Brown-eyed soul

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Brown-eyed soul, also referred to as Chicano soul, is soul music performed in the United States mainly by Latinos in Southern California, East Los Angeles, and San Antonio (Texas) during the 1960s, continuing through to the early 1980s.[1] The trend of Latinos started with Latino rock and roll and rock musicians.[2][1] "Brown eyed soul" contrasts with blue-eyed soul, soul music performed by non-Hispanic white artists.[3]


Critic Ruben Molina said roots of chicano soul music was from the 1950s jazz, blues, doo wop, jump blues, latin jazz, rock, ranchera, norteno, and conjunto music in the West Coast, Texas Hispanic communities.[4] Latino artists began to draw inspiration from Afroamerican R&B hits, and as a result, Latino soul began sounding very similar to Afroamerican soul music. Early artists owed little to traditional Latin and rarely performed in Spanish.[5]

Latin rock singer Ritchie Valens, also became one of the first artists to bring traditional Latin music and rock and roll. Valens recorded "Donna", " La Bamba", "Come On, Let's Go", and "Donna" reached #2 on Billboard pop chart in 1959.[6]

1960s and 1970s bands such as Cannibal & the Headhunters ("Land of a Thousand Dances") and Thee Midniters played R&B music with a rebellious rock and roll edge. From 60s to 70s, Little Willie G, Little Joe, Estevan Jordan, Royal Jesta, Romances, Calros Guzman, Joe Bravo, Dimas Three, Chuck & the Dots, the Sky Tones, the Broken Hearts, the Volumes and Sunny and the Sunliners were popular.[7]

However, the large Hispanic population on the West Coast began gradually moving away from energetic R&B to romantic soul, and the results were "some of the sweetest soul music heard during the late '60s and '70s."[1] Latino groups on the West Coast and Texas also drew from the doo wop-influenced Philadelphia soul( "Philly" soul). The West Coast Latin rock scene continued to influence other Latino soul musicians as well. Tierra gained top 40 hit "Together",[8] and Rocky Padilla recorded chicano soul singles.

Brown-eyed soul artists[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c AllMusic: Brown-eyed Soul. All Media Guide, LLC. Retrieved on 2008-12-30.
  2. ^ Bennet, Bobby. The Ultimate Soul Music Trivia Book
  3. ^ Unterberger, R. (2000). Urban Spacemen and Wayfaring Strangers. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 196. ISBN 9781617744815. Retrieved 2015-02-20.
  4. ^ Chicano soul Texas T University Retrieved 19 March 2021
  5. ^ Gregory, Hugh. Soul Music A-Z
  6. ^ Rockin' Country Style Ritchie Valens Archived 2010-03-12 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 19 March 2021
  7. ^ Legacy of Sunny Retrieved 19 March 2021
  8. ^ 94.7 The WAVE May 22, 2015 Tierra’s Rudy Salas Talks Music, Performing & More By Pat Prescott
  9. ^ Sunny And The Sunliners' 'Mr. Brown Eyed Soul' Is For The Loved And Lovelorn : NPR
  10. ^ Sunny Ozuna: The Brown Eyed Soul Man|The Village Voice