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BLUES & GOSPEL

Various Artists Collections - Post War Gospel

A Warrior On The Battlefield -> Gospel At Newport

VARIOUS ARTISTS Collectables 5336 Amazing Grace ● CD $11.98
CD issue of Krazy Kat 836. 14 gospel gems from the Gotham label vaults including two previously unissued acapella tracks by the great Dixie Hummingbirds from 1949 plus recordings by The Harmonizing Four, Edna Gallmon Cook, Rugged Cross Singers Of Baltimore, The Davis Sisters and others.
EDNA GALLMON COOK: Glory To His Name/ I've Been Redeemed/ THE DAVIS SISTERS: Get Away Jordan/ If Jesus Is Near/ THE DIXIE HUMMINGBIRDS: Born To Die/ Dear Lord Look Down Upon Me/ THE ECHO GOSPEL SINGERS OF BALTIMORE, MD.: I Want Jesus To Walk With Me/ I'm Gonna Have A Happy Time/ THE EVENING STAR QUARTET: Lord Take My Hand/ My Time Ain't Long/ THE HARMONIZING FOUR: Amazing Grace/ Come Over Here/ I Found The Lord/ THE RUGGED CROSS SINGERS OF BALTIMORE, MD.: Try God

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Arhoolie 111 American Masters, Vol. 11 - 15 Down Home Gospel Classic ● CD $7.98
Great sides from Annie Mae McDowell, Big Joe & Mary Williams, Rev. Louis Overstreet, Fred McDowell & Johnny Woods, Aubrey Ghent, Sonny Treadway, Jesse Fuller, etc
BLACK ACE: Farther Along/ THE CAMPBELL BROTHERS FEATURING KATIE JACKSO: I Feel Good/ JESSE FULLER: Amazing Grace/ AUBREY GHENT: Praise Music/ Just A Closer Walk With Thee/ MANCE LIPSCOMB: Motherless Children/ ANNIE MAE & FRED MCDOWELL: I'm Going Over The Hill/ FRED MCDOWELL & JOHNNY WOODS: Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning/ REV. LOUIS OVERSTREET: I'm Working On A Building/ THE PARAMOUNT SINGERS: There's A Leak In This Old Building/ REBECCA SMITH, TOM MILLER & RUTH MILLER: I've Got Religion/ SONNY TREADWAY: Jesus Will Fix It For You/ ROBERT PETE WILLIAMS: Sinner Don't You Know/ BIG JOE WILLIAMS & MARY WILLIAMS: I Want My Crown/ ELDER ROMA WILSON: Gonna Wait Till A Change Come

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Zu Zazz ZCD 2019 The Assassination - Acapella Gospel From Memphis ● CD $24.98
We've turned up some copies of this great set which appears to now be out of print. This fine Memphis gospel quartet collection dwells on traditional-style singing with acapella and sparse "hold the vocals in key" accompaniments. Featured are songs by Ollie (Hoskins) Nightingale and the Dixie Nightingales, formerly The Original Gospel Writers who turned to soul music on Stax in the late 60's, billed then as Ollie & The Nightingales. The group sings close and sweet, and on the title cut The Assassination (the murder of President Kennedy), Ollie comes across with conviction. From the same period (1963) are three by The (Memphis) Revelators, who emote a righteous job on Rev. Claude Jeter's A Lady Called Mother. The most impressive sides (three in all) come from Clara Anderson & The Harps Of Melody, who offer a stunning rendition of God Is Using Me. We end out with four by the current set of Gospel Writers, led by the soulful Willie Wilson who gives a beautiful reading of The Sunset Travelers' Wonderful Jesus. Cuts by the two last artists mentioned are from Kip Lornell sessions recorded in 1983 at Memphis State University. Excellent southern traditional quartet singing. Recommended. (OLN)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Smithsonian Folkways 40031 Been In The Storm So Long ● CD $15.98
A collection of spirituals and shouts, prayers, folk tales and children's games recorded on Johns Island, South Carolina in the early 60s. This island features some of the last survivals of the "Gullah" folk culture. The set is compiled from two out of print Folkways albums (3841 & 3842) with new notes by Guy & Candi Carawan.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 873 The Best Of King Gospel ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, 69 mins, essential
Fantastic collection of gospel recorded in the late 40s and early 50s from King and its Federal and DeLuxe subsidiaries. The King catalog of truly fine gospel has been sorely underrepresented on CD so this sampling is particularly welcome and is, hopefully, the beginning of a series. During this time King was home to some of the greatest gospel groups like The Spirit Of Memphis, Swan Silvertone Singers and The Trumpeteers along with fine lesser know artists like The Nightingales, Four Internes and The Cumberland Rivers Singers - all of them featured here. The performances are either acapella or with discreet guitar, piano or drum accompaniment. Every track here is a gem but I am particularly fond of the sides by the Spirit Of Memphis whose King recordings are, in my opinion, some of the very finest post war gospel recordings. The sublime tenor leads of Willmer "Little Ax" Broadnax and the searing baritones of Jethroe Bledsoe and the amazing Silas Steele are truly spine chilling. This set ends with the incredible two part Lord Jesus recorded by them live at a church in 1952. Compiled and annotated by Bay Area gospel expert Opal Louis Nation this is a must. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Document DOCD 5221 Country Gospel ● CD $15.98
25 tracks, 70 min., recommended
The presumed link between these two black acts is that they both once seemed to belong in the country gospel category and even had recordings released in the hillbilly/country numbering series for the respective companies. Fair enough. But there are some significant differences as well. The Two Gospel Keys, who recorded for r&b labels such as Apollo and Red Robin Records, put out a relatively tame, country-inflected sound on their 17 tracks here, including Charity/ I Want My Crown, and Every Man Got to Lay Down and Die. But Sister O. M. Terrell positively rocks the joint with her intense vocals and Sister Rosetta Tharpe flavored guitar work. Her intense but minimal repertoire of eight recorded works, from the Playboy and Columbia labels, includes Life Is a Problem/ The Bible's Right, and I'm Going to That City. Not music to miss out on. Sound is generally good as are the brief notes. And there's a rather fuzzy cover photo of the Gospel Keys which provides the cover art. (DH)
SISTER O. M. TERRELL: God's Little Birds/ How Long/ I'm Going To That City/ Life Is A Problem/ Lord I Want You To Lead Me On/ Swing Low Sweet Chariot/ The Bible's Right/ The Gambling Man/ THE TWO GOSPEL KEYS: Can't No Grave Hold My Body Down/ Charity/ Every Man Got To Lay Down And Die/ I Can't Feel At Home In This World Anymore (alt. take)/ I Can't Tarry/ I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore/ I Don't Want To Go Down There Pt. 1/ I Don't Want To Go Down There Pt. 2/ I Love Traveling/ I Want My Crown/ Jesus Met The Woman At The Well/ Precious Lord (C-2083)/ Precious Lord (D-713)/ This Heart Of Mine/ We're Gonna Have A Good Time/ You've Got To Move (D-714)/ You've Got To Move (When The Lord Gets Ready)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Vanguard VMD 79505 Early Soul Gospel ● CD $13.98
Black gospel from the Vanguard archives - Clara Ward Singers, The Freedom Singers, Swan Silvertone Singers, Mississippi John Hurt, Staple Singers and others.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Specialty 7067 Free At Last - Gospel Quartets From Stax Records' Chalice Label ● CD $15.98
24 tracks, 78 min., highly recommended
A straight reissue of the 1993 Ace/Stax Distrub My Soul CD, these 1965/1966 modern gospel recordings (14 unissued) feature 4 male groups : The Dixie Nightingales (9), The Jubilee Hummingbirds (6), The Pattersonaires (5) and The Stars Of Virginia (4). Sure enough soul fans will know that The Dixie Nightingales feature the lead tenor of Ollie Braxton Hoskins (1936-1997) of Ollie & The Nightingales fame. Influenced by Ira Tucker & Kylo Turner, his leads remind me a little of O. V. Wright, especially on The Assassination and the near 6 minute This Is Our Prayer. The Pattersonaires, formed by pianist/arranger/songwriter Willie Louis Gordon (1927-1997), feature the lead tenor of James Shelton, especially effective on God's Promise. As for the 2 remaining groups, little is known about them, which is a shame as they put in good performances. The original notes by Chris Smith have been updated by Grammy Award-winner, Rob Bowman. (EL)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Specialty 7068 Golden Age Gospel Choirs, 1954-1963 ● CD $15.98
23 tracks recorded for Tru-Sound and Choir by four pioneering gospel choirs - The Back Home Choir, The Pentecostal Choir Of Detroit, The Helen Robinson Youth Choir and The Voices Of Victory.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Specialty 7069 Golden Age Gospel Quartets, Vol 1 : 1947-1954 ● CD $15.98
26 tracks, 78 minutes, essential
With 25 never-before-issued cuts, mostly alternate takes, gospel fans will know what to expect from these groups that recorded for Art Rupe's Specialty Records. The Swan Silvertones' I'm Coming Home (take 1) contains one of Claude A. Jeter's greatest falsetto leads - if not one of the greatest in all of hard gospel quartet! The two Paramount Singers demos (featuring Vance 'Tiny' Powell) alone are worth the price of admission. Powell's lead on He Means So Much To Me hints (vocally) just a little at his original 1964 classic Wax recording of My Time After Awhile. If you have Specialty CD 7013 (The Soul Stirrers featuring R. H. Harris - "Shine On Me") - this set has a new take of C. A. Tindley's By And By where R.H. Harris ("the father of gospel quartet") & the late Paul Foster out-duet each other. The CD also includes (taken from rare 78 rpm pressings) the very first gospel group recorded by Specialty - The Southern Harmonizers - singing in the popular prewar 'jubilee' style of the Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet. The set ends with nearly 12 minutes of live "house-wreaking" a cappella singing by Rev. Presley Thomas' West Coast Jubilees. Their 7-minute version of Prof. Alex Bradford's He'll Be There is not for the faint at heart! (EL)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Specialty 7070 Golden Age Gospel Quartets, Vol 2 : 1954-1963 ● CD $15.98
27 tracks, 77 minutes, Essential
This CD should appeal to all soul fans as the leads singers include Sam Cooke, James Phelps, Lou Rawls and Johnnie Taylor. Fans of The Soul Stirrers will know that Sam Cooke was their lead singer between 1951-1957, represented here by He'll Make a Way ('54), and Were You There? ('57), I believe his last song he recorded with the group. His replacement was Johnnie Taylor, featured on the Sony Bono (!) produced Out On A Hill ('58). A teenaged Louis Allen Rawls (aka Lou Rawls) is featured co-leading The Chosen Gospel Singers on What A Wonderful Sight ('54) and The Lifeboat Is Coming ('54), while Shreveport,LA.-born Sam Cooke-sound-alike James Herbert Phelps - known for his R&B hit Love Is A 5-Letter Word - leads The Clefs Of Calvary tracks. Other highlights include the three 1955 Pilgrim Jubilee Singers demos featuring the Graham Brothers - particularly strong on Tell Jesus (What You Want), a rewrite of Jesus is On The Main Line - and a truly amazing lead by Keith Barber (1919-1977) on After While (The Pilgrim Travelers,'56). All tracks, except for Be With Me Jesus (Soul Stirrers), are new to CD (nearly half are alternate takes). (EL)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Fremeaux & Associates 026 Gospel : Vol 2, Gospel Quartets : 1921-1942 ● CD $31.98
2 discs, 36 tracks, 104 minutes, highly recommended. Terrific and invaluable collection of acapella gospel quartet singing ranging from the tightly-harmonized jubilee singing of The Norfolk Jubilee Singers to the intense melismatic lead and call & response vocals of a seminal Dixie Hummingbirds. Much of the material here has not been released on CD before and quite a bit has not been available for 60 years or more. It's intriguing to hear early recordings of songs like Let My People Go (by the Cotton Belt Quartet from 1926 and called Go Down moses) and Will The Circle Be Unbroken (by The Silver Leaf Quartet from 1930) and there's a wonderful version of Thomas Dorsey's Precious Lord by Mitchell's Christian Singers from 1940. Other artists include Bryant's Jubilee Singers, Dunham Jubilee Singers, The Famous Blue Jay Singers, The Heavenly Gospel Singers, The Alphabetical Four, The Charioteers and others including, of course, the most famous of the early quartets The Golden Gate Quartet. Sound is decent, there are extensive notes in French and abbreviated notes in English and full discographical details. A must for the gospel lover. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Vanguard 77014 Gospel At Newport ● CD $15.98
19 tracks, 77 mins, recommended Excellent collection of black gospel recorded at the Newport Folk Festival in 1959, 1964, '65 & '66. The material is varied including some of the best and most popular quartets, vocalists with guitar, unaccompanied spirituals and the totally idiosyncratic Joseph Spence whose version of Down By The Riverside, here called Gonna Lay Down My Sword & Shield has to beard to be believed. (FS)

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