It’s not surprising that Jessica Harris’s new memoir, My Soul Looks Back, includes some divine recipes—she is a renowned cookbook author and authority on African American food. But that she also lists a lot of the music she was listening to as she recalls her life in 1970s New York is less expected. Though when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. There’s nothing like a familiar scent or a much-loved tune to evoke a strong memory.
With “soul” in the books title, it’s fitting that Harris’s playlists are pretty soulful themselves. Artists like Al Green, Billie Holliday, Stevie Wonder, Edith Piaf, Ella Fitzgerald, and Marvin Gaye all make appearances.
You can just imagine Harris and the circles she found herself in—with luminaries such as Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and Nina Simone—at parties and dinners around the city with these wonderful songs playing in the background.
Listen to some of Harris’s picks, and enter below for a chance to win a copy of My Soul Looks Back and some classic albums on vinyl. The lucky winner gets a copy of Aretha Franklin’s Aretha: Lady Soul, Bill Withers’s Just As I Am, and Nina Simone’s I Put a Spell On You.
Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only, 18 and older. Ends Tuesday, May 9th at 11:59 PM ET.