Scoop: Seattle Soul

A new documentary shedding light on Seattle

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A new documentary shedding light on Seattle’s once thriving funk and soul scene makes its local debut at SIFF

Once upon a time, the city’s music scene pulsed with Seattle bands—groups that played original songs at packed venues nightly, groups whose records were in regular rotation at the local independent radio station—and there wasn't flannel shirt or a ripped pair of jeans in sight. This was Seattle in the 1960s and ’70s, when soul and funk bands, most based in the Central District, had the city on its feet (and sporting platform shoes). The Black on White Affair, Cookin’ Bag, Robbie Hill’s Family Affair and Cold, Bold & Together—all are bands that once sparkled in the local limelight. So why hasn’t anyone ever heard of them? Wheedle’s Groove, the new documentary by local film producer Jennifer Maas (Humpday), traces the rise and fall of this lost scene via archival footage and interviews with the central players (including Kenny G, who started out as the sole Caucasian in Cold, Bold & Together). Narrated by Seattle hip-hop phenom Sir Mix-a-Lot, the film has earned acclaim on the festival circuit (it won the Audience Award at Indie Memphis in 2009) and stands as an impressive, invaluable record of a forgotten slice of Seattle’s history. Seattle International Film Festival. 5/20–6/13. Screening info at Buy the compilation CD of featured artists at

Originally published in May