Blues & Soul

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Blues & Soul
EditorLee Tyler
FounderJohn Abbey
First issueOctober 1967; 55 years ago (1967-10)
CountryUnited Kingdom
Based inCroydon

Blues & Soul is a British music magazine,[1] established in 1967 by John Abbey. The Independent has noted Blues & Soul as being the equal of magazines such as NME and Q. Billboard magazine has called Blues & Soul "a respected publication."[2][3]


John Abbey, a devotee of American R&B music, established a magazine entitled Home of the Blues in 1966. This came about while Abbey was working for a travel agency in London. The magazine went on to publish its own musical charts, cover events and clubs and feature reviews, interviews and other musical articles. Blues & Soul's R&B charts were compiled via a poll record sales throughout Britain. The publication soon gained further popularity in the UK and Europe covering genres of music such as soul, R&B, Funk, dance, jazz, hip hop, reggae and world music. With issue number 12 the magazine's title was changed to Blues & Soul.

In addition to Abbey's contributions, material was provided by writers such as former Motown press officer Sharon Davis and British soul fan Dave Godin. Within a June 1970 column of Blues & Soul, Godin went on to coin the term "Northern soul". The business gradually expanded and Abbey set up an associated record label called Contempo Records,[4] which released the UK's first 12-inch singles. Abbey moved to Atlanta, Georgia in the mid-1970s and established Ichiban Records,[4] while the editorship of the magazine was taken over by Bob Killbourn in 1979.[5][6][7][8][9] Another important contributor, David Nathan, began writing for Blues & Soul in the early 1970s, first in London, then from 1975 as the magazine's principal New York correspondent.[10]

Blues & Soul's charts, from the start of such, became increasingly popular within the UK.[11] During 1979, DJ Pete Tong started being a journalist at Blues & Soul. Within the following year, he became the features editor of the magazine.[12][13] Fellow UK publication Black Music was also absorbed in April 1984 by Blues & Soul.[14] Blues & Soul has also, from its inception, bestowed awards to artistes based upon an annual readers poll.[15][16]

By 2006, the magazine had published 1000 issues.[5]

The magazine returned in printed form in August 2010 with a special vintage edition.

In July 2011, Blues & Soul was relaunched permanently in print as a two-monthly magazine alongside its ongoing presence online, helmed by editor Lee Tyler plus assistant editor (and long-time contributor) Pete Lewis.


  1. ^ "Blues and Soul Music Magazine - About".
  2. ^ Gallivan, Joseph (May 19, 1993). Media. The Independent.
  3. ^ Label Founders Boast Diverse Musical Backgrounds and Teamwork. Vol. 107. Billboard. April 8, 1995. p. 28.
  4. ^ a b Gregory, Andy (2002). The International Who's Who in Popular Music 2002. Psychology Press. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-85743-161-2.
  5. ^ a b "Bob Killbourn, "Picking up the reins"". Blues & Soul.
  6. ^ Meadows, Eddie S. (June 10, 2010). Blues, Funk, Rhythm and Blues, Soul, Hip Hop, and Rap: A Research and Information Guide. Routledge. ISBN 9781136992568.
  7. ^ Richardson, Clive (November 11, 2015). Soul Citizen - Tales & Travels from the Dawn of the Soul Era to the Internet Age. Lulu Press. pp. 76–82. ISBN 9781291246735.
  8. ^ Brewster, Bill (January 19, 2018). "Interview: Dave Godin". Red Bull Music Academy.
  9. ^ Johnson, Phil (October 20, 2004). "Dave Godin: Esperanto-speaking vegan who became an apostle of soul". The Independent.
  10. ^ "David Nathan", Rock's Backpages (Retrieved 11 June 2015).
  11. ^ Simpson, Dave (August 6, 2009). "The scenes that time forgot". The Guardian.
  12. ^ "Pete Tong".
  13. ^ Ramsamy, Gemma Kappala (March 26, 2011). "Pete Tong: Soundtrack of my life". The Guardian.
  14. ^ "Black Music". Rocks Back Pages.
  15. ^ "Blues & Soul".
  16. ^ O' Brien, Lucy (March 1, 200). "This soul is organic". The Guardian.

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