Soul Vikes: Fun Funk and Soul from my High School Years


I have done a number of articles on music that I like from the 1970s and 1980s. As I have written before it seems that most of us have some kind of attraction to the songs that we grew up with, especially those that we listened to in high school.

I started high school in 1975. It was an interesting time. Our city Stockton California desegregated its schools then and kids like me from the North Side of the city were bussed to Edison High School deep on the South Side. The city had grown in the 1960s with the area north of the Calaveras River becoming the more economically well off suburbs. It was predominantly white with a smattering of Asians, Mexican Americans and a some more well off black families.  The South Side had suffered during the period as the population and business moved north leaving the South Side and Downtown to struggle.  The South Side was predominantly African American, Mexican American and Asian.  The make up of the high schools reflected the racial and economic divide.

One of the things that many of us that experienced the bussing was a new collection of friends. We all brought different perspectives, life experiences and likes in music and entertainment. One of the things that I remember fondly was the exposure that I got to music that was not what I grew up with. I grew up with Rock, Pop and Country music with some Soul thrown in, but nothing like what I experienced when I got to Edison. The exposure to Soul, Funk, Blues and later Disco was something that I still relish and when I hear those songs I enjoy them. I was at our formal Dining Out for our Naval Hospital earlier in the year and found myself dancing to some of these songs with other officers my age. I hadn’t done that in a long time and though I am no dancer it was fun just to get out and get my groove back.

I have put some links to some of those songs from that time below. The list is certainly not inclusive and is just a sampling of the rich variety of music of the era. Likewise when you see the live performances of these songs from shows like The Midnight Special, Soul Train or Don Kirchner’s Rock Concert you find that the musicians and performers of that era were very talented and did not have to depend on high definition, digital and computer technology to be good. It was well performed, choreographed and sung music. It was also fun. For those that grew up with this music enjoy the trip back. For those that have not experienced this welcome. I think that you will enjoy it, so get down and play that funky music.


Padre Steve+

Wild Cherry: Play that Funky Music

K.C. and the Sunshine Band: Get Down Tonight

Hot Chocolate: You Sexy Thing

Ohio Players: Love Roller Coaster

Ohio Players: Fire

The Spinners: Rubber Band Man

The Temptations: Papa Was a Rolling Stone

The Trammps: Disco Inferno

Kiki Dee: I Got the Music In Me

Blue Swede: Hooked on a Feeling (The Ooka Chaka Song)

Barry White: You Are My First My Last, My Everything

Commodores: Brick House

Commodores: Once Twice Three Times a Lady


Filed under music

7 responses to “Soul Vikes: Fun Funk and Soul from my High School Years

  1. John Erickson

    Thank you SO much for having the guts to post some disco music among your faves.Having started high school the fall after you graduated, I was much more firmly in that “disco window”, and have been hassled for my musical tastes. (Coming from a conservative family in an equally conservative neighborhood, you can probably conceive of the flak I took for being a “village People” fan! 😀 )

  2. Randy Gee

    Steve–We received a well-rounded popular music education while attending Edison. The music we grew up to didn’t rely on pre-programmed drum machines and synthesizers; it relied on real-live musicians who had a great passion for making enjoyable music to sing along with and dance to. I have the great honor of passing down my Edison musical upbringing to my children. Their generation will be able to appreciate the fun and joy we had, listening and dancing to the grooves of the 70s!

  3. I’ve got teenagers in my house who know the songs we grew up with & I was asked to show them how to do the hussle, I could hum it, but I couldn’t remember…. now I’m really old…. remember how we use to have 50 themed dances, now they have 70s ….. yup, old

  4. Ben

    Hey there. My dad grew up in Stockton. He said that loke once a month there was a Soul Train like show that they would go to in town. It was broadcast on local TV. Any idea what that show was called?

    • padresteve

      Ben, good question. I might need to ask that question on a couple of the Stockton and Edison High School Facebook pages I belong to. If local it would have probably. been on channel 3, 10, or 13, the local NBC, CBS, and ABC affiliates Not sure if channel 40 which was then independent UHF would have had it. I will have to check it out.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s