Chicago soul music, that weird conflation of gospel, rhythm and blues, and bass-heavy horn riffing, was somewhat overshadowed by its more well-known brothers in Detroit and Memphis, yet it’s no less illustrious. Rather than being assembled into one powerful city-affiliated unit, as Motown and Stax managed, Chicago’s talent was spread across numerous local labels, including Chess, Vee-Jay, Pam and the best of the era, OKeh Records.
Odd then, that this conduit of early Chicago soul was a label started by a German and originally based in New York. Even odder that, in the UK at least, it planted the seeds of the strange world of northern soul. In fact, nowadays, it’s not unusual to find blokes at record fairs with moustaches, hot pot accents, darts player’s physiques and a predilection for sweet sixties soul getting misty-eyed over Billy Butler & The Enchanters.