Mondays With Marta G – Soul Music

I truly believe that every generation grows up listening to their parents’ music thinking it is whack and not with the times. When I was very young I thought a LOT of my parents’ albums were strange.

And then somewhere in my late 20’s I grew into an appreciation for bands like Earth, Wind and Fire and Maze. I found myself drifting towards Luther Vandross when Usher had taken me as far as he could go. I came into a far greater appreciation of Elton John, Stevie Wonder, The Isley Brothers, The Ojays and yes, even Hall & Oates.

For me, these and many other performers from the generation before me held (and in some ways continue to hold) a strong grip on the heart of FUNK and SOUL music. So I thought I’d share my top 27 FUNK/SOUL list from the music I “borrowed” from my parents.

27. Rocketman – Elton John (1972)

26. Sarah Smile – Hall & Oates (1975)

25. You Make Me Feel Brand New – The Stylistics (1973)

24. If You Want Me To Stay – Sly & the Family Stone (1973)

23. Ain’t No Sunshine – Bill Withers (1971)

22. Purple Rain – Prince (1984)

21. Reasons – Earth, Wind and Fire (1975)

20. Cry Together – The Ojays (1978)

19. The Thrill Is Gone – B.B. King (1969)

18. I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know Donny Hathaway (1973)

17. Endless Love – Lionel Richie (1981)

16. Love T.K.O. – Teddy Pendergrass (1980)

15. I Wish It Would Rain – The Temptations (1967)

14. This is a Man’s World – James Brown (1966)

13. Me and Mrs. Jones – Billy Paul (1972)

12. Tell It Like It Is – Aaron Neville (1966)

11. Do Right Woman-Do Right Man – Aretha Franklin (1967)

10. Please, Please, Please – James Brown (1963)

9. Ooo Baby Baby – The Miracles (1969)

8. Kiss and Say Goodbye – The Manhattans (1976)

7. Before I Let Go – Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly (1981)

6. Don’t Say Goodnight (It’s Time For Love)(Part 1 &2) – The Isley Brothers (1980)

5. Let’s Stay Together – Al Green (1972)

4. Sweet Love – Anita Baker (1986)

3. Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye (1982)

2. A House Is Not A Home – Luther Vandross (1981)

1. ‘Cause I Love You – Lenny Williams (1978)

Marta C. Youngblood is a writer, education and social entrepreneur based in Hot Springs, Arkansas. For more information on her current projects visit

2 thoughts on “Mondays With Marta G – Soul Music

  1. I’m claiming any song made after 1980s as ours. That gives us Luther, Anita, and Prince, which is pretty solid play list.

    Also I had no idea Sarah Smile came out before I was born. I heard it so much as a child, I just figured it was a recent hit.


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