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Various Artists Collections - Post War Gospel

Queens Of Gospel -> Women Of Gospel's Golden Age

VARIOUS ARTISTS Arhoolie CD 450 Sacred Steel ● CD $12.98
20 tracks, 74 mins, highly recommended
A remarkable, beautiful and exciting collection of gospel music featuring steel guitar. Although not unknown in black gospel music it seems as though this style is predominantly a feature of the Keith & Jewel Dominions of the Holiness-Pentecostal church centered in Florida. This disc features five of the finest performers Sonny Treadway, Glenn Lee, Henry Nelson, Aubrey Ghent and the man credited with introducing this style Willie Claude Eason, the only performer here to have recorded commercially. With the exception of Eason who plays solo the others are usually accompanied by guitar, drums and sometimes bass and keyboard. The first six tracks are instrumental versions of traditional and original songs by Treadway and Lee - the latter being the youngest performer here and the only one to play pedal steel. There are three exciting songs by pioneer Willie Eason including his original composition - the remarkable Franklin D. Roosevelt, A Poor Man's Friend. The remaining 11 cuts were recorded at live church services and are terrifically exciting with vocals, shouting, clapping and other outbursts of holy joy. Another early pioneer Henry Nelson is joined on second steel guitar by his son Aubrey Ghent on second steel guitar on two tunes including a gorgeous "lined out" version of Amazing Grace. The enclosed 32 page includes detailed notes on the churches, the style, the performers and the individual performances with some great photos - new and vintage. More, please! (FS)
WILLIE EASON: Franklin D. Roosevelt, A Poor Man's Friend/ Just A Closer Walk With Thee/ Little Wooden Church On A Hill/ AUBREY GHENT: Father In Jesus' Name/ God Be With You/ House Of God March/ Praise Music/ GLENN LEE: Call Him By His Name/ Joyful Sounds/ Pass Me Not, Oh Gentle Savior/ HENRY NELSON: Amazing Grace/ Praise The Lord Everybody/ SONNY TREADWAY: Amazing Grace/ At The Cross/ Closing Prayer And Amen/ Don't Let The Devil Ride/ God Be With You/ In The Garden/ This Is A Holy Church

VARIOUS ARTISTS Arhoolie 472 Sacred Steel - Live! ● CD $12.98
16 tracks, 74 min., Highly Recommended As a preamble to the announced Video, these live 1998-1999 Sacred Steel recordings features The Campbell Brothers (with vocalists Katie Jackson & Denise Brown), Calvin Cooke, Ted Beard, Robert Randolph, legendary Willie Claude Eason, Darick Campbell, etc. If these names are new to you, it really shouldn't matter as it's the electric 'sacred steel sound' that will win you over. Not since the 1958 live Dot recordings of Clara Ward & The Famous Ward Singers (which featured steel guitarist Sam Fame) has this 'sacred steel sound' been so well captured on tape! I can't wait for the film. Highlights include He's sweet, I Know (featuring Brother Sam Baldwin), Take Your Burden To The Lord (featuring Willie Eason), and the introductory track - the 8 minute God Is A Good God (featuring Katie Jackson). A must for all you Hop Wilson-Lonnie Farris fans! (EL)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Smithsonian Folkways 40117 Saints Paradise - Trombone Shout Bands ● CD $14.98
Highly Recommended
I first came across Shout Bands from last year's Flying Tigers - "Dancin' With Daddy G". African-Portuguese immigrant Marcelino deGraca came to the US in 1903 &, known as Charles Grace or Daddy G started The United House Of Prayer in New Bedford, MA, which combines aspects of Holiness Revival & Pentecostal with services including dancing, shouting & speaking in tongues. From here came the tradition of the trombone "shout" bands, somewhat akin to the New Orleans brass bands, except none of the somberness. These big bands are unique in that they are made almost entirely of trombones, with a "rhythm section" including sousaphones, tubas, barritone horns & snare & bass drum. These mid-90s live recordings feature the 3 most important bands of the House of Prayer active since the 60s, known as "The Three Stars Of The Kingdom" - George Holland & The Happyland Band from Newport News VA, a 10 piece band which has 5 trombones (Won't It Be Sad), Eddie Babb & The McCollough Sons Of Thunder, from Harlem, a 17 piece band with 10 trombones (His Eye Is On The Sparrow), & Norvus Miller & The Kings of Harmony, from Washington DC, a 16 piece band with 11 trombones & featuring a live jam with Miller, Babb & Holland (Revelation & Improvisation), along with tunes from Madison's Lively Stones, the mostly vocal Madison Prayer Band & The Clouds of Heaven. Extensive photos & liner notes. (GM)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Abkco 2231 Sam Cooke's SAR Records Story ● CD $37.98
2 discs, 56 tracks, 147 min., essential
Never say never. This is one of those issues that I had dreamed about but thought that I would never see. Even though the music was undeniably great, the label had produced relatively few hits. What a pleasure to have been proved wrong once again. Though Cooke himself sings only five of the numbers here, his presence can be felt from the first number to the last, and that seminal presence is what makes this set more than worth the price of admission. The focus of disc one is gospel with most tracks by the early 60's incarnation of the Soul Stirrers that featured Richard Gibbs, Paul Foster, Jimmie Outler, Le Roy Crume, and J. J. Farley. There are also five cuts by R. H. Harris and His Gospel Paraders, and three numbers by the Womack Brothers. From start to finish, the program here is a potent blend of harmony and vocal finesse, with little use of then popular shouting gospel style. Disc two focuses on SAR's soul releases, including hits like When a Boy Falls in Love by Mel Carter and Meet Me at the Twisting Place by Johnny Morisette, plus Soothe Me by the Simms Twins, I'll Always Be in Love With You by Johnnie Taylor, Put Me Down Easy by Sam's brother L. C. Cooke, and seven cuts by the Valentinos (the Womack Brothers) including the great It's All Over Now, later covered by the Rolling Stones. In addition to the wonderful music, the packaging itself is first rate, including a double length cardboard box with an richly illustrated 84 page booklet featuring an essay by Peter Guralnick. If, like me, you weren't hip enough to buy this music the first time that it was available in the early to mid-60's, don't be foolish enough to miss it this time around. If Sam Cooke's music moves you at all, this set is absolutely indispensable. (DH)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Famous Groove 972000 Soulful Gospel - Vocal Groups, Vol. 1 ● CD $18.98
26 tracks, recommended
Best known for their doo-wop reissues Famous Groove have come up with a fine collection of black gospel from the 60s. Many of the groups are pretty obscure and only recorded a handful of titles - quite a few aren't even in the gospel discography published some years ago. The Chambers Brothers are well known to 60s rock fans but their two cuts here are superb quartet gospel with a Soul Stirrers feel to it. Even more strongly influenced by the Soul Stirrers are the fine Clefs of Calvary whose lead vocalist James Phelps does an excellent job of sounding just like Sam Cooke. Other groups here include Harps Of The Coast, Morning Echoes, Sensational Jubilettes (their Jordan River is a knockout), Original Soul Revivers, Prodigal Sons, Jollyaires and others. In general I don't find 60s gospel quite as compelling as that of previous decades but there are some fine performances here. (FS)
THE BONNER BROS. SPIRITUAL QUARTETTE: Walking Thru The Streets/ You Ought To Pray Sometime/ THE CHAMBERS BROTHERS: I Trust In God/ Just A Little More Faith/ THE CLEFS OF CALVARY: God's Love/ Save Me/ THE DIVINE TRAVELERS: Rock Of Ages - Pt. 1/ Rock Of Ages - Pt. 2/ THE GOSPEL FIVE: He Woke Me Up This Morning/ Race, Creed And Color/ THE HARPS OF THE COAST: Up A Little Higher/ Where The Soul Of Man Never Dies/ THE JOLLYAIRES: The Lord's Been Good To Me/ You Need The Lord/ THE MORNING ECHOES: I'm Singing, Lord/ Jesus Showed Us The Way/ THE ORIGINAL SOUL REVIVERS: Lord, Don't Turn Me Away/ Lord, I've Done You Wrong/ THE PRODIGAL SONS: I Found The Lord/ It's A Blessing/ THE SENSATIONAL SAINTS OF OHIO: Ain't That A Shame/ Come On/ THE SENSATIONAL JUBILETTES: Jordan River/ Judgement Day/ THE ZION TRAVELERS: Eternity/ Milky White Way

VARIOUS ARTISTS Night Train 7015 Swing Time Gospel, Vol. 1 ● CD $14.98
21 tracks, 57 mins, recommended
This set is a fine collection of acapella gospel from the vaults of Swingtime and Downbeat, a label not generally thought as a gospel label. Downbeat is responsible for launching the career of the great Soul Stirrers and this disc features their first commercial recordings that Downbeat issued in the mid 40s though they are supposed to have been recorded in 1939. These are truly lovely performances and it's unfortunate that the sound quality on these is not too good. Yes the original 78s are very rare and poor quality pressings but a couple of these were issued on Spirit Feel with superior sound. Still they are amagnificent. The rest of the groups are pretty obscure and for the most part relatively pedestrian with the exception of the excellent Nightengale Jubalaires who verge closer to the harder school of gospel singing. The other groups are the Wingman Quartet, Stars Of Harmony and Kansas City Gospel Singers. There is also a bonus track not listed - track 17 is a fine and powerful performance that really builds. I think it might be the Stars Of Harmony but I'm not sure. The (sometime inaccurate) liner notes are very enthusiastic about Rough And Rocky Road by The Stars Of Harmony but it's not included on the disc! (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Zu Zazz ZCD 2019 The Assassination - Acappella Gospel From Memphis ● CD $19.98
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 acappella 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 Ace CDCHD 687 The Best Of Excello Gospel ● CD $18.98
Prior to its sister label Nashboro, Ernie Young released a number of gospel sides on Excello between 1952 and 1955 and this set presents a selection of 24 sides by The Boyer Brothers, Hendrix Singers, Silvertone Singers, Sermonaires, Waldo Singers and others.
THE BOYER BROTHERS: Oh Lord Stand By Me/ Step By Step/ BRO. HENRY EDWARDS: Is There Anybody Else Like Jesus/ THE HENDRIX SINGERS: On The Beautiful Shore/ THE JEWEL GOSPEL-AIRES: After Awhile With Jesus/ Oh Lord, Guide The Way/ THE SERMONAIRS: In The Sweet Bye And Bye/ THE SILVERTONE SINGERS OF CINCINNATI: I Got A Home In That Rock/ In My Heart/run On To The End/ Jesus Be My Keeper/ Jesus My Saviour/ Rescue The Perishing/ THE SILVERTONE SINGERS: Since Jesus Came Into My Heart/ Way Bye And Bye/ THE SONS OF THE SOUTH: Didn't It Rain Children/ God Is Alright/ I'm Waiting And Watching/ In My Saviour's Care/ One Day/ Travelin' Down This Road/ THE WALDO SINGERS: Just Tell Jesus/ Trust Him Today/ YOUNG GOSPEL SINGERS: I Can Call Jesus Anytime

VARIOUS ARTISTS Heritage HTCD 04 The Best Of Gotham Gospel ● CD $16.98
20 fine gospel sides from the Gotham catalog. Mostly drawn from tracks issued on Krazy Kat 812, 825 and 836 along with some additional rarities and alternate takes - The Harmonizing Four, Dixie Hummingbirds, Evening Star Quartet, National Clouds Of Joy, Mid South Singers, Mount Eagle Quartet, Angelic Gospel Singers and others.

VARIOUS ARTISTS Nashboro 4001 The Best Of Nashboro Gospel ● CD $13.98
27 tracks, 75 min., recommended Out of print - very limited stock on hand. An excellent overview of this important Tennessee-based label's gospel output, drawn primarily from two classic Nashboro LPs from the 60's, All Time Gospel Hits (7033) and Best Loved Gospel Songs Vol. 2 (7015). Featured numbers were recorded between 1951 and 1968, with primary emphasis on the mid to late 50's. Standout performances include Touch Me Lord Jesus by the Angelic Gospel Singers, the beautiful bass-led Roll Jordan Roll by the Famous Skylarks, How I Got Over by the Swanee Quintet, Didn't It Rain Children by the Sons of the South, and Don't Drive Your Children Away by the Fairfield Four. Solid notes, good sound quality, and four photos of performers. Not a disc to miss. (DH)

VARIOUS ARTISTS P-Vine PCD 5826 The Gospel Train Is Coming - West Coast Gospel Quartets ● CD $22.98
27 tracks, 72 mins, essential
More utterly superb gospel thanks to those good folks at P-Vine. The first 11 tracks features the earliest recordings of the great Pilgrim Travelers who are best known for their Specialty recordings. These sides recorded for Bob Geddins's Big Town label and the obscure Greenwood label. Brilliant acapella performances featuring the superb leads of J.W. Alexander and Kylo Turner. Highlights are stunning versions of I Love The Lord and the exquisite One Day. The Rising Star Singers from Oakland were a relatively prolific group in the late 40s and early 50s and ten of their outstanding sides are featured here with superb leads from Tommy Jenkins and Paul Foster who later was with The Soul Stirrers. The Rising Sun Gospel Singers recorded very little which is really a shame since their two cuts here are stunning examples of early hard gospel. There are also two sides by the excellent Golden Star Spiritual Singers including a very fine version of the favorite The Gospel Train Is Coming. The remaining two tracks are not quartet sides but featuring great preaching from Rev Latimore. A few tracks are from worn and noisy 78s but the music here is so outstanding that you won't mind. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Specialty 7045 The Great 1955 Shrine Concert ● CD $14.98
18 tracks, 74 min., essential. The handbill for this concert features the Pilgrim Travelers singing their hit-selling Straight Street, the Gospel Harmonettes with their widely popular Get Away Jordan, Caravans, Soul Stirrers with Sam Cooke on three unedited selections, Ethel Davenport, Annette May, and Bro. Joe May stretching his pipes on the beautiful It's A Long, Long Way. Most of this live material has remained unissued up to now; the remaining is in original, undubbed form. An exciting in-concert church service from L.A.'s Shrine Auditorium recorded in July 1955. Catch the stunning I Have A Friend Above All Others by the Soul Stirrers without edits or overdubs. You'd be crazy to pass this one up. (OLN)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Wolf WJ 019 The Silver Cross Gospel Story, Vol. 1 ● CD $14.98
22 tracks, 64 min., recommended The Silver Cross label was formed in Boston around 1963 by local black DJ and record store owner Skippy White. Most of the talent he recorded was also from the Boston area, with some groups being full fledged professionals with long recording histories and others being no-less-talented local performers who'd never before cut a record. The artists on this fine sampler of that material include the Lord's Messengers, the Biblical Gospel Singers, the Brooklyn Allstars, the Lynn Harmonizers, and the particularly fine Bullock Brothers. An excellent job from start to finish, with fine notes, great sound quality, and three photos. (DH)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Wolf WBJ 022 The Silver Cross Gospel Story, Vol. 2 ● CD $11.98
Excellent collection of quartet gospel music from Boston mostly from 60s/early 70s sides recorded for Skippy White's Silver Cross label. Among the artists featured are The Bullock Brothers (very fine), Sons Of David (their Bye & Bye is very nice), The Gospel Warriors, Blind John Miller & The Gospel Trio (very nice cuts from unissued demo tape), The Mighty Wings Of Zion (recorded in the 80s but performing in a straight ahead style), The House Of Faith Church Of God In Christ Gospel Choir and others. (FS)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Smithsonian-Folkways 40076 Wade In The Water ● CD $44.98
4 discs, 67 tracks, 4 hrs. 15 min., recommended
A project conceived and compiled by Bernice Johnson Reagon, the music on this four disc setan extensive overview of 19th and 20th century African American sacred music traditionsoriginally appeared on National Public Radio in 1995 and was honored at that time with a Peabody award. Volume one examines the concert tradition begun in 1871 when college students from Fisk University toured the nation, performing spirituals. Highlights here, all recorded in 1993, include There Is Balm in Gilead by the Florida A&M University Concert Choir, We Shall Walk Through the Valley in Peace by The Princely Players, Wade in the Water by the modern day Fisk Jubilee Singers, and Ain't Got Time to Die by the Howard University Chamber Choir. Volume two shifts the focus of the program to congregational singing styles such as ring shouts and call-and-response hymns, through numbers recorded in 1989 and 1992. Selections include Sign of the Judgment by the McIntosh County Shouters, Lay Down Body by the Seniorlites, You Better Run to the City of Refuge by the Reverend C. J. Johnson and Family, I Am a Soldier in the Army of the Lord by The United Southern Prayer Band, Early My God Without Delay by the Richard Allen Singers, and A Charge to Keep I Have by the Blue Spring Missionary Baptist Association Delegation of Southwest Georgia. Volume three, through a series of recordings made in 1992-93, examines the pioneer African American composers such as Charles Albert Tindley, Thomas Andrew Dorsey, and Roberta Martin. Performances on this disc include Stand by Me by Lou Bell Johnson; What Are They Doing in Heaven Today by Bernice Johnson Reagon, Yasmeen, and Michelle Lanchester; I Was Standing by the Bedside of a Neighbor by Michelle Lanchester with Sweet Honey in the Rock; and Does Jesus Care? by Horace C. Boyer, the Reverend Donald Vails and the Celebration Delegation. And volume four, again recorded in the 1992-93 time period, offers a local perspective on this vital, continuing tradition of sacred singing with recordings featuring quartets, soloists, and choirs from the Alabama and Washington D. C. areas. Highlights of disc four include Jesus Is on the Mainline by the Gospel Harmonettes, Ye That Is without Sin Cast the First Stone by Brother John Hale, A Charge to Keep I Have by the Poole Brothers, Near My God to Thee by the Four Eagles Quartet, Who'll Be a Witness for my Lord by the Golden Gates Quartet, and Peace in the Valley by the Henry Davis Singers. A rich and varied tradition, herein given a rich and varied examination, replete with extensive liner notes and excellent sound quality. Also available as individual volumes (see below) (DH)

VARIOUS ARTISTS Smithsonian Folkways 40074 Wade In The Water Vol 3 - African American Gospel ● CD $14.98

VARIOUS ARTISTS Smithsonian Folkways 40072 Wade In The Water, Vol 1 : African American Spirituals ● CD $14.98

VARIOUS ARTISTS Smithsonian Folkways 40073 Wade In The Water, Vol 2 : African American Congregations ● CD $14.98

VARIOUS ARTISTS Smithsonian Folkways 40075 Wade In The Water, Vol 4 : African American Community Gospel ● CD $14.98

VARIOUS ARTISTS Delmark 702 Walking The Road - The Golden Age Of Chicago Gospel ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, 65 minutes, essential
For the first time we have the complete 1951-1952 United recordings of Robert Anderson and the first sides by Albertina Walker & The Caravans. As the consummate blues crooner and member of The Roberta Martin Singers, he (they) laid the foundation of 'delayed time' which is the basis of R&B & gospel music. These 10 sides (all 8 of his United sides plus 2 alternate takes) were produced by the legendary Lewis Conrad "Lew" Simpkins, co-founder of United Records and the producer of his earlier Premium/Miracle sides. With The (Gospel) Caravans providing the harmony background, these awesome recordings feature Anderson's majestic vocals, especially effective on Sow Righteous Seeds (with The Caravans) and his masterpiece Oh Lord, Is It I (with piano-organ accompaniment only). To fill out the CD, Delmark has included 8 tracks by Lucy Austin Smith & her singers (including 1 track by Singing Sammy Lewis), and an unissued 1955/6 rehearsal session by singer-pianist Rev. Robert Ballinger (1921-1965. Lucy Smith is joined here by singer Mrs. Gladys Beamon Gregory, the sweetest singer in the world according to Robert Anderson, especially evident on He's My Everything. These recordings are essential if you have an interest in early postwar gospel. (EL)

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