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J. Blackfoot

Also readable online:

The Soul Children Story with interviews

  The year 2011 hasn’t been very kind to Southern soul music in terms of death rate among well-respected and long-standing artists.  We’ve lost at least Clay Hammond, Marvin Sease, Al Green (of the Green Brothers), Lattimore Brown, Calvin Scott and only a few days ago it was reported that Lee “Shot” Williams ( had deceased, too, on November 25 at the age of 73. 

  The next blow came only five days later, when it was announced that the great John Colbert aka J. Blackfoot had lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on November 30 at Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital, east of Memphis, TN.  John was born in Greenville, Mississippi, 65 years and 10 days earlier, and he was on stage performing still a few nights prior to his passing.

His extremely soulful voice is one those instantly recognizable.  It is gruff and husky, but it also is highly expressive and always full of emotion.  John was one of the most passionate singers I’ve ever heard.  His debut single was released in 1965 and about two years later he became the lead singer of the Bar-Kays.  Since 1968 he sang with the glorious Soul Children for ten years – altogether seven albums – and again after their reunion in 2007 and on their comeback CD, Still Standing, a year later.  There are many gems on John’s solo records, as well, such as I Don’t Remember Loving You, Taxi, I Stood On The Sidewalk And Cried, Don’t You Feel It Like I Feel It, Tear Jerker (with his long-time partner, Ann Hines) and the terrific Jill.   He cut twelve albums between 1983 and 2009, and ironically the last one carried a rather pathetic title of Woof Woof Meow (you can read John’s own comments on it at

  John’s life story in his own words, as well as the in-depth history of the Soul Children, is available at  We’ve lost a magnificent soul singer, but his thrilling music is always here with us.


Heikki Suosalo
Photo: Pertti Nurmi

Feedback received from Bobby Green (of the Green Brothers):
Thanks so much for sharing. He was a great artist and will be truly missed. Great soulful voice. My heart felt condolences go out to his family and friends. Bobby Manuel and I along with my wife are about to place our new album in memory of my brother Al Green. I had to reinvent myself for Al will be missed too but he wanted me to go on and I've asked God to take me and use me musically as we're using all we have/ Soul to Soul. I can't wait! Blessings.. Bobby Green

J. Blackfoot CD reviews and interviews on Soul Express Online:

J. Blackfoot interview from 1993

J. Blackfoot: Room Service (1993) (+ Interview)

J. Blackfoot: Reality (1995) (+ Interview)

J. Blackfoot: Woof Woof Meow (2009) (+ Interview)

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