Great Gospel Performers (1937-50) / Various: Great Gospel Performers (1937-50) / Various

Various Artists: Great Gospel Performers (1937-50) / Various
Title: Great Gospel Performers (1937-50) / Various
Artist: Great Gospel Performers (1937-50) / Various
Label: Document
UPC: 714298546323
Genre: Gospel

Like an evangelist's tent show sweeping the Southern states, Document's gospel music campaign is starting to make serious inroads into the other half of the story of African American vernacular music. Here we have the first four recordings of the young Mahalia Jackson - just voice and piano, but still a compelling sound, though less so when organ takes over - for Decca in 1937. Then Lottie Peavy, with a band featuring Bunk Johnson and Turk Murphy, recorded in San Francisco. I prefer her powerful vibrato to Jackson's vocal, and the accompaniment is quite attractive, especially Johnson - the trumpet is uncharacteristically muted (but still very effective) on one track, but open and shouting on the second. Sister Copeland accompanies herself on guitar, these are pleasant sides. Rosetta Wynn is very interesting with potent preaching and subtle background moaning, interspersed with rough but very effective singing and excellent down-home guitar work, at least some of which is probably by Jesse Thomas. Elder Michaux's two-part "I Am So Happy" is a classic and should be well known to many for it's almost hysterically optimistic sound and frantic clapping; you can imagine that the singers would have had to have had the smiles surgically removed after this cut. Madame Ernestine is not Ernestine Washington, and in fact she sounds a little like Mahalia Jackson. Into the 50s, we have Prophet B.W. West, who recorded in Hollywood for Imperial. This is quite primitive, if gripping stuff, in which the prophet preaches in a low gruff, chanting voice, while his acolytes clap and bear witness noisily around him. Finally, Sister Goldia Haynes is as interesting for her accompaniment as for her own intrinsic qualities, as it comprises Joe Liggins on piano, Gene Phillips on guitar and Eddie Davis on string bass. The result, not surprisingly, swings very pleasantly, causing at one or two points the oxymoron "after-hours gospel" to spring unbidden into the mind. Altogether, a thoroughly fascinating compilation, illustrating the remarkable variety of ways in which gospel singers chose to praise the Lord - or maybe that should be the remarkable variety of ways in which record producers sought the next gospel hit sound.

1.1 Mahalia Jackson - God's Gonna Separate The Wheat From The Tares
1.2 Mahalia Jackson - Oh, My Lord
1.3 Mahalia Jackson - Keep Me Every Day
1.4 Mahalia Jackson - God Shall Wipe All Tears Away
1.5 Sister Lottie Peavy - When I Move To The Sky
1.6 Sister Lottie Peavy - Nobody's Fault But Mine
1.7 Sister Vera Copeland - I Know It Was The Blood
1.8 Sister Vera Copeland - I Am Going Back To Jesus
1.9 Elder Lightfoot Solomon Michaux - I Am So Happy Pt. 1
1.10 Elder Lightfoot Solomon Michaux - I Am So Happy Pt. 2
1.11 Evangelist Sister Rosetta Winn - Higher And Higher
1.12 Evangelist Sister Rosetta Winn - Building On The Good Place
1.13 Evangelist Sister Rosetta Winn - Do Lord Remember Me
1.14 Evangelist Sister Rosetta Winn - Beautiful City
1.15 Madame Ernestine - I'll Never Turn Back
1.16 Madame Ernestine - While The Blood Runs Warm
1.17 Prophet B.W. West - My Cup Runneth Over (Sermon with Singing)
1.18 Prophet B.W. West - Laid My Burden Down (Sermon with Singing)
1.19 Prophet B.W. West - Prayer Changes Things (Sermon with Singing)
1.20 Prophet B.W. West - I'm Going Home To Live With God (Sermon with Singing)
1.21 Sister Goldia Haynes - Traveling
1.22 Sister Goldia Haynes - That Great Judgement Day (This Old World)
1.23 Sister Goldia Haynes - Oh Lord, How Long?
1.24 Sister Goldia Haynes - There's A Hand Leading Me
1.25 Sister Goldia Haynes - I'm Going To Hold On
1.26 Sister Goldia Haynes - The Truth In The Gospel

Great Gospel Performers (1937-50) / Various: Great Gospel Performers (1937-50) / Various


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