The Atlantic Soul Collective – Soul DJ Caroline Dann

Soul DJ Caroline Dann
Soul DJ Caroline Dann. Photo kind permission of Caroline Dann

The Atlantic Soul Collective – Chatting With Early R&B & Soul DJ Caroline Dann

About a year or so ago, I was fortunate enough to discover a Mixcloud channel named the Atlantic Soul Collective. From listening to the first upload, I became an avid listener. A great channel with a diversity of 50s & 60s R&B, rare & Northern Soul as well as funky edged Soul. These Mixclouds include tracks from artists such as Etta James, Ben E. King, Little Flint and Pervis Lee. In addition a variety of Latin Soul, Modern Soul & Tamla Motown songs feature within these uploads, including the music of  Mongo Santamaria, Sharon Jones and The-Dap Kings and Marvin Gaye. I was so impressed with the uploads that I thought I would  approach DJ Caroline Dann, one of the DJs from The Atlantic Soul Collective, to have a chat with her about her DJing and her passion for Soul music.

1. When and how did you get into listening to Soul & R&B?

My parents listened exclusively to jazz, which was played very loud
I grew up listening to my sister playing Atlantic & Philly pretty much constantly, so I have her to thank for that, as well as my schoolfriend Mark Dallaway who had an incredible record collection for a 17 year old – he made me mixtapes with the likes of Garnett Mimms and Betty Everett and got me into Northern Soul when I was stuck on 2 Tone and all things Mod. It was a total revelation to me that ‘7 Days Too Long’ was not a Dexys track, that there was this whole other world of music to discover.

Northern Soul DJ Caroline Dann - Atlantic Soul Collective
DJ Caroline Dann – Atlantic Soul Collective. Photo kind permission & copyright of Caroline Dann

2. What were some of your earliest and are your most memorable Soul & R&B purchases?

I was walking through Kensington Market when I heard this music playing out of one of the stalls that blew my mind. I found out it was John Lee Hooker and bought the album half an hour later.

Then the NME put out a series of cassettes from 1981 – there was ‘Hit the Road Stax’, Ace Case & ‘Checkmate’ with so many fabulous R&B tunes on which I played to death, including Irma Thomas ‘Time is on my Side’ and Sugarpie DeSanto ‘Soulful Dress’. Whenever I hear those songs it takes me back to that time.

Most recently I was in Detroit at the ‘Detroit A Go-Go’ event (awesome!) I found an OV copy of Mack Rice ‘Comin’ Home Baby’ at a record fair. His other records were overpriced (by American standards) I asked how much it was and he said $3.50. I pretended to consider it for a while…

3. When and how did you get into DJing?

When I was 18, I moved away from the South coast which was dominated by Mod culture, to go to study in Essex, where I couldn’t find anyone who’d even heard of Northern Soul.

I decided to put on a Northern Soul night to see who turned up – which no one did except the local scooter boys, who kept asking me to play Baggy Trousers.

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