Effie Melody White: [sings] And I am telling you/ I'm not going./ You're the best man I'll ever know./ There's no way I can ever go./ No, no, no, no way... / No, no, no, no way I'm living without you./ I'm not living without you./ I don't want to be free./ I'm staying, I'm staying,/ And you, and you,/ you're gonna love me.
Effie Melody White: So... Deena's going to sing the lead 'cause you like the way she looks? Am I ugly to you, Curtis?
Curtis Taylor Jr.: Baby, come on! You know how I feel about you, come on. Don't make it personal.
Effie Melody White: Well, what am I supposed to do? Deena's beautiful, and she's always been beautiful... but I've got the voice, Curtis! I've got the voice! You can't put me in back; you just can't!
Lorrell Robinson: You got the same wig I got?
Effie Melody White: Yeah.
Lorrell Robinson: You got same the same dress I got?
Effie Melody White: Yeah.
Lorrell Robinson: [Drags it out] Then shut up!
Effie Melody White: That's right Curtis. You stopped me once, but you'll never stop me again.
Effie Melody White: 'Cause this time, Effie White's gonna win!
Curtis Taylor Jr.: Who was the first artist to sing "Hound Dog"?
C.C. White: Elvis Presley.
Curtis Taylor Jr.: Big Mama Thorton. She had the number-one single on the R&B charts, but the white stations wouldn't play it, because to them it was just another race record.
Lorrell Robinson: [as Early is kissing her] That feels nice... I mean it feels funny! You're married, aren't you?
James 'Thunder' Early: Everybody knows Jimmy's married, baby.
Lorrell Robinson: Well, then, you get your married hands off!
Curtis Taylor Jr.: Deena, you know why I chose you to sing lead? Because your voice... has no personality. No depth. Except for what I put in there.
James 'Thunder' Early: [singing] Jimmy want a rib! Jimmy want a steak! Jimmy want piece of yo chocolate cake!
Effie Melody White: Tell me something, Curtis. Do you think it's right to promote an amateur performer over a professional?
Curtis Taylor Jr.: I'm not sure what this is about...
Effie Melody White: It's about fairness, Curtis. It's about people paying their dues. Isn't that what you keep telling me? "Get in line, Effie. Wait your turn". So why am I sitting here without so much as a B-side on a 45, when an amateur like Martin Luther King Jr. gets his own freaking album? I mean, can he even sing?
C.C. White: Isn't music supposed to express what people are feeling?
Curtis Taylor Jr.: Music is supposed to sell.
James 'Thunder' Early: Hey, where you going? You can't leave me, girl! I love you!
Lorrell Robinson: [sings] And Lorrell loves Jimmy, / Lorrell loves Jimmy, / Lorrell loves Jimmy, it's true. / But Lorrell and Jimmy are through.
Lorrell Robinson: "I got a show to do", remember, baby?
Lorrell Robinson: Oh, baby, I got a show to do!
Deena Jones: [at the end of her TV "documentary" she sings] ... I'm somebody, and nobody's gonna hold me down... I'm somebody!
C.C. White: [knocking on the dressing room door] You ladies decent?
Deena Jones: I am. I can't speak for these two.
Lorrell Robinson: It doesn't take a whiz to know that only a desperate man would drop his pants in living color on national television!
Case Worker: Have you considered asking the girl's father for help?
Effie Melody White: Magic don't have a father.
May: I'm amazed, Mr. Taylor. As much as I love my daughter, I never thought she had much of a voice.
Curtis Taylor Jr.: Oh, Deena has something better. She has a... quality.
May: You make her sound like a product.
Curtis Taylor Jr.: A product. I like that!
[Black protesters are rioting outside Curt's studio]
Curtis Taylor Jr.: Hey! We black-owned!
Lorrell Robinson: What Does R&B stand for?
James 'Thunder' Early: Rough and Black.
Deena Jones: [during "The Deena Jones Story" promo film] ... I'm somebody, and nobody's gonna hold me down... I'm somebody!
James 'Thunder' Early: [singing] Jimmy got, Jimmy got, Jimmy got SOUL!