John Capouya is associate professor of journalism and writing at the University of Tampa. His previous book, the biography Gorgeous George: The Outrageous Bad-Boy Wrestler Who Created American Pop Culture, is being adapted into a feature film.
"Capouya (journalism & writing, Univ. of Tampa; Gorgeous George) adds a significant entry to the scholarship on soul music with this title. He maintains that the state of Florida made valuable contributions to soul, on par with notable soul capitals such as Memphis, Detroit, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Capouya provides 20 profiles of exceptional Floridian soul musicians, ranging from the obscure (Linda Lyndell, Wayne Cochran, Frankie Gearing) to the popular (Ray Charles, Sam Moore of Sam & Dave, KC and the Sunshine Band). Throughout these profiles, a portrait of how racial segregation and post-Civil Rights Act integration in Florida affected both black and white musicians emerges. Because many of his subjects are spread widely across the state, Capouya's thesis about Florida as a soul capital falters slightly. If there is one figurehead, it is Henry Stone, the owner of TK Productions, whose session players included hit makers Timmy Thomas, Latimore, Betty Wright, Little Beaver, and Chocolate Perry. VERDICT Recommended for those already well versed in the history of soul looking to learn more; especially essential for libraries in Florida."--Library Journal
"Entertaining and colorful, Capouya's book assures that the Sunshine State gets its due alongside the musical hubs of Detroit, Memphis, and New Orleans."--Publishers Weekly
"Capouya allows the singers, producers, and musicians to tell their stories in their own words and to reveal the many hours they put into practicing and rehearsing their songs to tighten their harmonies and the challenges they often faced in a racially segregated society."--No Depression "Compelling. . . .Given how much great regional American soul music remains to be rediscovered, analyzed and archived, Mr. Capouya is to be commended. The casual fan will enjoy dipping in and out of these stand-alone stories; the hard-core fanatic will relish wading deep into the musical waters."--Wall Street Journal