Segments in this Video

Soul Music (03:59)


The musical style incorporates characteristics from the black church and rhythm and blues: the term R&B replaces "race records." Ernestine Anderson begins her career with R&B bands. She performs "Secret Love."

Gospel Influence (04:29)

Great soul singers originate from the black church. Mighty Clouds of Joy forms in the late-1950s and earns the nickname the "Temptations of Gospel." The band performs "Somewhere Around God's Throne." Soul music is a return to black roots.

Ray Charles (06:29)

Charles marries gospel and R&B, and begins recording in the late-1940s. Many people believe "I've Got a Woman" marks the birth of soul. Charles performs "What'd I Say" and "Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma."

LaVern Baker (04:34)

"Soul on Fire" is Baker's first single with Atlantic Records. She performs "Play it Fair." Musicians reflect on Baker's impact.

Soul Music Parallels Civil Rights (05:39)

Gospel lyrics often reference the realities of life for black Americans; the political aspect carries into soul music. Aretha Franklin performs "Respect," Rev. Jesse Jackson recites "Amazing Grace," and Billy Preston performs "That's the Way God Planned It."

Soul Music Offers an Adult Voice (06:00)

By the mid-1960s, the term soul becomes a catchphrase for black culture. Nelson George compares R&B to soul. The Neville Brothers perform "Tell It Like It Is."

Davell Crawford (06:11)

Roy "Professor Longhair" Byrd records with Atlantic Records. Crawford performs Byrd's "Tipitina" and Randy Newman's "Louisiana, 1927." Experts reflect on the New Orleans soul sound.

Solomon Burke (07:25)

Many believe Burke has the finest soul voice. He signs with Atlantic Records in the 1960s. Burke performs "Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)," "Stand By Me," "Sitting On the Dock of the Bay," and "In the Midnight Hour."

Credits: Soul Stirrings (00:39)

Credits: Soul Stirrings

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Soul Stirrings

Part of the Series : A Journey Through American Music
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



In this program, full of live performances and lively opinions, actor Morgan Freeman traces the ancestry and growth of sweet soul music. Soul had its roots in the 1950s when two forms of African-American music came together in a rather unlikely alliance. These were the gospel sounds of the Southern Baptist church, and the more worldly approach of rhythm & blues. Freeman presents footage from singers in both houses: Ernestine Anderson and LaVern Baker from R & B; and the Mighty Clouds of Joy from gospel. The program then takes an in-depth look at the man who is often hailed as the father of soul, Ray Charles. In 1954, Charles took an old gospel song and gave it an R & B makeover to come up with I Got A Woman. Another giant figure in the early history of soul was Solomon Burke. He joined Atlantic Records just as Ray Charles was leaving in 1959. The program also features Aaron Neville and his brothers from New Orleans, who brewed their funky version of R & B and early soul from the late ‘50s onwards. Nelson George – America’s foremost black music critic – and soul music historian, Rob Bowman, impart their expert knowledge, while musicians such as Sweet Honey In The Rock and Speech from Arrested Development describe what soul means to them.

Length: 47 minutes

Item#: BVL210778

ISBN: 978-1-64867-959-9

Copyright date: ©2007

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.