Aside from the fantastic music, northern soul singers have brilliantly normal and un-pop-starry names. Reading the track listing for a northern soul album is like seeing the names of all your aunties and uncles written down.
Anyway, here are two of my favourite
To be honest, I know not a single thing about Don Ray (I just mistyped his surname as 'Yay' in a Freudian manner) and do I really need to? I love this song more than my own children. Fortunately I'm not especially maternal and don't have any children, but if I did have any, they'd probably come second to Born A Loser. Self pity was never so much fun! If you ever meet anybody wandering around singing this to themselves - complete with backing vocals - that'll be me.
Don Ray - Born A Loser mp3 (available for 7 days)
Insistent drum beat? Check. Funky bassline? Check. Cool brass section? Check. Sweet but powerful vocal? Oh yes! Apparently, when this Gwen Owens single was released, most of the records had a fault which prevented them from playing properly and never made it into record shops. So sad!
Gwen Owens - Just Say You're Wanted and Needed mp3 (available for 7 days)
You can find both of these greats - plus 98 more - on the brilliant but expensive compilation Keeping The Faith - 40 Years of Northern Soul OR you could spend under £10 on a couple of northern soul compilation albums to get them plus 84 others. You have plenty of options!