Psych & Soul

Phych and Soul is hosted by James Randall and can be heard Thursday afternoons from 4:00 – 5:00PM.

Psych ‘n Soul is a program based around the music of the mid-to-late sixties and early seventies. 20th century music in America was, for the most part, broken down by racial lines and by how commercial the music was intended to be. So, whether Hillbilly or Race, R&B or Country, or whatever manifestation, there were usually three different charts, one for “white” folk music, one for “black” folk music, and one for popular music.

Psychedelic rock is a general term for the music of the above stated time period that descended from the fusion of white and black folk music in the 1950s that came quickly to be known as Rock ‘n Roll, through the avenue of hallucinogenic drugs. It is a broad term for the type of rock music being recorded at that time (the way “Alternative Rock” came to be a blanket term for the rock music of the late eighties to early nineties).

Likewise, Soul music was a general term for the music that descended from a fusion of R&B and gospel, through the vehicle often of Rock ‘n Roll. It takes on several incarnations (usually ballads and dancers) but can sound quite different based on the area that the music is from (Detroit, Memphis, Chicago, etc.). As with psych, in some cases these songs became hits, and crossed over to popular music, but much more often linger in obscurity among certain cult followers despite the artistic quality that makes many of the songs equal or even greater than the popular music of the time.

The contention of the program is that from these two forms, Psych and Soul, a thread can be found through any era of American popular recorded music of the 20th century, from the early blues and hillbilly music of the 1920s through the Alt-rock of the 1990s. The program thus exists on two levels; one, to expose listeners to the obscure gems of an important era in music history, and, two, to demonstrate the importance of that era through following the thread of how these songs were created and how they influenced the generations of musicians afterwards. A typical show will, then, have mostly music in the style of “psych” and “soul” but at least one influence or follower.