Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Playlist: The soundtrack that never was

A few years ago, I pitched an idea to HBO and Showtime for a drama series called “Soul ’66.”

In a nutshell, it was about dueling black record-label owners in a fictional Midwestern city in the 1960s... inspired, in part, by stories I’d heard about Ed Wingate whilst researching George Clinton’s early years as a songwriter in Detroit.

There was a crime element to show. One of the label bosses was backed by the Mafia; the other by a black numbers kingpin.

I couldn’t sell the show. For one thing, setting it in the past would make it extra expensive.

But in thinking the concept through, I’d decided that the way to make the music work would be to find actual obscure ’60s soul songs and re-record them. As opposed to hiring songwriters to create something that sounded authentic.

That was my big problem with “Dreamgirls.” The songs felt phony.

So I went searching for music.

Wanna hear some great ’60s songs that you probably never heard before? Click the titles below.

1. “I’ve Got That Feelin’ ” – Darrell Banks

2. “You’ve Changed Me” – Brenda Holloway

3. “In the Twilight Zone” – The Astors

4. “Can’t Win” – The Invincibles

5. “My Hi-Fi, Albums and Me” – Joyce Kennedy

6. “I’m Not Ashamed” – Bobby McClure


bklyn6 said...

One of the label bosses was backed by the Mafia; the other by a black numbers kingpin.

Payola, numbers runners.... That could've worked. :-)

I didn't realize the Manhattans went that far back.

onefinemess said...

Definitely a good idea for making the music work! I dug all the songs too, shame about the show :(.

Harlepolis said...

"Can't Win" SCREAMS Curtis Mayfield's name,,,,,although I'm not sure that. But the melody/lyrics sound like they were written by him.

Great set/idea.

Harlepolis said...


I didn't know Mother's Finest's own Ms.Joyce Kennedy sang this long,,,,,she even joined a Doo-wop group @ some point early of her career.

There's no mistaken that voice,,,,,mm mm mm, sheer HEAVEN!

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Glad you likes.

Dollar Bill said...

A wealth of music and true stories to draw upon from those Detroit days.

Sounds like my kinda show.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Fold in a little Don Robey... yeah, it would've rocked.