Hit ParadeSlate

The Bridge: Chi-Town, Soul Town

Chicago music expert Ayana Contreras says the Great Migration made the Midwest funkier and more soulful.

[This edition of my Hit Parade—“The Bridge” bonus series is available to Slate Plus subscribers only. A link to the episode show page is below. To sign up for Plus—and tell Slate that Hit Parade sent you!—visit slate.com/hitparadeplus.]

In this mini-episode of Hit Parade, host Chris Molanphy welcomes Chicago broadcaster and Black music scholar Ayana Contreras, host of the radio show Reclaimed Soul and author of Energy Never Dies: Afro-Optimism and Creativity in Chicago. Contreras says the Great Migration made not only Chicago but all of the Midwest—from Detroit to Dayton—a cradle of R&B styles in the ’70s, particularly soul and funk. And while disco proved a challenge to Windy City acts, they eventually remade dance music through the power of their innovative arrangements, building a foundation for the hip-hop era.

Next, Chris quizzes a Slate Plus listener with some music trivia, gives him a chance to turn the tables with a question of his own, and previews next month’s full-length episode. Slate Plus members can sign up for a chance to be our trivia contestant on a future episode here.

Podcast production by Kevin Bendis.

Content retrieved from: https://slate.com/podcasts/hit-parade/2022/10/soul-and-funk-legends-came-from-middle-america.