Sunday, November 23, 2008


Stax and soul fans will want to pick up a copy of the new issue of Rolling Stone magazine, which lists the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, as determined by a poll of prominent musicians, critics, and industry insiders.

All of us here at the Stax Museum are thrilled to see Otis Redding all the way up at #8, accompanied in the magazine by a nice essay from Booker T. Jones. Other Stax and Memphis-related artists making the list are Al Green at #14, Bobby "Blue" Bland at #44, Mavis Staples at #56, Wilson Pickett at #68, Sam Moore at #85, and B.B. King at #96.

But just like the Stax Museum covers more than just Stax and Memphis Soul, Rolling Stone's list pays tribute to all of the icons of American soul music. Seven of their Top 10, and ten of the Top 20, are classic soul or blues artists spotlighted in the Stax Museum. Check it out:

1. Aretha Franklin
2. Ray Charles
4. Sam Cooke
6. Marvin Gaye
8. Otis Redding
9. Stevie Wonder
10. James Brown
14. Al Green
17. Tina Turner
20. Smokey Robinson
22. Etta James
26. Jackie Wilson
40. Curtis Mayfield
44. Bobby "Blue" Bland
49. Donny Hathaway
51. Gladys Knight
56. Mavis Staples
65. David Ruffin
68. Wilson Pickett
78. Sly Stone
85. Sam Moore
89. Solomon Burke
95. Patti LaBelle
96. B.B. King

Just goes to show how timeless and influential soul music truly is. But if you've been through the Museum, you probably already know that, don't you?

Congratulations to all of our soul heroes that made this list!


Steve said...

Good list, although I'm surprised that Levi Stubbs didn't make it.

Nice to see Bobby Blue Bland getting so much love, though. I don't think he gets the respect he deserves - plus he gets pigeonholed as "just" a bluesman too often.

For the record, however, my Top 5 soul singers list goes in this order:

Otis Redding
Al Green
James Brown
Sam Cooke
Smokey Robinson

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else out there love Shirley Murdock like I do?

Matt said...

It's so hard to catch every slippery fish with nets like these, but some possitions and ommisions surprised me.

Sly Stone is ranked criminally low. The Family Stone broke ground that we are still tilling.

Bobby Womack, nowhere to be seen? His songs are dark and gritty, and tell the truth. Plus he's pals with Ron Wood.

But what I wanna know is, who on earth could be in the 3 and 5 spot?

Steve said...

The rest of Rolling Stone's Top 5 had Elvis at #3 and John Lennon at #5. (Dylan came in at #7.)

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