Music: A celebration of the first ladies of soul

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Fifty years ago Aretha Franklin won two Grammy Awards, and in 2010 was voted the Best Singer Of All Time ahead of Elvis, Sinatra and the like.

In fact the ladies of soul have been more successful than their male counterpart, in both sales and concerts.

Maybe it was time to examine this more and so we have Soul Woman released as a four CD set including two from Aretha.

There are 80 tracks here and room for all variations. UK singer Jocelyn Brown was a sensation when she toured the clubs with her range and powerful vocals.

She would start the show with the acapella section from Somebody Else’s Guy, and would astonish everyone in the room far better than any Dreamgirls could do.

She then had a revival and arguably her biggest hit when she teamed with Incognito to sing Always There.

I also remember a shy soul singer make her debut in Glasgow in 1988 when she had only recorded four songs. Again she impressed the assembled press and media with her sweet phrasing and control and immediately had a hit with My One Temptation. She was Mica Paris and she continues to tour today.

I like the balance of the diva and the soul queens on here from old school Etta James, Diana Ross and Nina Simone to the gentle soul of Minnie Ripperton, Joyce Sims and Anita Baker.

Soul meets disco too with Southern Freeez, Young Disciples and Chic while they too were influenced by the Motown era of The Marvelettes, Martha & The Vandellas and Gladys Knight & The Pips.