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Picks and Pans Review: Taylor Hicks's

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FAVORITE SOUL ALBUMS

Here are the R&B discs that rev up this year’s American Idol winner—and leader of the Soul Patrol—whose own debut CD comes out in November.

SAM COOKE, NIGHT BEAT

I just love the way Sam sings on it. Some of the songs, like “Mean Old World,” just really get me. I’ll start crying.

RAY CHARLES, MODERN SOUNDS IN COUNTRY AND WESTERN MUSIC

I was, like, 15 when I first heard it. I was in my Ray Charles study phase. That was an important album to me.

GEORGE BENSON, WEEKEND IN L.A.

This is one of the greater live albums out there. It’s got his version of “On Broadway.” It’s a great rendition.

MARVIN GAYE, WHAT’S GOING ON

It’s Marvin Gaye’s masterpiece. He was a big influence on me. I still listen to this all the time.

KING CURTIS, LIVE AT FILLMORE WEST

He’s a great saxophone player. “Soul Serenade” is one of my favorite tunes.