Explore Durham’s Soul Music History

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, many soul, funk, and R&B performers lived and worked in Durham, NC. More than 40 groups recorded singles and full-length albums in this time period. Ten recording labels were based in Durham during those decades.

Durham County Library’s North Carolina Collection, put together a comprehensive web exhibit, Bull City Soul, where you can learn about this fascinating musical history.

Read about musical origins and influences, see profiles, images, and discographies of the musical artists.  Learn about the politics of the time, local live music venues, and record stores that contributed to this vibrant culture and history.

Skull & Bones group

Skull & Bones promotional photo,
© 2014 Joshua Clark Davis, Jason Perlmutter, Lincoln Hancock

This 2014 project was funded by the Durham Library Foundation, Duke University, and North Carolina Humanities Council. This web exhibit is based on two projects which began in 2005 by local record collector and record store owner, Jason Perlmutter.  Perlmutter launched a website, Carolina Soul History to share his research.  “The Carolina Soul website serves as a living encyclopedia of soul music made in North and South Carolina.”

Did you know our library has music CDs available for checkout?  Search the online catalog to locate artists and albums.  These are shelved on the lower level of the library.