VARIOUS ARTISTS “SOULFUL SOUNDS FROM SOULVILLE”
What’s new from Soulville? Is Soulville back? What ever happened to Soulville? These are questions that have been asked. Thee Reverend Bobby Fulton, the original founder of Soulville says that Soulville never went away, and soul music is still alive at Soulville. This compilation album features a Soulville Allstars revue. With an office now in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Soulville is being manufactured, marketed and distributed by Get Hip Archive Series.
Started in September 1967 by Bobby Fulton, Toby Young, Jimmy Walker and Hulie Diggs, Soulville Records was conceived to fill the void for a gospel/soul record label in the Harrisburg and central Pennsylvania area. The label’s first release was “Nobody To Blame”/“Nothing Matters” by the Soulville All Stars, a young racially mixed Harrisburg eight-piece band. Though this 45 didn’t garner much attention, their second did: “Be My Girl”/“I’m Gonna Get You” was very well-received.
Jay-Walking was started as another attempt to get more radio airplay. Like many labels, Soulville found that DJs wouldn’t play every release by a specific label. It was named to honor Jimmy Walker who ironically would dissolve his partnership soon after. Toby Young also faded in the background afterwards leaving Bobby Fulton as the main man. The departure was amicable and they all remained friends.
Fulton kept the rights to Soulville and Rob-Cole Music. In fact, Fulton would serve as road manager/organist for labels biggest success, the Continental Four. Bobby Fulton was also one a vocalist for the soul group the Emperors, who cut a one hit dance number called “Karate,” still popular in soul, dance and DJ circles! Although none of the other acts had national success, each and every cut reveals outstanding quality, ranging from soulful ballads to tuff funk to Motown-styled pop.
In 1972, Bobby Fulton moved to Pittsburgh to become director of operations for Black Circle Records. Although Soulville will not release another recording, for Bobby Fulton the label has always been alive. He still listens to the Soulville/Jaywalking recordings all the time and he is really pleased to finally share his exciting story and have the chance to revive the label. Soulville and the dream is still alive!