Album of the Day
What is Soul?
Ben E. King’s sixth solo studio album was titled WHAT IS SOUL, and few performers better embodied the music than the former Drifters lead vocalist. Bert Burns helmed the 1967 Atco collection, and the producer was himself an R&B legend, penning hits for the likes of The Isley Brothers, Solomon Burke and Garnet Mimms. While Burns contributes a number here, King is writer or co-writer on four of the dozen tracks including such highlights as “She's Gone Again,” “Katherine” and the title song. With tougher vocals and an earthier approach, the set is closer to Stax than the strings of “There Goes My Baby,” underlining King’s ability to reinvent himself (he would find further success with funk and disco in the 1970s). The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee was born on this day in 1938, and in his honor we’ll give WHAT IS SOUL another spin.