George Soule

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George Soulé - born in Meridian, MS. on November 12, 1945. George Soule, a Mississippi singer, songwriter,  drummer, record producer and studio engineer whose name is known and recognized by all music artists from Meridian, MS. and many places around the world.  A pivotal talent in the '60s whose love for music brought him together with music artists around the country.  In 1965, Goerge was twenty years old and he already appeared on the pop-music television show, Shindig, along with Ray Charles, and sang a number called "I Love the Way You Love".  George signed with Nashville's Acuff-Rose Music in the mid-'60's, and got his first cut, "Someone," recorded by Sue Thompson.

Moving first to the new Malaco Records in Jackson, Miss., and then to Muscle Shoals, Ala., where he worked with producers like Rick Hall and Don Davis, Soulé made his reputation as a songwriter. Often working with Paul Davis or Terry Woodford, he wrote hits for Brook Benton ("Shoes"), Percy Sledge ("I'll Be Your Everything") and Carl Carlton ("Can't Stop a Man in Love"). A good drummer and even better singer, he played on sessions in Jackson and Muscle Shoals, backing up everyone from Willie Nelson to Swamp Dogg.  By the time George was twenty years old, he was doing what most of the other music artists from his hometown of Meridian dreamed of doing.  When he was not working as a DJ at WOKK Radio,  he would drive up to Nashville and go in the back door at Acuff-Rose Record studios and just hang out among  music greats like Roy Orbison and Don Gibson.  He had met everybody and he was just twenty years old.

People often comment on how young Meridian's accomplished music artists were in the '60s and George Soule is no exception to this young group of notable artists. But George is probably much more accomplished than most of the other artists from his hometown.  About 1965 I met George Soule at RAP Records where he was helping Bob Reetz produce artists like Rick's Continentals and Paul Davis.  At 20, he was already famous around town for his skills as a drummer and for his music accomplishments. George Soule produced Rick And The Continental's 3rd and 4th recording at RAP Records and played drums on both cuts.  He was working with Paul Davis at this time and Paul also recorded on both of these cuts for Rick's Continentals.

Recently I asked George in an interview what he recorded at RAP Records in Meridian. His answer, nothing.  At least not on his own,  but George was active at the RAP Records studio and worked with many artists contributing his music skills and knowledge of the recording business.  Other artists have recently commented on George Soule's work with their bands. Frank Morris (Paul Davis & The Endless Chain) and Ned Hobgood (Sea Fever) both remember George either writing the music, recording and or producing their work as well as providing genuine advice about their work. Swamp Dogg  said this about George: "I love me some George 'Soul' Soulé; a great drummer, superb songwriter and a loyal friend. I have a Brooks O'Dell CD being released on ACE, on which George played all of the drums and wrote a couple of the songs. He may have sung some background. He's a genuine guy." This echos the thoughts and feelings of the music artists in George's hometown of Meridian.  A genuine guy and a great musician. During the '60s George would often drop by The King Of Klubs when my band was playing and would sit in on drums or sing a number or two.  It was always a pleasure to hear George work and he could play the drums. When George sat in you knew you had a drummer. 

George Soule's songs have been recorded by some of the most successful artists in soul music including Percy Sledge, Carl Carlton, The Temptations and Bobby Womack.  In 1973 he had a Top 40 rhythm and blues hit of his own as a solo artist with ‘’Get Involved’’.  He became a DJ at the local WOKK radio station as a teenager and recorded his first discs for Carol Rachou’s La Louisianne and Tamm labels in the mid 60s.  In 1972 he sang on a demo by Memphis writer George Jackson called Get Involved originally written with Wilson Pickett in mind. Fame Records owner Rick Hill liked Soulé‘s version so much he recorded George for his own label and the song reached No. 35 in Billboard’s R & B chart the following year, spawning a successful reggae cover version from Freddie McGregor. The song was featured on the nationally syndicated TV show Soul Train and caused a mild sensation when it was realised that George Soulé was a white singer. In 1975 George Soulé joined the Music Mill organisation in Muscle Shoals, writing songs for Arthur Alexander amongst others and operating the studio’s recording process as engineer. He received Country Music’s song of the year award for his engineering and mixing of Narvel Felts hit Reconsider Me. He has contributed to numerous songs that include What I Don’t Know Won’t Hurt Me (William Bell), Catch Me I’m Fallin’ (Esther Phillips),  After The Feeling Is Gone (LuLu), We’re Into Something Good (Roy Orbinson) and one of his most successful songs, Can’t Stop A Man In Love recorded by The Temptations, Bobby Womack and by Carl Carlton.

In 2004 he was part of the newly formed Country Soul Revue who recorded a CD entitled  “Testyfing” for Casual Records and performed with other members of the Revue on stage a year later at London, England’s Barbican Theatre in a highly acclaimed return to performing for the first time in twenty years. He followed this with the first CD in his own name “Take A Ride” for Zane Records which included both new material and also his own interpretations of songs he had written in the 1970s. In 2011 he released ‘Let me be a man’ a collection of archive material from his period with Muscle Shoals Sound Studios.
George Soule, one of the great lost voices of blue eyed soul, released his first album  in 2007. Recorded in Nashville and produced by Mark Nevers, it’s called Take A Ride and is issued by Zane Records. In a recent interview with Mississippi Music, George Soule shared from his music career. George took Eddie Houston to Malaco records. George Soule was the connection between Eddie Houston and Malaco Records and Eddie Houston became known as the first of Malaco’s great ballad singers.  When asked about the Lulu connection "After The Feeling Is Gone", Goerge said he never met Lulu. The VP of Atlantic Records, Jerry Wexler chose the song for her. George and Terry Woodford co-wrote the song after George moved to Muscle Shoals.  George recalls his most memorable gig as the "It Came From Memphis" show at the Barbican Center in London, 2005 and the biggest artists he performed with was Ray Charles at the 1965 Shindig show.

George Soule' is a pivotal character in the history of Southern songwriters who carved an indelible mark in the rich tradition of American music. His distinct, matter-of-fact writing style encompasses a pop sensibility that captures the listener whether its deep soul ballads, floor filling funk or slow-burning country. Like some of his contemporaries - Dan Penn, Eddie Hinton and Terry Woodford - Soule' is renown for his work in Muscle Shoals during the prime of the soul era. George Soule's multi-faceted career in music has spanned more than forty years.   In 2004, Jeb Loy Nichols along with Casual, created the Country Soul Revue, an all star group featuring Dan Penn, Donnie Fritts, Tony Joe White, Bonnie Bramlett, and of course, George Soule', backed by members of the Muscle Shoals Swampers, the Muscle Shoals and Memphis Horns.

George Soule' today resides in his hometown of Meridian, Mississippi.

George Soule Website

Take A Ride Album Link

George Soule -Poor Boy Blue

Music Recordings & Credits

1965 'Shindig' ABC Televsion
1971 First Peace Bobby Lance/ Piano
1971 Special Kind Of Woman-single-Paul Thompson/Volt Recs./Writers:Soule,Woodford

1971 Little Bit of Paul Davis Paul Davis Bang Recs./ Composer
1971 Shoes-Brook Benton single Cotillion Recs./writers: Soule, Covay
         BB R& B #18, Hot 100, #67
1971 After The Feeling Is Gone-Lulu single ATCO Recs./writers:Soule,Woodford
         Chart info not available
1971 Mr And Mrs Untrue-Lloyd Price single,Scepter Recs./co-producer
         Chart info not available
1971 It Hurts So Good-Latie Love single Scepter Recs./co-Prod w/Roger Hawkins
1971 Can't Stop A Man In Love, Carl Carolton single, ABC Recs./writers:Soule,Woodford
          BB R& B chart, info n/a
1972 Cuffed, Collared and Tagged Swamp Dogg/ Drums
1972 Carry Me-Ernie Shelby single/Polydor Recs./Drums
1972 Bend Over Backwards-Ernie Shelby single/Polydor Recs./co-writer,Drums
1972 From the Roots Came the Rapper Joe Tex LP /Composer
1972 Really J.J. Cale/ Drums
1972 Train I'm On Tony Joe White Vocals (bckgr)
1973 It Ain't Exactly Entertainment Gerry Goffin Vocals (bckgr)
1973 Reuben Howell Reuben Howell , Vocals (bckgr)/composer
1973 Get Involved-George Soule' single/Fame,UA/Top 10 BB R&B

1974 I'll Be Your Everything-Percy Sledge-single, BB R& B 15, Hot 100,62 Writer:Soule'

1974 Phases and Stages Willie Nelson Vocals (bckgr)
1974 Shotgun Willie/Phases and Stages Willie Nelson Vocals (bckgr)

1975 Reconsider Me, single, Narvel Felts ABC/Dot Recs.BB #1/Engineer
1975 Can't Stop A Man In Love-Temptations House Party LP-writers:Soule/Woodford
         also recorded by: The Surpremes,Wilson Pickett, Mirage,Dobie Gray,Jimmy Elledge

1975 Everyday I Have To Cry-Arthur Alexander, single, Buddah Recs., co producer/engineer
1976 Hank Williams, Jr. & Friends [MCA Special Products] Hank Williams, Jr./Engineer/ Vocals (bckgr)
1976 Let Go Dobie Gray/ Composer
1977  Bobby Bare/ Me and McDill LP RCA/Engineer

1977 She'll Throw Stones At You-single, Freddie Hart BB #9/co-writer
1979 Honest Lullaby Joan Baez Vocals (bckgr)
1979 Laminar Flow Roy Orbison /Composer
1985 Members Only Bobby "Blue" Bland Vocals (bckgr)
1987 First Class Blues Bobby "Blue" Bland Vocals (bckgr)
1992 Right Time Etta James Vocals (bckgr)
1993 Best of Tony Joe White Tony Joe White Vocals (bckgr)
1994 Do Right Man Dan Penn Vocals (bckgr)
1994 Love and Happiness Jerry Joseph Vocals (bckgr)
1995 Do the Crossover Baby Various Artists/ Composer
1996 Best of 25 Years of Swamp Dogg Swamp Dogg/ Drums
1997 Anyway the Wind Blows: The Anthology J.J. Cale/ Drums
1997 Half Past the Blues Vernon Garrett /Composer
1997 Searching for Simplicity Gregg Allman Vocals (bckgr)
1998 Definitive Collection J.J. Cale /Drums
1999 Excello Story, Vol. 4: 1961-1975 Various Artists/ Drums
1999 Last Soul Company [Box] Various Artists/ Performer
2001 Excellent Sides of Swamp Dogg, Vol. 2 Swamp Dogg/ Drums
2002 Brand New Z.Z. Hill/Friend Z.Z. Hill/Freddie North/ Drums
2002 No Stranger to the Dark: The Best of Gregg Allman Gregg Allman/ (bckgr)vocals
2003 After Hours 2: More Northern Soul Masters Various Artists/ Composer
2003 Southern Soul Cellar 2 Various Artists /Composer
2003 Troubled Waters: Deep Soul from the Deep South Various Artists/ Producer
2004 Drift Away: A Decade of Dobie (1969-1979) Dobie Gray /Composer
2004 In the Mood for Memphis Various Artists Vocals (bckgr)
2005 Candi/Music Speaks Louder Than Words Candi Staton /Composer
2005 It Came from Memphis [Manteca] Various- Artists/Composer
2006 America's Most Wanted, Vol. 2 Various Artists/ Composer
2006 Complete Atlantic Sessions Willie Nelson Vocals (bckgr)
2006 Gifted Willie Clayton/ Composer
2006 Sound of the Grapevine, Vol. 1 Various Artists/Composer
2006 Sound of the Grapevine, Vol. 2 Various Artists/ Composer
2006 Southern Fried Funk Various Artists/ Composer
2006 Take a Ride CD George Soulé Artist/composer
2006 Atlantic Unearthed-Soul Brothers/composer
2007 Excellent Sides of Swamp Dogg, Vol. 4 Swamp Dogg/ Drums
2008 Broadway Sound Sessions Sandra Wright/James Govan/ Composer
2008 Soul Chant Various Artists /Composer
2008 Take Me to the River: A Southern Soul Story 1961-1977 Various Artists/ Composer
2009 Malaco Soul Brothers, Vol. 1 Various Artists /Composer
2010 Malaco Soul Sisters Jewel Bass/Dorothy Moore /Composer
2011 Let Me Be A Man-CD (Soulscape Records, UK) Artist

George Soule Source: George Soulé (musician) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Interview: Perfect Sound Forever: George Soule interview
Interview:  George Soule-Testify
Interview:  Sir Shamblings Deep Soul Heaven