Artist profiles: George Halbert Soule Jr.
AboutGeorge Halbert Soule Jr.
George Soule' is a pivotal character in the history of Southern songwriters who carved an indelible mark in the rich tradition of American music. His distinct, matter-of-fact writing style encompasses a pop sensibility that captures the listener whether its deep soul ballads, floor filling funk or slow-burning country. Like some of his contemporaries - Dan Penn, Eddie Hinton and Terry Woodford - Soule' is renown for his work in Muscle Shoals during the prime of the soul era.
George Soule's multi-faceted career in music has spanned almost forty years. After cutting country demos in Nashville, Soule' moved to Jackson, Mississippi, to work for the newly opened Malaco Studios. After selling his first few Malaco cuts (produced by Soule and Tom Couch) into national distribution, George pitched some songs to Jerry Wexler who was in Muscle Shoals recording with Jimmy Johnson and the rest of the Swampers. Wexler used demos Soule' solicited to cut records by Judy Clay, Arthur Conley and Lulu. George relocated to Muscle Shoals to work at the legendary 3614 Jackson Hwy. Studio, where he wrote, produced, and even coordinated a hit release by Katie Love on the MSS imprint. Other artists that recorded his songs (mostly co-written with Terry Woodford and other writers) during those years include: Mavis Staples, the Patterson Twins, Bobby Womack, Archie Bell & the Drells, Dee Dee Warwick, and Brook Benton. He then moved to FAME and wrote for Candi Staton and Odia Coates, reviewed and recorded demos, played on sessions, and sang his first national hit with "Get Involved". In later years, this guttural call to arms would become a Northern Soul classic. George left FAME to work as a freelance studio man writing for and engineering big name country acts like Hank Williams Jr. at Music Mill in Muscle Shoals. Soule' has written songs for Percy Sledge, "I'll Be Your Everything", Eddie Bradford, the Temptations, and the Supremes. After a few more years of writing songs that would be recorded by James and Bobby Purify, Etta James, Johnny Taylor, Freddie Hart, Carl Carlton, Dorothy Moore, Dan Penn, and Esther Phillips, George Soule' decided to take a break.
As "Get Involved" reappeared with the resurgence of the Northern Soul scene, fans started paying attention to Southern soul era writers like Soule', Dan Penn, Eddie Hinton, Donnie Fritts and George Jackson, bringing their work back into the spotlight. In 2003, Casual Records released Country Got Soul: Vol. 1, a collection of classic works by blue-eyed Southern soul songwriters and performers that featured "Get Involved". In 2004, Jeb Loy Nichols along with Casual, created the Country Soul Revue, an all star group featuring Dan Penn, Donnie Fritts, Tony Joe White, Bonnie Bramlett, and of course, George Soule', backed by members of the Muscle Shoals Swampers, the Muscle Shoals and Memphis Horns.
George Soule' currently resides in his hometown of Meridian, Mississippi.Earlier this year (2006), George returned to the studio to record, after a 20-year hiatus, his debut album 'Take A Ride' which is released on Zane Records October 16th 2006.