Pop, Race, and the ’60s

“Son of a Preacher Man” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water”

What does it mean to say a record—or a singer—has “soul”?

Aretha Franklin and Dusty Springfield, 1967.
Aretha Franklin and Dusty Springfield, 1967.

Photo illustration by Slate. Images by Bettmann/Getty Images and Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images.

In the second episode of our new Pop, Race, and the ’60s Slate Academy, Slate pop critic Jack Hamilton talks to Emily Lordi, professor of English at UMass Amherst, and the author of Black Resonance: Iconic Women Singers and African American Literature and Donny Hathaway Live, about two soul singles, two singers, and the meaning of the contested term “soul.”

You can read the 1968 Time article about Aretha that Jack cites here.

Pop, Race, and the ’60s is made possible thanks to the generosity of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, home of the radio/podcast programs With Good Reason and BackStory.