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Brown-eyed soul

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Title: Brown-eyed soul  
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Subject: Soul music, Bloodstone (band), New Orleans soul, Modern soul, Jamo Thomas
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Brown-eyed soul

Brown-eyed soul is a subgenre of soul music or rhythm and blues created and performed in the United States mainly by Latinos in Southern California during the 1960s, continuing through to the early 1980s.[1][2][3] The genre of soul music occasionally draws from Latin, and often contains rock music influences. This contrasts with blue-eyed soul, soul music performed by non-Hispanic white artists.[4]


Brown-eyed soul emerged from the 1950s simultaneously on the East Coast United States, in the Hispanic communities, and on the West Coast, in the much larger Hispanic communities. Chicago soul and Motown hits were crowd favorites at dances and clubs during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Latino artists began to draw inspiration from the Motown hits, and as a result, brown-eyed soul began sounding very similar to African American soul. Early brown-eyed soul artists owed little to traditional Latin and rarely performed in Spanish.

Ritchie Valens, one of the original pioneers of brown-eyed soul music, also became one of the first brown-eyed soul artists to bring traditional Latin music and rock and roll influences into the genre. Latino groups on the East and West Coast also drew from the funk-influenced Philadelphia soul, or "Philly" soul. The West Coast Latin rock scene continued to influence brown-eyed soul artists as well.

Inspired by Ritchie Valens, 1960s and 1970s bands such as Cannibal & the Headhunters ("Land of a Thousand Dances") and Thee Midniters played brown-eyed R&B music with a rebellious rock and roll edge. Many of these artists drew from the frat rock and garage rock scenes. However, the large Hispanic population on the West Coast began gradually moving away from energetic R&B to romantic soul, and the results were "some of the sweetest soul music heard during the late '60s and '70s."[1]

Notable brown-eyed soul artists


  1. ^ a b allmusic: Brown-eyed Soul. All Media Guide, LLC. Retrieved on 2008-12-30.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  1. ^ Bennet, Bobby. The Ultimate Soul Music Trivia Book
  2. ^ Gregory, Hugh. Soul Music A-Z [3]
  3. ^ Marsh, Dave. The Heart of Rock & Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made


  • Unterberger, Richie. Music USA: The Rough Guide
  • Morales, Ed. The Latin Beat
  • Groening, Matt. Da Capo Best Music Writing 2003: The Year's Finest Writing on Rock, Pop, Jazz, Country, & More
  • Gaar, Gillian G. .She's a Rebel: The History of Women in Rock & Roll
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