Soul Train Q&A

Soul Train Q&A

Martha High Interview ORIGINAL SOURCE: SoulTrain   “Goddess of Soul” Martha High was the longest-running female vocalist in James Brown’s band—36 years to be exact—but she had a career in music before that. Originally from Washington, D.C., she sang with a local group managed by rock and roll pioneer Bo Diddley before becoming a part of the Four Jewels, who had quite a few hit singles. High later worked with other big names in the music industry such as B.B. King, Little Richard, Stevie Wonder and the Temptations. But it was when she connected with the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, that her career took off. In this interview, High, who currently performs solo, discusses her early career and her illustrious journey with Brown and other highlights of her career. SoulTrain.com:  Ms. High, I have to say you have one of the greatest voices in music. Did you get your start singing in church? Martha High: Yes, I was brought up in the church. I went to Mount Airy Baptist Church. SoulTrain.com: Who were your musical influences? Martha High: Baby Washington, Maxine Brown, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin and Etta James. I was fascinated with their music. Then there were Gladys Knight and Patti Labelle. They both have that soulful, funky kind of thing and are real strong singers. SoulTrain.com:  What was your first experience singing professionally? Martha High:  When I attended Roosevelt High School, I put some groups together and sang alongside Marvin Gaye’s sister Zeola and Yvonne Smith. We sang at school concerts, sock hops and local talent shows. SoulTrain.com: It was around that time that Bo Diddley...