Heritage Playlist: Soul

From Stevie Wonder to Dusty Springfield, Otis Redding to Tina Turner – Colston Hall has seen some of the most influential and iconic soul artists perform over the years. To celebrate the golden ages of soul music, National Lottery Heritage Fund volunteers Duncan, Kitty, Rachel and Grecia and the Lantern Project coordinator and historian Louise Anderson have created a Heritage Playlist showcasing the influential and iconic artists that performed on our stage.

Listen to our favourite soul tracks in our Heritage Playlist below, chosen by the project volunteers, that maps the rise of soul music and scroll down to read more about these incredible artists and their performances as Colston Hall.

Bristol Got Soul

Fri 3 May – Colston Hall

If you love the sound of vintage soul, then join us on Fri 3 May for Bristol Got Soul – a night showcasing the city’s creativity with music from Dionne Draper and her choir featuring Lady Nade, poetry with Lyrically Justified and Vanessa Kisuule, swing dance demos and much more.


When they played at Colston Hall

Sam Cooke – 15 Oct 1962

Song: Willow Weep For Me
Date released: February 1963
Chosen by: Duncan

Ray Charles – 7 Jul 1964

Song: Busted (Harlan Howard song)
Date released: 1963
Chosen by: Kitty

The Supremes – 23 Mar 1965

Song: Where did our love go?
Date released: Jun 1964
Chosen by: Rachel

Martha and the Vandellas – 23 Mar 1965

Song: Nowhere to Run
Date released: Feb 1965
Chosen by: Rachel

Martha & the Vandellas were at the peak of their success between the years of 1964 and 1967, becoming one of Gordy / Motown’s most popular performing acts. After various permutations of vocalists, the definitive trio of Martha Reeves, Rosalind Ashford & Annette Beard named themselves after Detroit’s Van Dyke Street and Reeves’ favourite singer, Della Reese.

Stevie Wonder – 23 Mar 1965

Song: Fingertips
Date released: Jun 1963
Chosen by: Grecia

Stevie Wonder’s career begun when he signed with Motown’s Tamla label at the age of 11. He was one of the key musicians of the Motown era, eventually branching out an experimenting with other genres. Throughout Stevie’s long career he has released several genre-transcending albums varying from soul, funk, jazz, etc.

Jimmy Smith – 28 Nov 1965

Song: The Cat
Date released: Apr 1964
Chosen by: Rachel

Jimmy Smith, although known as a jazz keyboardist, popularised the Hammond B-3 Organ which was a large component of the transition from jazz to early 60’s soul music, and inspired a whole generation of organ players.

Otis Redding – 12 Sep 1966

Song: Just One More Day
Date released: Apr 1966
Chosen by: Duncan

Dusty Springfield – 2 Oct 1966

Song: You don’t have to say you love me
Date released: May 1966
Chosen by: Rachel

Although originally a folk singer, Dusty Springfield played a key part in bringing soul music and the Motown sound to British television, by devising and introducing a Motown special episode of the popular music show Ready Steady Go! in 1965. The show featured The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, The Miracles and Martha & the Vandellas.

Jimmy Smith – 10 Dec 1968

Song: T-Bone Steak
Date released: Jun 1967
Chosen by: Rachel

Otis Redding – 28 Mar 1967

Song: My Lover’s Prayer
Date released: Oct 1966
Chosen by: Duncan

Stevie Wonder – 12 Mar 1969

Song: I’ve Got You
Date released: Aug 1969
Chosen by: Grecia

Ray Charles and his Orchestra – 26 Sep 1969

Song: Something Inside Me
Date released: 1967
Chosen by: Kitty

Jimmy Smith – 23 Nov 1969

Song: Chain of Fools
Date released: 1968
Chosen by: Rachel

Written by Don Covay, and originally released by Aretha Franklin in 1967, Jimmy Smith’s 1968 version showcases the Hammond Organ, complemented by backing vocals.

Stevie Wonder – 2 Feb 1971

Song: Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours
Date released: Jun 1970
Chosen by: Grecia

Ike & Tina Turner – 14 Feb 1971

Song: I’ve been Loving You Too Long
Date released: Mar 1969
Chosen by: Duncan

Tina Turner is perhaps best known for her solo career spanning the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s but during her early forays into music she formed an R&B and Soul duo with musician, and later first husband, Ike Turner. The two contributed some important hits in the early development of soul and forged an inital link between it and R&B music before their professional and personal split in 1978.

Ray Charles – 27 Sep 1971

Song: What Am I Living For
Date released: 1971
Chosen by: Kitty

Stevie Wonder – 18 Jan 1972

Song: Superstition
Date released: 1972
Chosen by: Grecia

Hot Chocolate – 9 Jun 1974

Song: Could have been born in the ghetto
Date released: Jun 1974
Chosen by: Rachel

By the late 1960s the soul movement had begun to splinter, with some soul musicians moving towards funk; Hot Chocolate being just one of the exponents of the sub-genre.

The Detroit Spinners – 9 Apr 1975

Song: There’s No One Like You
Date released: Dec 1974
Chosen by: Duncan

Hot Chocolate – 12 Oct 1976

Song: Heaven’s in the Back Seat of my Cadillac
Date released: 1976
Chosen by: Rachel

Kiki Dee – 12 Nov 1976

Song: Ain’t nothing like the real thing
Date released: May 1970
Chosen by: Louise

Kiki Dee was the first white British (sometimes called ‘blue-eyed soul’ or white soul) artist and also first female artist to sign with Motown Records, in 1969.

The Manhattans – 4 Feb 1977

Song: Kiss and Say Goodbye
Date released: March 1976
Chosen by: Rachel

Hot Chocolate – 3 Apr 1978

Song: So You Win Again
Date released: Jun 1977
Chosen by: Rachel

The Commodores – 13 Apr 1978

Song: Easy
Date released: Mar 1977
Chosen by: Duncan

George Benson – 25 May 1978

Song: Nature Boy
Date released: Feb 1977
Chosen by: Rachel

George Benson is an American singer, guitarist, and songwriter. While best known as a jazz guitarist from an early age, Benson decided to incorporate soul and R&B into his music in the early 70s; thus creating a distinctive sound, which would later influence both Smooth Jazz and Contemporary Jazz.

The Lantern Project

As part of our project to transform the hall, the National Lottery Heritage Fund are supporting us in preserving our archives for future generations to enjoy and find out about our cultural heritage.

For more information on Colston Hall’s Transformation project, click here.


Supported by

The Transformation of Colston Hall and The Lantern Project are supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund;  the leading advocate for the value of heritage and the largest dedicated funder of heritage in the UK.

Welcome to
Bristol Beacon

On Wednesday 23 September 2020 Colston Hall changed its name to Bristol Beacon.

Our new name is just the first step, it is about more than the sign above our door. Click below to find out more about how we’re changing, watch our name announcement, and discover how we want everyone to share in the joy of live music.

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