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Finding Aid for the SOUL Publications, Inc. records, 1955-2002
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: SOUL Publications, Inc. records,
    Date (inclusive): 1955-2002
    Collection number: 342
    Creator: SOUL Publications, Inc., 1966-1982
    Extent: 70 document boxes (35 linear feet) 6 shoeboxes 1 oversize box
    Abstract: SOUL Magazine was the principal publication of SOUL Publications, Inc., a Los Angeles-based enterprise founded by Regina and Ken Jones in 1966. Initially established to engender greater visibility for Black artists in the music industry, SOUL ultimately provided a space for critical engagement with Black artistic expression as well as social issues. The collection includes newspaper and magazine issues, research and clipping files on artists and public figures, audio cassettes of interviews and performances, photographs, and administrative files.
    Language: Finding aid is written in English.
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Performing Arts Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Performing Arts Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library, Performing Arts Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Performing Arts Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Regina Jones, 2010.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], SOUL Publications, Inc. records (Collection 342). Performing Arts Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    Processing Information:

    Processed by Simone Fujita in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT), with assistance from Kelley Wolfe Bachli, 2010.
    The processing of this collection was generously supported by Arcadia   funds.


    SOUL Publications was established in 1966 in Los Angeles by Regina and Ken Jones. The impetus for SOUL was the Watts Riots, which inspired local newsman Ken Jones to develop a vehicle for documenting and expressing the African American perspective in a self-representative way. Equipped with his vision and the industrious drive of his wife, Regina Jones, the company initially focused on providing promotion and recognition for Black musicians, who received scant publicity at that time. Its publications grew to include other aspects of Black cultural production, including film, television, literature, and the visual arts.
    SOUL, a newspaper later renamed SOUL Magazine, was published from 1966-1982. The Joneses utilized the innovative quarter-fold format so that the newspaper could be conveniently placed on the counter next to cash registers and sold in shops in the African American community. SOUL was first sold only in Los Angeles, in conjunction with local R&B radio station KGFJ. As a result of marketing arrangements with other R&B radio affiliates nationwide, its circulation expanded, and it attained a circulation of 125,000 in approximately 30 major markets. The term "soul radio" is a testament to the legacy of the publication.
    By providing visibility for African American artists, SOUL filled a palpable need, and as a result, the publication was granted access to many up-and-coming entertainers who were grateful to receive the exposure offered by the publication. Many of these artists - James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross and the Supremes, and the Jacksons - are now considered legends.
    The sister publication of the newspaper was SOUL Illustrated, a glossy magazine ran from 1968-1972. SOUL Illustrated began with an entertainment focus similar to the newspaper but gradually came to tackle social, political, and racial issues to a greater degree. The publication reveals the evolving social consciousness of its time, serving as a forum for critical dialogue on such topics as Black liberation, images of African Americans in the media, and the Vietnam War.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of issues of SOUL/SOUL Magazine and SOUL Illustrated, research files, audio cassettes of interviews and performances, photographs, and administrative files. Significant individuals represented in issues, research files, and photographs include: James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Muhammad Ali, Berry Gordy, Jr., Stevie Wonder, Sidney Poitier, Smokey Robinson, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, the Jackson Five, the Fifth Dimension, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Diana Ross, the Supremes, Quincy Jones, Isaac Hayes, and Jesse Jackson.

    Organization and Arrangement

    Arranged in the following series:
    1. SOUL issues (Boxes 1-16 and 77).
    2. Research files (Boxes 17-56).
    3. Audio cassettes (Boxes 57-62).
    4. Photographs (Boxes 63-76).
    5. Administrative files (Box 77).

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    SOUL/SOUL Magazine
    SOUL Illustrated