The Northern Soul Scene - Sarah Raine

The Northern Soul Scene - Sarah Raine

Groove Me: Dancing to the Discs of Northern Soul

The Northern Soul Scene - Sarah Raine

David Sanjek† [+-]
David Sanjek, who died in 2011, was formerly Professor of Popular Music and Director of the University of Salford Music Research Centre, and a widely respected researcher of music, film, media and popular culture and a leading member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM). He is particularly well known for the update of Russell Sanjek’s (his later father) long history, American Popular Music and Its Business. He had been Director of the Archives at (BMI Broadcast Music, Inc.) and acted as an advisor to The Library of Congress, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and The Rhythm & Blues Foundation.


This chapter, first published in Transatlantic Roots Music: Folk, blues and national identities (eds. Terry & Wynn 2012, University Press of Mississippi), examines the phenomenon of Northern Soul, addressing four main issues. First, what is the composition of the discography constituted by Northern Soul advocates, and how does it demarcate a particular portion of the rhythm & blues repertoire as innately superior to better-known and publicly popular recordings? Second, what relationship is projected between the two nations of the United States and England, and how is the geography from which the music originated imagined? Third, how has the Northern Soul community integrated issues of race, and what determination might be made about the kinds of bonds that elude and perhaps eradicate lines of potential hostility that can originate through the acquisition and acclimation of commercial products? Finally, what specific ideological statements might be intertwined within particular acts of pleasure, and might something be emancipated on the dance floor other than the inhibitions of the audience?

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Sanjek†, David. Groove Me: Dancing to the Discs of Northern Soul. The Northern Soul Scene. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 312-329 Feb 2019. ISBN 9781781795583. Date accessed: 03 Dec 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.36974. Feb 2019

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