The Soul label kicked off in the summer of 1964 with Shorty Long’s “Devil With The Blue Dress On” a song which reached the furthest outskirts of the Hot 100 at number 125, but would later be a significant hit record for Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels in 1966 (#4) coupled as a medley with Little Richard’s “Good Golly Miss Molly.” Soul would join Motown’s “Big Four” (Tamla, Motown & Gordy being the other three). Jr. Walker and the All Stars would anchor the label through its entire run (1964-1978), with Gladys Knight & The Pips signing on in mid 1966 to contribute a memorable string of chart hits.
Walker first came to the attention of Berry Gordy in 1962 via Gordy close associate and singer Harvey Fuqua and was signed to Fuqua’s Harvey record label along with some very obscure artists. Gladys Knight & The Pips were a Detroit group who had several releases starting in 1960 with Vee Jay, Fury and Maxx records before joining the Berry Gordy family for a great run. Unlike many other Motown artists – The Pips were not unfamiliar with success having scored a #1 R&B hit (#4 Hot 100) with “Every Beat of My Heart” in mid 1961. And unlike several others they went on to considerable success after their Motown years with 15 Hot 100 hits including several Top Ten hits and a #1 “Midnight Train to Georgia”. The group enjoyed 10 R&B Chart number ones.
In the later years, Soul Records would place a lot of faith in The Originals, releasing 15 singles – but not experiencing the success of Walker or the Pips. – Visit the ever-growing Motown Soul 45 Label page.