the 60's soul genre I'd incude Areatha, & Linda Jones.
S.S.
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Robb_K (robb_k)
6-Zenith
Username: robb_k

Post Number: 699
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 66.81.24.133
Posted on Friday, October 15, 2004 - 10:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What a great list, Soul Sister, I was going to post on this thread, but my list would have been pretty close to yours, so close, in fact, that there's no point in talking about the differences.
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Lucy (lucy)
2-Debutant
Username: lucy

Post Number: 29
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 24.161.91.239
Posted on Friday, October 15, 2004 - 11:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

LEVI,LEVI,LEVI...WITHOUT A DOUBT
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Soul Sister (soul_sister)
6-Zenith
Username: soul_sister

Post Number: 1960
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 68.234.10.241
Posted on Friday, October 15, 2004 - 11:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hey Robb;
Thanks man, you & I always shared similar tastes for the most part.:-)
S.S.
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Manny (manny)
6-Zenith
Username: manny

Post Number: 502
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 217.124.51.128
Posted on Saturday, October 16, 2004 - 7:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hey, Kdubya,

I'm glad that i'm not the only who thinks Harold got a good and unique voice. He was also songwriter, producer and pianist. I think he was wasted as vocalist. When I heard the intro in "To Be True" or "Baby Come Back" that is constatable.

Some other fine stylists who don't have (or I don't knows) equivalent:
-Henry Stefan (teh only voice I have heard that have a bit of resemblance is the vocalist of Peddlers)
-Frank Sinatra
-Frank Brunson (from People's Choice; there are many shouting-style vocalists but Brunson got a trademark)
-Brook Benton (no argument necessary!)
-Finally, about falsetto voices, one of my passion in the Soul Music Universe, I think the most unique has been mentioned, Philip Bailey. I think in some other falseto soloists as Curtis (also mentioned), Angelo Bond or Smokey and in other members of groups as Delfonics, Chi-lites, Stylistics, Blue Magic... all very good but with little difference, enough to easy distinguise betwen Marshall Thompson and Russell Thompkins but, IMHO, a little diference.

Peace & Soul Food
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Dinelle (dinelle_watson)
5-Doyen
Username: dinelle_watson

Post Number: 366
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 67.35.240.217
Posted on Saturday, October 16, 2004 - 7:57 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think that the most unique soul stylist of all time is Smokey Robinson. He's really versatile.

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