Many[who?] consider the birthplace of soul music to be northern United States inner cities, particularly Chicago. Other cities, such as New York, Detroit, Memphis and Florence, quickly followed, creating their own soul styles based on their regional gospel roots.
Florence, Alabama, was the home of FAME Studios. Jimmy Hughes, Percy Sledge and Arthur Alexander recorded at Fame, and Aretha Franklin recorded in the area later in the 1960s. Fame Studios (often referred to as Muscle Shoals after a nearby town) enjoyed a close relationship with the Memphis label Stax Records, and many of the musicians and producers who worked in Memphis contributed to recordings in Alabama. Another notable Memphis label was Goldwax Records, which signed O.V. Wright and James Carr. Carr's "The Dark End of the Street" (written by Chips Moman and Dan Penn) was recorded in 1967 at two other Memphis studios, Royal Recording and American Sound Studios. American Sound Studios owner Chips Moman produced "The Dark End of the Street", and the musicians were his house band of Reggie Young, Bobby Woods, Tommy Cogbill and Gene Chrisman. Carr also recorded songs at Fame Studio with musicians David Hood, Jimmy Johnson and Roger Hawkins.
The Detroit-based Motown Records also contributed to the soul canon in the 1960s, although at the time, the label described itself as a manufacturer of pop music. Music by Motown artists such as Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, and the Supremes did much to popularize what became known as the Motown sound.
In Chicago, Curtis Mayfield helped develop the sweet soul sound that later earned him a reputation as the Godfather of northern soul. As a member of The Impressions, Mayfield infused a call and response style of group singing that came out of gospel, and influenced many other groups of the era, notably fellow Chicago artists the Radiants.