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Sounds Of Unity and Love (S.O.U.L.) was a band originating in 1970 in Cleveland. Members were Lee Lovett (bass), Gus Hawkins (sax/flute), Paul Stubblefield (drums), and Walter Winston (guitar). Larry Hancock (vocals/organ) was added in 1971 and Bernard (Beloyd) Taylor (guitar) replaced Walter Winston in 1972.
The group won the first prize of 1,000 dollars in a battle-of-the-bands contest in 1970, sponsored by the May Company department store in Cleveland, WHK radio station, and Musicor Records, and they gained a recording contract with Musicor Records for their first single “Down In The Ghetto” (1971), produced by the TOP POP Recording Company 223 Kingston Avenue, Brooklyn, New York City.
Two years later, S.O.U.L. were back to New York to record What IT is, a LP with seven tracks of covers of jazz and funk tunes, that jumped for two months on the Top 40 album spot on Billboard’s soul album chart. The album was released in Europe just in the early ’90s on the BGP label.
S.O.U.L. realized seven singles between ´71-74 for the Musicor Records, cracking the RnB top 50 chart in the summer of 1973. After a successful second LP, Can you feel IT?, the group got separate ways in 1975. Taylor moved to Los Angeles where wrote “Get Away” for Earth, Wind & Fire in 1976 and recorded for 20th Century Records. Hancock, also, moved to California and recorded for Decca Records including a duet with Alfie Silas; later he was part of the Platters. Gus Hawkins went back to college and worked as phlebotomist at the Cleveland Clinic before moving to Atlanta, GA. Lovett and Stubblefield continued to work in recording studios and labels.
What is IT
- Down in the Ghetto (Francis)
- Get Ready (Robinson)
- Burning Spear (Evans)
- Express Yourself (Wright)
- Soul (Hawkins/Lovett)
- Message from a Black Man (Strong/Whitfield)
- Memphis Underground (Mann)
Can You Feel IT?
- Can You Feel It (Hancock/Hawkins/Lovett/Stubblefield/Winston)
- Tell It Like It Is (Hancock/Hawkins)
- Do What Ever Your Want to Do (Hancock/Hawkins/Lovett)
- Peace of Mind (Hancock/Hawkins/Lovett/Stubblefield/Winston)
- My Cherie Amour (Cosby/Moy/Wonder)
- Love, Peace and Power (Hancock/Hawkins/Lovett/Stubblefield/Winston)
- To Mend a Broken Heart (Hancock)
- Sleeping Beauty (Hawkins)
- Sounds Of Unity and Love (S.O.U.L.)Origin Cleveland, Ohio, USA Genres Soul Music Years active1971 (1971)–1975 Labels Musicor Past members Larry Hancock (vocals/organ)
Bernard (Beloyd) Taylor (guitar)] Lee Lovett (bass)
Gus Hawkins (sax/flute)
Paul Stubblefield (drums)Walter Winston (guitar until 1972)