This genre of music was born in Northern cities like Detroit, Philadelphia, New York in the late 1950's/early 1960's and was a precursor to Motown. Dick Clark's show out of Philadelphia was a staple for this genre. Many black artists came from Do-Wap turned Big Band with lush violins and horns. It was popular especially with Atlantic Records. Groups like Impressions, Drifters, and the Platters left a huge footprint on the industry with this style
Northern Soul is still popular in the UK. It's become a collector's cult following. You can listen to all the Northern Soul tracks that I've produced below. Enjoy!