The 35-Year Plan for Soul Superstardom

Sharon Jones, Darondo, and other soul sensations hit it big after decades on the outskirts

But times have changed, and Daptone's new-old soul sound has become an easier sell, especially with the attention that Winehouse has brought the Dap-Kings and classic soul in general. Still, Roth takes his recent success with a pinch of salt. "We're doing the same shit we're always doing," he says. "If people are into it now, that's good. We can afford to do more of it. But it's the kind of music that always sounded good to me, so the question for me is: How come it took so long?"

For Jones, Pulliam, and Fields, this belated, Internet-driven niche stardom is very different from the fame they aspired to in their youth. It's a little confusing, Fields admits. "I can play in any city in the world and draw a crowd. But still, I walk the streets and I'm not famous . . . I didn't expect things to be like that. I thought either you are out there or you're not out there." Jones agrees. "We're not on TV, and they don't play us on major radio stations," she says. "I just thank God for all these computers and websites. And MySpace and your space and everybody's space."

Ms. Sharon Jones, triumphant at long last
Dulce Pinzon
Ms. Sharon Jones, triumphant at long last

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings play the Apollo Theater October 6,

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