Hal Singer is aged 100, a renowned R&B/jazz artist, a survivor of Tulsa’s 1921 race massacre where Trump is holding a rally.

Hal Singer in a 1950 studio portrait. (Gilles Petard/Redferns)


From the Washington Post

By DeNeen L. Brown

President Trump plans to hold a political rally in Tulsa on Saturday, which he delayed by a day after scheduling it on Juneteenth, the holiday that marks the end of slavery. The timing astonished historiansand outraged African Americans.

The official records of Hal Singer’s birth on Oct. 8, 1919, perished in the fires set by white mobs during the rampage, which left as many as 300 black people dead and more than 10,000 homeless.

“The only trace of my existence, aside from myself, could be found in the family Bible: one date written on the first page and a single name, Harold,” Singer wrote in “Jazz Roads,”his autobiography. “I was born. I am sure of the fact, since I am still living. But I never had the written proof.”

The violence began unfolding on May 30th, 1921, when a 19-year-old shoe shiner named Dick Rowland walked into the Drexel Building to use the only toilet in downtown Tulsa available to black people.

Rowland stepped into an elevator on the first floor. By the time the elevator doors opened on the third floor, someone heard the white elevator operator, Sarah Page, shriek. Rowland, who may have stepped on her foot, was arrested and accused of assaulting a white woman.

A crowd of white men gathered outside the courthouse, where Rowland was jailed. Dozens of black men, including World War I veterans, rushed to the courthouse to protect him.

‘They was killing black people’

“We all knew what would happen to the young man. Hanging was a certainty,” Singer recalled his father telling him later. “Black families got involved and an important group of men organized a raid of the prison. They intended to free the man.”

At the time, Greenwood was so affluent that it was nicknamed Black Wall Street.

“I don’t call it the black part of town because in effect our section was an autonomous city in of itself: a perfectly structured community of about 30,000 people made up of three distinct neighborhoods,” Singer recalled in his memoir. “We had our own churches, stores, athletic fields, services and even our own police force. A bus line crossed our town-within-a-town, and since it was run by one of our own, you could sit anywhere in the bus that you liked.”

It was rare that black people had to go into the white areas of Tulsa. But his mother, Annie Mae Singer, who was a well-known cook in Tulsa, had a business catering in houses owned by white people.

Singer’s mother later told him that during the 48 hours of the massacre, one of her white clients “courageously came to see us and drove my mother and me to the train station. She paid our passage to Kansas City and gave the conductor some money to protect us in case it was necessary.”

Singer’s father, Charles Edward, who oversaw a team of white workers at a mechanical tools company, stayed behind to fight as white mobs raged through their neighborhood.

When Singer, his mother and his siblings returned to Tulsa after the violence ended, Greenwood was gone.

“The neighborhood where Hal was living was burned except for his church,” said his wife, Arlette Singer. “The family had to build another house. It was awful.”

Witnesses described bodies being dumped in mass graves. Nearly a century later, the city plans to dig in Oaklawn Cemetery to learn whether there is a mass grave there, though the timeline has been delayed by the pandemic.

Tulsa plans to dig for suspected mass graves from a 1921 race massacre

Singer, who grew up playing violin as a child, attended Booker T. Washington, Tulsa’s all-black high school. Then he began studying the clarinet and, while attending college at Hampton Institute in Virginia, the tenor saxophone. During a break from college, Singer was recruited to play with Terrence “T.” Holder, a legendary Tulsa band leader and innovative trumpeter.

It was 1938. Singer was only 19. “I played the saxophone nights for a white audience with the famous T. Holder,” Singer recalled in his autobiography. “I was very lucky. The only problem was that my friends couldn’t come to hear me play because of segregation.”

Eventually, Singer quit school to become a musician. He joined Jay McShann’s orchestra in 1943 before moving to New York, where he found work in various bands,according to the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. 

In 1948, Singer formed his own group and was signed to Mercury Records, where he cut his first single, “Fine as Wine.” That year he recorded “Corn Bread,” which reached No. 1 on the R&B charts, according to his discography. He followed “Corn Bread” with another hit, “Beef Stew.”

Singer was recruited for the Duke Ellington Orchestra and played with Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie and Ray Charles, among others.

After touring Europe with Earl “Fatha” Hines, Singer moved to France, where the minister of culture bestowed the title of “Chevalier des Arts” on him. He’d become increasingly disaffected with the United States because of its racial climate and oppression of African Americans.

“Finally, in 1965,” Singer wrote, “I decided to leave my country because of the civil rights protests.”

In Paris, he fell in love with Arlette, with whom he has two daughters. He continued releasing albums for decades and was honored by the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame with a lifetime achievement award in 2013.

Singer has never forgotten Tulsa and what happened there, his wife said. But with his health failing, he wonders if there will ever be reparations for the lives lost and the properties destroyed.

“I have no more trust in justice in my country,” he told her. “It is too tiring. It is too ugly.”

Trump rally in Tulsa, site of a race massacre, on Juneteenth was ‘almost blasphemous,’ historian says

HBO’s ‘Watchmen’ depicts a deadly Tulsa race massacre that was all too real

As plantations talk more honestly about slavery, some visitors are pushing back

A 1963 Klan bombing killed her sister and blinded her. Now she wants restitution.

Posted in 78rpm, Americana, Jazz, Rhythm & Blues, Rock & Roll, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rory Gallagher 25th Anniversary – June 14th

 

Sunday, June 14th, 2020 will mark the 25th anniversary of the passing of the late, lamented musician Rory Gallagher.

With the current lockdown restrictions, understandably, events have had to be curtailed for the occasion; with the postponement of the unveiling of a statue outside of the Ulster Hall in Belfast, and the annual Rory Gallagher four-day music festival, in Ballyshannon, Ireland plus other planned tribute shows.

However, like the musician’s own ability to improvise, the day will be marked by Rory followers around the world. WDR TV, in Germany, will be transmitting his many infamous Rockpalast performances and other European countries will be broadcasting Rory documentaries and concert programming.

On the 14th, Eagle Rock in partnership with YouTube will screen Rory’s performance with Taste at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 at 8:00 p.m. (BST) and in the build up to that a streamed mini Rory festival will be taking place across Facebook and YouTube, staring at 5pm, featuring a number of musicians who played with or are inspired by Rory.

Hosted by radio legend David ‘Kid’ Jensen, the stream will include ‘Band Of Friends’ featuring Rory’s former drummer and bass player Brendan O’Neil and Gerry McAvoy, Belfast born singer/songwriter Dom Martin and Peter Donegan, son of Rory’s first musical hero Lonnie Donegan.

Hot Press, Ireland’s premier music and cultural, magazine are producing a special edition to honour the occasion (released June 18th) and together with Fender Musical Instruments they will host the opportunity for someone to win a Fender ‘Rory Gallagher’ replica Stratocaster. The publication will also feature contributions from the Rory’s many admiring peers including new interviews with Slash, Johnny Marr, J Mascis amongst others.

2020 has already been a successful year for Rory’s legend, with the release of the ‘Check Shirt Wizard’ album (a live collection of Rory’s early 1977 UK performances), saw the artist return to the album charts, notably, claiming the No.1 spot in Billboard’s Blues chart for three consecutive weeks. “This is a crowning honour in celebrating my brother, in his anniversary year and especially an acknowledgement of his devoted following” said Dónal Gallagher, Rory’s brother and manager.

Dónal Gallagher and Daniel Gallagher (Rory’s nephew and producer of Rory’s music catalogue) are both available for interviews.

Rory Gallagher Online Tribute Concert 5pm to 8pm June 14th can be streamed from:
www.facebook.com/RoryGallagher/ & www.youtube.com/rorygallagherofficial

At 8pm the Taste Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970 concert can be streamed from:
www.youtube.com/user/eaglerocktv

Posted in Rhythm & Blues, Rock, Website, You Tube | Leave a comment

Multi-Disc Box Set Of Frank Zappa’s ‘The Mothers 1970’ Set For Release

Frank Zappa’s The Mothers 1970 is set to be reissued digitally and as a 4CD box set on 26 June via Zappa Records/UMe.

Overseen by the Zappa Trust and produced by Ahmet Zappa and Zappa Vaultmeister, Joe Travers, The Mothers 1970 collects together more than four hours of previously unreleased performances by the heralded line-up which lasted roughly seven months: Aynsley Dunbar (drums), George Duke (piano/keys/trombone), Ian Underwood (organ/keys/guitar), Jeff Simmons (bass/vocals) and Flo & Eddie aka Howard Kaylan (vocals) and Mark Volman (vocals/percussion) of The Turtles who performed under the aliases to skirt contractual limitations of performing under their own names. This iteration of The Mothers, which likely began rehearsals fifty years ago this month, came to an end in January of 1971 when Simmons quit the band during the making of the 200 Motels movie.

The Mothers 1970 encapsulates the band’s brief but productive span, which included two visits to the studio – resulting in the acclaimed 1970 album, Chunga’s Revenge – and tours across the U.S., Canada and Europe.

Divided into four parts, the collection – which includes 70 unreleased live and studio recordings – is anchored by top notch studio recordings recorded at the famed London-based Trident Studios on June 21-22 with a then-young, unknown producer in the engineer chair by the name of Roy Thomas Baker, several years before he’d go on to have massive success working with Queen, The Cars and Alice Cooper to name a few.

An unreleased early mix by Baker of the Chunga’s Revenge track, ‘Sharleena,’ is just one of the many highlights of the studio recordings that also boasts two unearthed rough mixes of the Zappa/Simmons co-write, ‘Wonderful Wino,’ that showcase vocals and an alternate guitar solo by Zappa that has been lost to the ages as the original multi-track stems were recorded over. Of the material recorded during this two-day span, ‘Sharleena’ was the only song ever officially released – so tracks like ‘Red Tubular Lighter,’ ‘Giraffe’ and an unheard version of ‘Envelopes’ are completely brand new to fans half a century later.

The band’s live prowess is represented with a slew of concert recordings, including the first official release of the oft bootlegged ‘Piknik’ performance originally broadcast on Dutch radio station VRPO, and live performances from concerts in Santa Monica, Calif. and Spokane, Wash. which have been edited together and presented as a hybrid concert since both shows were not fully captured. The release is rounded out with a selection of live highlights recorded around the U.S., interspersed with candid moments recorded in dressing rooms, motel lobbies and the stage by Zappa who took his personal UHER recorder everywhere. All recordings comprising The Mothers 1970 were sourced from their original tapes discovered in The Vault and digitally transferred and compiled by Travers in 2020. Some tracks were mixed by longtime Zappa Trust associate Craig Parker Adams and the collection was mastered by John Polito at Audio Mechanics.

It wasn’t until 1971 when Zappa would start documenting his gigs with a ½” 4-track recorder so the 1970 tours were not captured in typical fashion. Instead Zappa recorded as much as he could using his personal UHER recorder and it is these recordings that make up the second half of The Mothers 1970.

Because of the nature of the recordings it was almost virtually impossible for Zappa to record full shows due to the limitations of the tape recorder and the fact he would often times personally spool tape on the machine on stage while playing. Occasionally Zappa would have the soundman set up the recorder in the venue to tape the concert. This resulted in ambient recordings which was the case for the Santa Monica and Spokane recordings as well as the live performances that make up the final disc.

Similar to the Gail Zappa-created “Road Tapes” live series, these recordings contain audience noise allowing listeners to experience what it was like to be there. The set lists focus heavily on songs from the albums Freak Out!, Absolutely Free, We’re Only In It For The Money, Uncle Meat, the then-recently released Burnt Weeny Sandwich, and early workings of songs that would eventually be released months later on Chunga’s Revenge. Some of the many highlights include the extended guitar workouts, the first version of ‘Easy Meat’ and rare live performances of ‘Would You Go All The Way?’ and ‘Road Ladies.’

Following Zappa’s especially productive year of 1969, which saw him record and release several albums, including Uncle Meat and Hot Rats, produce Captain Beefheart’s outsider classic, Trout Mask Replica, as well as the one and only album for The GTO’s, the musician disbanded the original Mothers Of Invention and started experimenting with smaller lineups. Through a variety of circumstances and several chance encounters, Zappa began to assemble his new group of collaborators, with the only original Mother being Ian Underwood.

As Travers writes in the enlightening liner notes, which also include a wealth of live and behind-the-scenes photos from this era: “It’s no secret that Frank was excited about this group. The cast of characters and their personalities, musically and personally, made for a very eventful and humorous chapter in Zappa’s career. Frank had a blast with these guys. Their sound was unique, their humor was like no other and yet their time was ultimately short lived.”

The Mothers 1970 is out on 26th June.

Scroll down to read the full tracklist and pre-order it here.

Disc 1: Trident Studios, London, England June 21-22, 1970
1. ‘Red Tubular Lighter’
2. ‘Lola Steponsky’
3. ‘Trident Chatter’
4. ‘Sharleena’ (Roy Thomas Baker Mix)
5. ‘Item 1’
6. ‘Wonderful Wino’ (FZ Vocal)
7. ‘Enormous Cadenza’
8. ‘Envelopes’
9. ‘Red Tubular Lighter’ (Unedited Master)
10. ‘Wonderful Wino’ (Basic Tracks, Alt. Take)
11. ‘Giraffe’ – Take 4
12. ‘Wonderful Wino’ (FZ Vocal, Alt. Solo)

Disc 2: Live Highlights Part 1 – “Piknik” VPRO June 18, 1970 / Pepperland September 26, 1970
‘Introducing…The Mothers’ (Live on “Piknik” June 18, 1970)
‘Wonderful Wino’ (Live on “Piknik” June 18, 1970)
‘Concentration Moon’ (Live on “Piknik” June 18, 1970)
‘Mom & Dad’ (Live on “Piknik” June 18, 1970)
‘The Air’ (Live on “Piknik” June 18, 1970)
‘Dog Breath’ (Live on “Piknik” June 18, 1970)
‘Mother People’ (Live on “Piknik” June 18, 1970)
‘You Didn’t Try To Call Me’ (Live on “Piknik” June 18, 1970)
‘Agon’ (Live on “Piknik” June 18, 1970)
‘Call Any Vegetable’ (Live on “Piknik” June 18, 1970)
‘King Kong Pt. I’ (Live on “Piknik” June 18, 1970)
‘Igor’s Boogie’ (Live on “Piknik” June 18, 1970)
‘King Kong Pt. II’ (Live on “Piknik” June 18, 1970)
‘What Kind Of Girl Do You Think We Are?’ (Live at Pepperland September 26, 1970)
‘Bwana Dik’ (Live at Pepperland September 26, 1970)
‘Daddy, Daddy, Daddy’ (Live at Pepperland September 26, 1970)
‘Do You Like My New Car?’ (Live at Pepperland September 26, 1970)
‘Happy Together’ (Live at Pepperland September 26, 1970)

Disc 3: Live Highlights Part 2 – Hybrid Concert: Santa Monica August 21, 1970 / Spokane September 17, 1970
1. ‘Welcome To El Monte Legion Stadium!’ (Live)
2. ‘Agon’ (Live)
3. ‘Call Any Vegetable’ (Live)
4. ‘Pound For A Brown’ (Live)
5. ‘Sleeping In A Jar’ (Live)
6. ‘Sharleena’ (Live)
7. ‘The Air’ (Live)
8. ‘Dog Breath’ (Live)
9. ‘Mother People’ (Live)
10. ‘You Didn’t Try To Call Me’ (Live)
11. ‘King Kong Pt. I’ (Live)
12. ‘Igor’s Boogie’ (Live)
13. ‘King Kong Pt. II’ (Live)
14. ‘Eat It Yourself…’ (Live)
15. ‘Trouble Every Day’ (Live)
16. ‘A Series Of Musical Episodes’ (Live)
17. ‘Road Ladies’ (Live)
18. ‘The Holiday Inn Motel Chain’ (Live)
19. ‘What Will This Morning Bring Me This Evening?’ (Live)
20. ‘What Kind Of Girl Do You Think We Are?’ (Live)

Disc 4: Live Highlights Part 3 – FZ Tour Tape Recordings
1. ‘What’s The Deal, Dick?’
2. ‘Another M.O.I. Anti-Smut Loyalty Oath’ (Live)
3. ‘Paladin Routine #1’ (Live)
4. ‘Portuguese Fenders’ (Live)
5. ‘The Sanzini Brothers’ (Live)
6. ‘Guitar Build ’70’ (Live)
7. ‘Would You Go All The Way?’ (Live)
8. ‘Easy Meat’ (Live)
9. ‘Who Did It?’
10. ‘Turn It Down!’ (Live)
11. ‘A Chance Encounter In Cincinnati’
12. ‘Pound For A Brown’ (Live)
13. ‘Sleeping In A Jar’ (Live)
14. ‘Beloit Sword Trick’ (Live)
15. ‘Kong Solos Pt. I’ (Live)
16. ‘Igor’s Boogie’ (Live)
17. ‘Kong Solos Pt. II’ (Live)
18. ‘Gris Gris’ (Live)
19. ‘Paladin Routine #2’ (Live)
20. ‘King Kong – Outro’ (Live)

Posted in Film -TV, Rare Records, Uncategorized, Website, You Tube | Leave a comment

The Passion Of Chris Strachwitz

Chris Strachwitz is a man possessed. “El Fanatico,” Ry Cooder calls him.

A song catcher, dedicated to recording the traditional, regional, down home music of America, his adopted home after his family left Germany at the close of WWII. Mance Lipscomb, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Big Mama Thornton, Clifton Chenier, Rose Maddox, Flaco Jimenez… the list is long and mighty.

Chris Strachwitz is a keeper. His vault is jam-packed with 78s, 33s, 45s, reel-to-reels, cassettes, videos, photographs — an archive of all manner of recordings. And an avalanche of lifetime achievement awards — from the Grammy’s, The Blues Hall of Fame, The National Endowment for the Arts – for some 60 years of recording and preserving the musical cultural heritage of this nation through his label, Arhoolie Records.

Featuring interviews with Linda Ronstadt and Bonnie Raitt.

“The Passion of Chris Strachwitz” was produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson) with Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell, mixed by Jim McKee. For The Goethe Institute’s Big Pond series.

Posted in 78rpm, Americana, Blues, Cassette, Country/Hillbilly, Gospel, Jazz, Rare Records, Rhythm & Blues, Rock & Roll, Roots, Uncategorized, Website, World Music | Leave a comment

New Dylan Album ‘Rough & Rowdy Ways’ Due June 19th

Bob Dylan has announced his first album of original songs in eight years.

‘Rough And Rowdy Ways’ will be released on 19thJune. It follows three albums of cover versions with his previous album of his own songs, Tempest, released in 2012.

Two songs from the new album have been released in recent weeks. Murder Most Foul is his longest song ever at 17 minutes, a mystical reflection on the JFK assassination that also rakes over decades of American popular culture.

Dylan has now released an upbeat blues-rock number called False Prophet, where Dylan voices the figure in the title with a certain swagger: “I ain’t no false prophet / I just said what I said / I’m just here to bring vengeance on somebody’s head.”

Posted in Americana, Compact Disc, Rock & Roll, Roots, You Tube | Leave a comment

Off The Record Presents Joe Bussard.

Off The Record makes the record-collector’s version of the pilgrimage to Mecca to Joe Bussard’s wonderful basement!

Owner of one of the finest collections of prewar blues, country and jazz records in the world, Joe Bussard has been one of the most famed and accessible names in the 78rpm world for generations.

Great short film with great stories.

Posted in 78rpm, Americana, Blues, Country/Hillbilly, Gospel, Jazz, Rare Records, Roots, Uncategorized, Website, You Tube | Leave a comment

The Return Of The Duck

One of Stockport’s best loved progressive and heavy rock bands Savory Duck have released two excellent downloadable albums which are available from the band’s website and on the usual download music sites.

The Duck sprang from a four-piece heavy rock band called Burial who specialised in covers of tracks by Black Sabbath, Atomic Rooster and US power rock giants Grand Funk Railroad.

In the early 1970s they formed a new progressive rock band Savory Duck based around the guitar, keyboard and song writing skills of Arny Sage.

Their main influences were bands such as Caravan, (the cult Canterbury progressive rock band); prog rock favourites Gentle Giant and Greenslade, the spin off band lead by ex Colosseum organist Dave Greenslade.

The band played a number of well received gigs at Manchester’s Stoneground, (supporting Caravan); Bradford University, (supporting ex-Curved Air violinist and keyboards man Darryl Way and his band Wolf) and Stockport Town Hall with guitarist Gordon Giltrap.

They also held down regular gigs at Stockport’s Mersey Tavern. A local newspaper report described the band as “Fluid, competent and professionally flawless”.

The Duck disbanded in 1976 but played occasional gigs and continued to lay down tracks at a number of studio’s including the famous Strawberry Studios in Stockport.

‘Down The Line’ was recorded at a number of small Manchester studios between 2015 and 2019.

Also issued is a polished album of demo recordings ‘The Duck Studio Demo’s’ cut between 1975 and 1976 at Strawberry Studios with one track ‘Variation 55’ cut and mixed between 2001 and 2003 at Cavalier Studios in Stockport.

These albums are a must for progressive and heavy rock fans and can be downloaded at the band’s website (and they have a Facebook site too) which contains details of the band’s ever evolving membership, details of these two albums, recording data, historical band photos and memorabilia.

Not to be missed by fans of 1970s progressive rock.

Posted in Uncategorized, Website | Leave a comment

RCA VICTOR RECORDING SYSTEM COLOUR 45s & 78s RECORD FILM

Posted in 45 rpm, 78rpm | Leave a comment

New Edition Of ‘Mystery Train – Images Of America In Rock ’n’ Roll Music’

Greil Marcus’s masterful history of rock ’n’ roll and American culture, Mystery Train is now available as an incredible Folio Society edition. Newly updated by the author exclusively for Folio, and the first English language edition to include illustrations, this is the ultimate and complete version of Marcus’ masterpiece.

The book chronicles the growth of rock ’n’ roll from its roots in the blues, gospel and country music of the Deep South to the extravagance of rock icons in the 1970s. On its publication in 1975, Mystery Train was hailed as a revolutionary book about popular music.

It has proved inspirational to critics and musicians alike Bruce Springsteen, Nick Cave, Elvis Costello and David Bowie (one of his ‘100 Best Books’) are among the many to have expressed their admiration.

In this new Folio edition, the energy and enthusiasm of Marcus’s narrative is paired with outstanding photography. From evocative black-and-white shots portraying American life from the 1930s to the 1970s and full-colour album covers to iconic photos of Woodstock and Elvis, this edition is packed with glorious snapshots from the rock ’n’ roll era.

This edition also adds wholly new and exclusive material written by the author. Marcus kept expanding his famous Notes and Discographies after the initial publication of Mystery Train in 1975, and it is now a rich treasury of facts, digressions and anecdotes. This section, included in this Folio edition, contains meticulous details of albums, re-issues, bootlegs and live recordings, making it an essential listener’s companion to the pioneers, contemporaries and successors of rock ’n’ roll music.

Bound in screen-printed textured paper. Set in Benton Modern with Bureau Grot Condensed as display. 552 pages.

59 integrated black & white images, and 8 pages of colour images including a double page spread. Blocked slipcase. 91/2˝ x 61/4˝.•

UK £50.00 US $79.95 Can $95.00 Aus $110.00

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Digital Gospel Reissue Series From Craft Records

Craft Recordings will be reissuing 25 digital releases from the Gospel Truth Records, (a subsidiary of Stax Records).

Kicking off with The Rance Allen Group’s 1972 self-titled debut, new titles will be released every week in chronological order, leading up to September’s Gospel Heritage Month.

In addition to the digital reissues, there will be a singles compilation, released on September 4thon vinyl, CD and digital plus several playlists and new video content.

Established in 1972, Gospel Truth was conceived of by Stax executive Al Bell, who enlisted the help of radio promotions pioneer and songwriter Dave Clarkand label staffer Mary Peak Pattersonto oversee the formation of the imprint. The label was intended to “carry the message of today’s gospel to the people on the street,” as promotional material for the label’s launch touted.

But what separated Gospel Truth from other labels in the genre was that it made its music accessible to everyone. With his sharp eye for talent, Clark paired down home, traditional gospel musicians with raw, revolutionary artists that adopted the conventions of rock, funk and soul, creating a sound that resonated with a hip, 1970s audience.

Clark and Peak also gave Gospel Truth’s artists the same high-level promotional considerations that were given to any of the secular stars at Stax: from outfits and photo shoots to bookings.

The Rance Allen Group’s 1972 self-titled debut saw the Michigan-based trio of brothers turned the popular local stylings of Motown upside-down – offering a subversive and defiant take on seminal Detroit soul, and juxtaposing their spiritual foundation with secular influences.

Another highlight in the catalogue is Louise McCord’s ‘A Tribute To Mahalia Jackson’, released in response to the 1972 passing of the gospel titan.

Breaking away from the conventions of Jackson’s more traditional sound, McCord instead opted to charge toward a deeper, funkier path – as heard on single ‘Better Get a Move On’ penned by Stax staff writer Bettye Crutcher. McCord also went on to give an electrifying performance at the Wattstax concert later that year.

Taking a more traditional route is Reverend Bernard Avant & The St. James Gospel Choir. Directed by the Southern California–based minister and radio show host Rev. Willie Bernard Avant, Jr., the St. James Gospel Choir’s sound isn’t far removed from that of Southern gospel music – likely a holdover from Avant’s upbringing in Georgia. Similarly, ‘God’s Newspaper’, from Reverend J.D. Montgomery & The Mt. Carmel Choirin Detroit, drops the listener right into the excitement of a Sunday service. Recorded in the church’s sanctuary, the album includes a sermon by Rev. Montgomery, as well as powerful selections by the Greater Mt. Carmel Choir.

In celebration of Gospel Heritage Month, Craft will also produce a compilation from the imprint’s catalogue on vinyl, CD and digital formats on September 4th. Gospel music fans can look forward to the release of new lyric videos, plus two special playlists, titled “Gospel Truth”(out May 24th) and “Gospel Easter”(out April 12th), throughout the course of the campaign.

Gospel Truth Digital Album Releases:

March 13:    The Rance Allen Group

March 20:   Reverend Lee Jackson At Calvary

March 27:   Reverend Maceo Woods and the Christian Tabernacle Choir – In Concert

April 3:      Maceo Woods and the Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir – Jesus People

April 10:   Reverend J.D. Montgomery & The Mt. Carmel Choir –God’s Newspaper

April 17:  Reverend Maceo Woods and the Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir- God Save Your People

April 24: The Howard Lemon Singers –Message For Today

May 1:     The Rance Allen Group –Truth Is Where It’s At

May 8:    Reverend Bernard Avant & The St. James Gospel Choir

May 15:    Louise McCord –A Tribute To Mahalia Jackson

May 22:    The Commanders –Walk With Me

May 29:    The Marion Gaines Singers –This Too Is Gospel

June 5:     Charles May & Annette May Thomas –Songs Our Father Used To Sing

June 12:    Clarence Smith –Whatever Happened To Love

June 19:    The Gospel Artistics – The Gospel Artistics

June 26:   Rev. T.L. Barrett & The Youth For Christ Choir –I Found The Answer

July 3:     The Henry Jackson Company

July 10:    The People’s Choir Of Operation Push

July 17:   Reverend Maceo Woods and the Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir –A New Dawning

July 24:     Blue Aquarius –Blue Aquarius

July 31:     Bob Hemphill & The Commanders –Everybody Will Be Happy

August 7:   The Rance Allen Group –Brothers

August 14:  The Howard Lemon Singers –I Am Determined

August 21:  The Marion Gaines Singers –Leaning On The Everlasting Arms

August 28: Reverend Maceo Woods and the Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir –Goodbye Loneliness, Hello Happiness

Posted in 45 rpm, Americana, Rare Records, Roots, Soul, Uncategorized, Vinyl, Website | Leave a comment