All Soul’s Day, also known as the Day of the Dead, observed on November 2nd by Roman Catholics and other Christian denominations, is a day of prayer and remembrance for the faithful departed. Tradition to remember deceased relatives and friends often center on prayers, alms, and visits to cemeteries.
It follows the Eve of All Saints Day/Halloween on October 31st and All Saints Day on November 1st. The English word “Halloween” is a Scottish derivation of “All Hallow’s Eve”, contracted to “Hallow-e’en”, with “even” the Scot term for “eve” or evening, shortened to “e’en.”
In addition to the Christian origins of the holiday, significant influence by Celtic harvest festivals, in particular the Gaelic festival Samhain, with pagan roots. The holiday progressed toward its more common customs and appearance in the US with the arrival of Irish and Scottish immigrants in the 19th century. Traditions from all of these sources have included dressing in black, dressing in costumes, visiting and remembering the dead, jack-o-lanterns to frighten off evil spirits, imagery of ghosts, ghouls, and other spooks, as well as traveling for treats, and eventually tricks.
Thus souls figure prominent on both Halloween October 31st, and All Souls Day November 2nd. Today’s playlist “All About SOUL” is a tribute to songs featuring Soul in their title. Some great songs include Billy Joel’s playlist titles song, as “Soul Man,” “Soul Kitchen,” “Soul Provider,” “Soul Cages,” “Hey, Soul Sister,” “Beautiful Soul,” “Satisfy My Soul,” and “Heart And Soul,” of which there are several unique songs, including the Contours/Jan & Dean, Huey Lewis, T’Pau’s. And Arthur Conley’s “Sweet Soul Music” references several artists on the list, including Lou Rawls, Sam & Dave, Wilson Pickett, and James Brown.
Watching this performance of Billy Joel’s “All About Soul” I am reminded what a great live performer he is. Not even at the piano on this song, he still can hold an audience and entertain – so great!
From SNL, the Blues Brothers with their version of Sam & Dave’s “Soul Man.” Rewatching this performance I continue to be amazed by their talent and stage presence. They weren’t just actors, but talented musicians and performers. Its a shame John Belushi passed so young.
Huey Lewis might be one of my musical heroes, in that he scored a perfect 800 on his math SATs, hitchhiked from San Francisco to NYC, stowed away on a plane to Scotland, became an accomplished blues player in Madrid, where he busked to earn enough money to purchase a flight back to the states, where he enrolled at Cornell University. He subsequently dropped out his junior year to pursue music, made several album appearance playing harmonica, with the likes of Thin Lizzy, Nick Lowe, and Dave Edmunds, on his way to becoming a pop success in the mid-80s. Here he is with one of his three top 10 hits (along with “I Want A New Drug,” “The Heart of Rock & Roll,” and “If This Is It”) “Heart And Soul”:
Soul Train aired for 35 years, from 1971 to 2006, featuring performances by R&B, soul, and hip hop artists. Dancers were sometimes stars, or sometimes became stars, including over the years Rosie Perez, Carmen Electra, Nick Cannon, Vivica Fox, Jody Watley, Pebbles, MC Hammer, And Walter Payton. The theme song evolved and changed over the years, but was always an entertainment spectacle:
“Soul Provider” – Michael Bolton was so popular in the late ’80s:
“Hey, Soul Sister,” one of my two favorite Train songs, along with “Drops of Jupiter” – so good:
And now for the playlist. I think it will speak to your soul 😉
I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew. Rediscover the passion of music in your life.
Live in the moment.
Enjoy the moment.
Love the moment.
Listen to the Music!