northern souls

The passing of Dobie Gray and Howard Tate – both fantastic soul singers – has been marked by tribute pieces and obituaries on both sides of the Atlantic.

Gray’s ‘The “In” Crowd’ was a hit in the UK, but it’s his song ‘Out On The Floor,’ which remains the signature record of  Northern Soul and an anthem for those who flocked to Wigan Casino and other Northern clubs.

Tate was another Northern favourite.

‘Look At Granny Run Run’ was a song I first heard on Ry Cooder’s ‘Bop Till You Drop’ album in the late 70s.

But Tate’s original has the hallmark of all classic Northern records – a shimmering beat, energy, exuberance, a singable melody and a direct lyric.

They’re also records that don’t overstay their welcome – all done and beautifully dusted in a couple of minutes.

Keep the faith.

Dobie Gray – Washington Post obit

Dobie Gray – The Guardian obit – by Richard Williams

Dobie Gray – Out On The Floor

Howard Tate – The Guardian obit

Howard Tate – Look At Granny Run Run

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