This book is a social history of northern soul. It examines the origins and development of this music scene, its clubs, publications and practices, by locating it in the shifting economic and social contexts of the English midlands and north in the 1970s. The popularity of northern soul emerged in a period when industrial working-class communities were beginning to be transformed by deindustrialisation and the rise of new political movements around the politics of race, gender and locality. The book makes a significant contribution to the historiography of youth culture, popular music and everyday life in post-war Britain. The authors draw on an expansive range of sources including magazines/fanzines, diaries, letters, and a comprehensive oral history project to produce a detailed, analytical and empathetic reading of an aspect of working-class culture that was created and consumed by thousands of young men and women in the 1970s. A range of voices appear throughout the book to highlight the complexity of the role of class, race and gender, locality and how such identities acted as forces for both unity and fragmentation on the dance floors of iconic clubs such as the Twisted Wheel (Manchester), the Torch (Stoke-on-Trent), the Catacombs (Wolverhampton) and the Casino (Wigan).
… I would be very grateful to hear from the views of male contributors … on what their reaction is to their female counterparts intruding on their stronghold in our music world. I have met with mixed reaction discussing soul, the pendulum seeming to swing towards the attitude that we females are not expected to know the true soul records.110 While women collectivised to carve out and articulate their space within northern soul, their male counterparts were clearly not always welcoming of their ‘infringement’. Jenny Stretton’s letter indicates 224 CATTERALL
kind of music world. This period saw the staging of highly popular ballad concert series and cheap performances such as those put on by August Mann at Crystal Palace in 1855. Series, including the London Ballad Concerts, became intertwined with sheet music marketing through ballad catalogues promoted by a growing number of music publishers such as Boosey, Novello, Davidson, Hopwood and Crew, and