Gospel vol. 6 - Female Gospel Groups 1940-1962
Gospel vol. 6 - Female Gospel Groups 1940-1962
Ref.: FA5824

WARD SINGERS • STARS OF FAITH • ORIGINAL GOSPEL HARMONETTES

VARIOUS ARTISTS

Ref.: FA5824

Artistic Direction : JEAN BUZELIN

Label : Frémeaux & Associés

Total duration of the pack : 3 hours 29 minutes

Nbre. CD : 3

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WARD SINGERS • STARS OF FAITH • ORIGINAL GOSPEL HARMONETTES

Female gospel bands were made up of the best singers from church choirs, and so they featured the most flamboyant gems that Black America had to offer. The intensity in their magnificent songs illuminates the story related by Jean Buzelin, with recordings drawn from a well of untold talents. They make this a set of inestimable historical value that throws a bright light on these forgotten “soul sisters of the shadows.
Patrick FRÉMEAUX

CD1 (1940-1953) - SALLIE MARTIN SINGERS THANK YOU JESUS • MARTIN & MORRIS SINGERS I KNOW I HAVE ANOTHER BUILDING • SOUTHERN HARPS WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS • SOUTHERN REVIVALISTS OF NO MY TROUBLE IS HARD • WARD SINGERS: WHEN I GET HOME • I’M BOUND FOR HIGHER GROUND • TELL THE ANGELS • MARY JOHNSON DAVIS SINGERS I’M GOING TO WAIT ON THE LORD • DAVIS SISTERS GETTING NEARER TO MY LORD • ANGELIC GORPEL SINGERS BACK TO THE DUST • ELITE JEWELS STANDING ON THE ROCK • FAMOUS WARD SINGERS THE OLD LANDMARK • CLARA WARD SPECIALS COME IN THE ROOM • JACKSON GOSPEL SINGERS COME UNTO ME • ORIGINAL GOSPEL HARMONETTES: EVERY DAY WILL BE SUNDAY • WHEN I REACHED MY HEAVENLY HOME • ONE MORNING SOON • GOLDEN HARP GOSPEL SINGERS I’LL MAKE IT SOMEHOW • GAY SISTERS GOD IS ON OUR SIDE • WINGS OVER DIXIE WORKING ON THE BUILDING • BREWSTER SINGERS THESE ARE THEY • ROSETTE GOSPEL SINGERS HE LIVES IN ME • CARAVANS: GOD IS GOOD TO ME • ON MY WAY HOME.

CD2 (1952-1959) - DAVIS SISTERS: IN THE MORNING WHEN I RISE • STAND BY ME • FAMOUS WARD SINGERS OH LORD, HOW LONG • WARD SINGERS: I’M CLIMBING HIGHER AND HIGHER • GREAT IS THE LORD • SIMMONS AKERS TRIO HE’S ALRIGHT WITH ME • ORIGINAL GOSPEL HARMONETTES: YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN • YOU BETTER RUN • CARAVANS: WAIT FOR ME • ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS • ANGELIC GOSPEL SINGERS I’LL BE ALRIGHT • LUCY SMITH SINGERS JESUS, LOVER OF MY SOUL • FAMOUS DAVIS SISTERS: WON’T IT BE WONDERFUL THERE • SHINE ON ME • WHAT HE’S DONE FOR ME • ARGO GOSPEL SINGERS: NEAR THE CROSS • BRING BACK THOSE DAYS • ORIGINAL GOSPEL HARMONETTES: 99 1/2 WON’T DO • THAT’S ENOUGH • ANGELIC GOSPEL SINGERS ALL THAT I NEED IS IN JESUS • DELLA REESE & MEDITATION SINGERS HARD TO GET ALONG • CARAVANS: SWING LOW • I’M WILLING • SOUTHERN ECHOES OF CHICAGO THE STORY OF JOB.

CD3 (1958-1962) - WARD SINGERS WE SHALL BE CHANGED • CLARA WARD SINGERS: THE SEVEN SEALS • VI FOUND THE KEYS THE KINGDOM • STARS OF FAITH: WHEN I LAY THIS BODY DOWN • MEAN OLD WORLD • LOOKING FOR JESUS • JEWEL GOSPEL SINGERS TOO LATE • ORIGINAL GOSPEL HARMONETTES: LOOKING FOR A HOME • SO MANY YEARS • 10 BESSIE GRIFFIN & GOSPEL PEARLS CHILDREN DON’T YOU GET WEARY • DREXALL SINGERS I WANT TO GO HOME • SALLIE MARTIN SINGERS: OLD SHIP OF ZION • LET ME CROSS OVER • CARAVANS: I WON’T BE BACK • JESUS WILL SAVE • FAMOUS DAVIS SISTERS TIRED • MEDITATION SINGERS: ONE MORE RIVER TO CROSS • HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW • IMPERIAL GOSPEL SINGERS SHALL BE SAVED • INGRAM GOSPEL SINGERS TAKE TIME TO BE HOLY • INEZ ANDREWS & ANDREWETTES I’M GLAD ABOUT IT • GOSPEL STARS LAMB ON THE ALTAR • SALLY JENKINS SINGERS GET MY MANSION READY • STARS OF FAITH MARY WHAT YOU GONNA NAME.

Press
Fremeaux & Associes spotlights the estimable contributions of females, specifically female gospel groups, on Gospel: Female Gospel Groups 1940-1962, the sixth volume in its multi-disc reissue effort. The French firm has previously mined the golden age of gospel music with packages on male quartets, guitar evangelists, female soloists, and collections dedicated to Mahalia Jackson and the Roberta Martin Singers.While the 72-track, 3-CD set collection features many artists whose work has been reissued, it focuses on lesser-known gems from their catalogues (…). The smart selection of songs doesn’t leave out regional groups (…). Gospel: Female Gospel Groups 1940-1962 includes album notes in French, a summary in English, and a discography that includes everything but the labels associated with the selections. In all, this sixth volume is a well-curated and crisply produced package of performances by women who helped make gospel gospel. Even hardcore collectors will find it enjoyable for its thoughtful blend of songs.By Bob MAROVICH – JOURNAL OF GOSPEL MUSIC
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« De la fin des années 30 jusque dans les années 70, le black gospel traditionnel a connu son Âge d’Or et un engouement énorme et généralisé dans les communautés africaines américaines, alors qu’il était ignoré ou presque partout ailleurs (1). Mais le gospel, comme toutes les musiques populaires, a évolué et, de nos jours, c’est un gospel dit « contemporain » (très proche de la soul music, de la pop et du rap) qui a les faveurs du public noir US, pendant que l’Europe et le reste du monde découvrent enfin les trésors du gospel traditionnel grâce à des compagnies comme Ace Records en Angleterre, Gospel Friend en Suède, Frémeaux et Associés en France et une poignée d’autres, qui rééditent la crème de la crème de ce style musical exceptionnel (2) et ses bonnes nouvelles (… « Good News, la vie est courte et dure, voire abominable, mais ensuite, pour les Justes, ce sera le bonheur et la joie pour l’éternité »…). (3) C’est dans cette période que les femmes, solistes ou membres de groupes (mixtes ou entièrement féminins) avec piano et orgue, ont pris le plus d’ascendant dans ce monde musical, souvent plus populaires que les solistes et les quartets masculins a capella, une juste revanche sur le machisme des périodes précédentes. La preuve avec cette nouvelle compilation recommandée sans réserves : Le cd1 couvre la période 1940-1953 avec les grandes pionnières à Chicago comme Sallie Martin et sa fille Cora (associées à Thomas A. Dorsey, le Père du Gospel), Roberta Martin (pianiste, associée à Kenneth Morris), Albertina Walker et les Caravans, les Gay Sisters ; à Philadelphie avec Gertrude Ward, sa fille Clara et leurs Singers (Marion Williams, Frances Steadman, Kitty Parham) et avec les Davis Sisters ; à Memphis avec les Brewster Singers ; à Birmingham (Alabama) avec Dorothy Love Coates et les Gospel Harmonettes, etc, etc. Ces groupes et d’autres (4) vont déchaîner les passions et remplir les églises et lieux où ils se produisent. Ils vont abondamment enregistrer et c’est un bonheur total de réécouter leurs disques. Pour la plupart, leurs succès se perpétueront dans les périodes suivantes comme on peut le voir (l’écouter !) dans le cd2 (années 50) et le cd3 (1958-1962). Les notes de pochette de Jean Buzelin sont informatives et complètes, il a judicieusement choisi les meilleurs titres qui représentent bien le génie et la qualité des interprètes, leur fougue et leur talent, leur swing implacable et leur engagement total, sans complexes. On n’en citera aucun en particulier, tous sont à écouter… religieusement ! Une réussite totale. » Par Robert SACRE – ABS MAGAZINE
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« Fidèle à sa ligne éditoriale, la maison Frémeaux & Associés poursuit son travail d’exploration et de préservation du patrimoine sonore. Avec ce 6e coffret de 3 CD consacré au gospel, le label se penche sur les chœurs féminins des années 1940 à 1962. De fantastiques chorales et de grandes voix ont ainsi surgi à travers l’Amérique. Elles s’appelaient Ward Singers, Caravans, Famous Davis Sisters ou Stars Of Faith et à de rares exceptions comme Candy Staton, future chanteuse soul, ou Bessie Griffin, star du gospel, leurs noms sont tombés dans l’oubli. Et pourtant, en écoutant cette sélection commentée par Jean Buzelin, l’on comprend mieux d’où viennent les Aretha, Ella, Tina et autres consœurs. » Par Thierry BOILLOT – L’ALSACE
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Tracklist
  • Piste
    Title
    Main artist
    Autor
    Duration
    Registered in
  • 1
    Thank You Jesus
    Sallie Martin Singers
    K. Morris
    00:02:35
    1949
  • 2
    I Know I Have Another Building
    Martin & Morris Singers
    K. Morris
    00:03:31
    1940
  • 3
    What A Friend We Have In Jesus
    Southern Harps
    Joseph Scriven
    00:02:45
    1947
  • 4
    My Trouble Is Hard
    Bessie Griffin & The Southern Revivalistes Of New Orleans
    Traditionnel
    00:02:59
    1948
  • 5
    When I Get Home
    Ward Singers
    L.E. Campbell
    00:02:27
    1949
  • 6
    Bound For Higher Ground
    Ward Singers
    W. Webb
    00:02:40
    1949
  • 7
    Tell The Angels
    Ward Singers
    W.H. Brewster
    00:02:58
    1950
  • 8
    I'M Going To Wait On The Lord
    Mary Johnson Davis Gospel Singers
    Traditionnel
    00:02:36
    1949
  • 9
    Getting Nearer To My Lord
    Davis Sisters Of Philadelphia
    W.H. Brewster
    00:02:44
    1950
  • 10
    Back To The Dust
    Angelic Gospel Singers
    Traditionnel
    00:02:08
    1950
  • 11
    Standing On The Rock
    Elite Jewels
    Traditionnel
    00:03:14
    1950
  • 12
    The Old Landmark
    Famous Ward Singers
    W.H. Brewster
    00:02:33
    1951
  • 13
    Come In The Room
    Clara Ward
    A. Bradford
    00:02:35
    1952
  • 14
    Come Unto Me
    Jackson Gospel Singers
    C.P. Jones
    00:02:51
    1951
  • 15
    Every Day Will Be Sunday
    The Original Gospel Harmonettes
    T.A. Dorsey
    00:02:30
    1951
  • 16
    When I Reached My Heavenly Home
    The Original Gospel Harmonettes
    D. Love Coates
    00:02:26
    1951
  • 17
    One Morning Soon
    The Original Gospel Harmonettes
    Traditionnel
    00:02:34
    1952
  • 18
    I'll Make It Somehow
    Golden Harp Gospel Singers
    Androzzo
    00:03:07
    1951
  • 19
    God Is On Our Side
    Gay Sisters
    E. Gay
    00:02:40
    1951
  • 20
    Working On The Building
    Wings Over Dixie
    L. Bowles
    00:02:55
    1951
  • 21
    These Are They
    Brewster Singers
    W.H. Brewster
    00:02:53
    1952
  • 22
    He Lives In Me
    The Rosette Gospel Singers
    R. Anderson
    00:02:37
    1952
  • 23
    God Is Good To Me
    Caravans
    Traditionnel
    00:03:18
    1952
  • 24
    On My Way Home
    Caravans
    Traditionnel
    00:02:51
    1953
  • Piste
    Title
    Main artist
    Autor
    Duration
    Registered in
  • 1
    In The Morning When I Rise
    Davis Sisters
    Traditionnel
    00:02:33
    1952
  • 2
    Stand By Me
    Davis Sisters
    Jimmy Cleveland
    00:02:51
    1952
  • 3
    Oh Lord How Long
    Famous Ward Singers
    W.H. Brewster
    00:03:13
    1953
  • 4
    I'M Climbing Higher And Higher
    Ward Singers
    W.H. Brewster
    00:03:06
    1954
  • 5
    Great Is The Lord
    Ward Singers
    W.H. Brewster
    00:02:41
    1955
  • 6
    He's Alright With Me
    Simmons Akers Gospel Singers
    Traditionnel
    00:02:00
    1953
  • 7
    You Must Be Born Again
    The Original Gospel Harmonettes
    D. Love Coates
    00:02:31
    1954
  • 8
    You Better Run
    The Original Gospel Harmonettes
    Traditionnel
    00:02:20
    1955
  • 9
    Wait For Me
    Caravans
    C. George
    00:02:48
    1954
  • 10
    Onward Christian Soldiers
    Caravans
    A. Sullivan
    00:02:40
    1956
  • 11
    I'll Be Alright
    Angelic Gospel Singers
    M. Allison
    00:02:48
    1955
  • 12
    Jesus, Lover Of My Soul
    Litlle Lucy Smith Singers
    S.B. Marsh
    00:02:46
    1955
  • 13
    Won't It Be Wonderful There
    Famous Davis Sisters
    R. Davis
    00:02:57
    1955
  • 14
    Shine On Me
    Famous Davis Sisters
    Traditionnel
    00:05:29
    1957
  • 15
    What He's Done For Me
    Famous Davis Sisters
    A.M. Brunner
    00:02:18
    1958
  • 16
    Near The Cross
    Argo Gospel Singers
    Crosby
    00:02:57
    1956
  • 17
    Bring Back Those Days
    Argo Gospel Singers
    J. Goodwin
    00:02:53
    1958
  • 18
    99 1/2 Won't Do
    The Original Gospel Harmonettes
    Traditionnel
    00:02:42
    1956
  • 19
    That's Enough
    The Original Gospel Harmonettes
    D. Love Coates
    00:02:35
    1959
  • 20
    All That I Need Is In Jesus
    Angelic Gospel Singers
    Traditionnel
    00:02:41
    1959
  • 21
    Hard To Get Along
    Della Reese & Meditation singers
    L.L. Rundless
    00:05:20
    1958
  • 22
    Swing Low
    Caravans
    Traditionnel
    00:03:22
    1958
  • 23
    I'M Willing
    Caravans
    I. Andrews
    00:03:50
    1958
  • 24
    The Story Of Job
    Southern Echoes Of Chicago
    Traditionnel
    00:03:56
    1958
  • Piste
    Title
    Main artist
    Autor
    Duration
    Registered in
  • 1
    We Shall Be Changed
    Ward Singers
    C. Ward
    00:02:58
    1958
  • 2
    The Seven Seals
    Clara Ward Singers
    W.H. Brewster
    00:04:50
    1959
  • 3
    I Found The Keys The Kingdom
    Clara Ward Singers
    W.H. Brewster
    00:02:32
    1960
  • 4
    When I Lay This Body Down
    Stars Of Faith
    M. Williams
    00:02:21
    1958
  • 5
    Mean Old World
    Stars Of Faith
    M. Williams
    00:02:57
    1958
  • 6
    Looking For Jesus
    Stars Of Faith
    L.E. Campbell
    00:02:58
    1958
  • 7
    Too Late
    Jewel Gospel Singers
    Rev Harrison
    00:02:30
    1958
  • 8
    Looking For A Home
    The Original Gospel Harmonettes
    Traditionnel
    00:03:16
    1958
  • 9
    So Many Years
    The Original Gospel Harmonettes
    D. Love Coates
    00:02:17
    1959
  • 10
    Children Don't You Get Weary
    Bessie Griffin & Gospel Pearls
    F. Williams
    00:03:00
    1960
  • 11
    I Want To Go Home
    Drexall Singers
    Traditionnel
    00:02:30
    1961
  • 12
    Old Ship Of Zion
    Sallie Martin Singers
    T.A. Dorsey
    00:03:57
    1961
  • 13
    Let Me Cross Over
    Sallie Martin Singers
    Traditionnel
    00:02:09
    1961
  • 14
    I Won't Be Back
    Caravans
    J. Herndon
    00:02:33
    1962
  • 15
    Jesus Will Save
    Caravans
    S. Caesar
    00:03:01
    1962
  • 16
    Tired
    Famous Davis Sisters
    R. Davis
    00:03:14
    1962
  • 17
    One More River To Cross
    Meditation Singers
    Traditionnel
    00:02:22
    1962
  • 18
    His Eye Is On The Sparrow
    Meditation Singers
    C.H. Gabriel
    00:03:52
    1962
  • 19
    Shall Be Saved
    Imperial Gospel Singers
    R. Wallace
    00:03:46
    1962
  • 20
    Take Time To Be Holy
    Ingram Gospel Singers Of Trenton
    J. Marshall
    00:02:24
    1961
  • 21
    I'M Glad About It
    Inez Andrews & The Andrewettes
    I.A. Gibbs
    00:02:14
    1962
  • 22
    Lamb On The Altar
    Gospel Stars
    Traditionnel
    00:03:03
    1961
  • 23
    Get My Mansion Ready
    The Sally Jenkins Singers
    S. Jenkins
    00:02:21
    1962
  • 24
    Mary What You Gonna Name That Pretty Little Baby
    Stars Of Faith
    Traditionnel
    00:02:42
    1962
Booklet

GOSPEL Vol. 6 - Female Gospel Groups 1940-1962

by Jean Buzelin


Whether just stepping forward from the choir at a Sunday service in their little churches, or dressed in brilliant colours that glittered under the spotlights in the greatest arenas, five singers, wearing their most beautiful robes, would literally give themselves to their audience for the glory and joy of the Lord. Sisters or priestesses, reverends and preachers, or just ordinary worshippers, they sang, quite simply, with a power and strength of conviction that one could only rarely find in other forms of the Afro-American vocal art.

Even so, it had taken them quite a while before they were able, not to excel, but simply to exist in a society where their role, absolutely essential, had remained hidden. Black American women, positioned on the lowest rung of the social ladder, occupied only subordinate roles in their churches. The latter institutions, with morality their concern, had little tolerance for autonomy among women, and refused to allow them to exhibit themselves in public, including inside places of worship. Many great voices, confined behind the walls of kitchens and vestries, were never able to ring out in broad daylight, and so they were lost to us (with the exception of their own children, who were happily lulled by their Negro spirituals.) Apart from a few evangelists (notably Arizona Dranes), record companies were only interested in women if they sang the blues, jazz or pop music, if not classical. Gospel songs had to emerge in the early Thirties, partly in addition to increased tolerance on the part of hallowed churches, before little mixed choirs could appear, and before a few solid feminine personalities established themselves. Women like Lucie E. Campbell, for example, a writer-composer and singer who led the National Baptist Convention from 1919 to 1962, or Sallie and Roberta Martin.
We have no evidence on record as to the existence of female vocal groups before the end of the Thirties; the record industry had largely ignored them until the day a little independent label opened its studio doors for Sallie Martin and her singers to troop inside. But people had to wait another few years, first for the end of the war, and then after the recording ban (not to mention other socioeconomic upheavals), before the creation of multiple independent companies who relayed “the majors” and contributed to launch rhythm & blues (in the secular sphere) and its gospel counterpart (in the religious domain). It is worth noting that in the secular world, black female vocal groups were also inexistent.
Finally, it is probable that the personality and tenacity of a few pioneering ladies, in addition to the popularity of the first solo female singers in the Forties (The Georgia Peach, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Mahalia Jackson, Ernestine Washington) played a role of some kind in the feminisation of the world of religious music.
The female gospel groups that began to emerge were often made up of the best elements in church choirs. The groups often numbered five singers, although the groups generally counted between three and seven, and featured some extraordinary voices and personalities. Reaching all across the country, these ensembles formed remarkable nurseries for talents and served as a springboard for some of the latter, who later attempted careers, sometimes succeeding beyond their hopes, either in religious music or in the secular domain (in rhythm and blues, soul and pop music, and in television.)
Unlike the male vocal quartets whose members often sang a cappella or with very limited accompaniment, women’s groups were always backed by a piano and, most of the time, by an organ that provided a foundation in the lower register, whose tones were rarely reached by female singers. Due to the fact that the latter’s natural vocal register (soprano-alto) didn’t allow sufficient harmonic intervals, female voices didn’t operate (apart from exceptions) in the same way as their male counterparts, and favoured the resonance and brilliance of unisons, the power and beauty of their voices, and polyphony. A chorus would underpin and wrap the soloist, who would stand out against the other voices and at the same time draw the group higher to reach peaks of emotional intensity. The result provided spectacular performances where the sound rivalled in magnificence with the visual aspect.
And so, by the early Fifties, women’s groups were beginning to rival with their male colleagues in popularity, and then even supplant them as the jewel in the crown of this vocal art that had reigned for almost a century (since the end of the Civil War) over the world of Negro spirituals and gospel songs. After they became “Queens of the Golden Age of Gospel” they would continue despite the emergence of the great choirs and other forms of contemporary gospel. With a few modern thematic and orchestral adjustments, they still enjoyed enormous success playing for audiences at concerts and festivals – not to mention their active presence in numerous churches all across the country. In this domain, as in many others, women would gain revenge!
The aim of this set is to illustrate, as objectively and completely as possible, the history and place of female gospel groups during that great period we call The Golden Age of Gospel. Thanks to our collector-friends, who have lent us these recordings on 78 and 45 rpm discs (today otherwise unavailable), we were able to face a difficult choice and provide here, in all its musical diversity, the broadest possible panorama of these women’s gospel groups (known or unknown), their styles and forms of expression, and their most outstanding soloists.

Jean BUZELIN
English adaptation: Martin DAVIES

© Frémeaux & Associés 2022

DISCOGRAPHY
GOSPEL Vol. 6 - Female Gospel Groups 1940-1962

CD1
 1 THANK YOU JESUS (K. Morris) SM    SA519
 2 I KNOW I HAVE ANOTHER BUILDING (Jackson - K. Morris) CM    108
 3 WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS (J.M. Scriven - C.C. Converse) AW,BG 5192
 4 MY TROUBLE IS HARD (Trad.) BG    C 164
 5 WHEN I GET HOME (L.E. Campbell) CW,MW    SP 212
 6 I’M BOUND FOR HIGHER GROUND (W. Webb) CW,HW,WW    LA 8506-4
 7 TELL THE ANGELS (I’M ON MY WAY) (W.H. Brewster) CW    S 6826
 8 I’M GOING TO WAIT ON THE LORD (Trad.) MJD    A 312
 9 GETTING NEARER TO MY LORD (W.H. Brewster) RD    DS 9
10 BACK TO THE DUST (Trad. - arr. M. Allison) MA    AG 13
11 STANDING ON THE ROCK (Trad.) EH,MH    801
12 THE OLD LANDMARK (W.H. Brewster - arr. V. Davis) CW    US 11697
13 COME IN THE ROOM (A. Bradford) CW    CW 7
14 COME UNTO ME (C.P. Jones) AJ,MJ    CO 47624
15 EVERY DAY WILL BE SUNDAY (BY AND BY) (T.A. Dorsey) DL,MM,OE    OH 3-5
16 WHEN I REACHED MY HEAVENLY HOME ON HIGH (D. Love Coates - E. Starks) DL     OH 8
17 ONE MORNING SOON (Trad. - arr. D. Love Coates) DL    OH 22
18 I’LL MAKE IT SOMEHOW (A.B. Androzzo) AG,JH    UB 51-688
19 GOD IS ON OUR SIDE (E. Gay) EG    GS 6659
20 WORKING ON THE BUILDING (L. Bowles - W.O. Hoyle)    5005
21 THESE ARE THEY (W.H. Brewster - V. Davis) QA    BS 11
22 HE LIVES IN ME (R. Anderson) BJ    A 798
23 GOD IS GOOD TO ME (Trad.) OLH,AW    1223:70362
24 ON MY WAY HOME (Trad.) AW    1323:70382

(1) Sallie Martin & Her Nationaly Famous Quintette: Sallie Martin, Cora Martin, Dave Weston (vo), Julia Mae Smith (soprano vo), poss. Margaret? (vo); with Julia Mae Smith (p). Prob. Los Angeles, CA, ca. late 1949.
(2) Martin & Morris Singers: Sallie Martin, Cora Brewer Martin (contralro vo), Dorothy Simmons, Julia Mae Smith (soprano vo), Charlie Mae Lomax (vo); with Julia Mae Smith (p). LA, 1940.
(3) Southern Harps: Alberta French Johnson (Washington) (lead tenor vo), Bessie Griffin (lead baritone vo), Melinda Helen Matthews (Linda Hopkins) (tenor vo), Lucille LaBeau, Elestine Williams (baritone vo), Marion Trapagnier (bass vo). New York City 02/1947.
(4) Bessie Griffin & The Southern Revivalists of New Orleans: Bessie Griffin, Alberta French Washington (lead vo), Ruth Jackson, Dolores Idell (tenor vo), Clarabelle West (baritone vo), Marion Trapagnier (bass vo). NYC, 09/1948.
(5) Ward Singers: Gertrude Ward (mezzo), Willa Ward-Royster, Marion Williams (soprano vo), Clara Ward, Henrietta Waddy (alto vo); with Dave Riddick (p). NYC, 05/02/1949.
(6) Same; prob. Dave Riddick (p). NYC, 29/08/1949.
(7) Same; but Clara Ward (p), unknown (o). NYC, 26/08/1950.
(8) Mary Johnson Davis Gospel Singers: Mary Johnson Davis (lead vo), Thelma Jackson, Bernice Johnson (soprano vo), Frances Steadman (contralto vo); with Jeff Banks (p), unk. (o). NYC, 13/10/1949.
(9) Davis Sisters of Philadelphia: Ruth Davis (lead contralto vo), Audrey Davis, Thelma Davis (soprano vo), Alfreda Davis (contralto vo), Imogene Greene (alto vo); with Curtis Dublin (p), unk. (o)(dm). Prob. summer 1950.
(10) Angelic Gospel Singers: Margaret W. Allison (lead soprano vo), Josephine McDowell (soprano vo), Lucille Shird, Ella Mae Norris (vo); with Margaret Allison (p), unk. (o)(dm). 06/1950.
(11) Elite Jewels: Etta Mae Hurd, Mildred Hall (lead vo), Agnes Johnson (tenor vo), Edith Brown (baritone vo), Sonetta Waltley, Vanessa Roberts (vo). Cleveland, OH, ca. 1950.
(12) Famous Ward Singers: same as for 7. NYC, 15/11/1951.
(13) Clara Ward with the Clara Wards Specials: Clara Ward (lead vo), Thelma Jackson (soprano vo), Frances Steadman (contralto vo), Lil Davis, Frances Johnson, (vo); with Clara Ward (p), James Herbert Francis (o), unk. (dm). 07/1952.
(14) Jackson Gospel Singers; Alma Jackson, Mattie Joseph Gilbert (lead vo), Marjorie Kelley (tenor vo), Emma Golden (baritone vo), Mary Thames Coleman (bass vo); with Mattie Joseph (p). New Orleans, LA, 09/12/1951.
(15) Original Gospel Harmonettes: Dorothy Love (lead contralto vo), Mildred Miller (Howard) (lead mezzo vo), Odessa Edwards (contralto vo), Willie Mae Newberry (Garth) (alto vo), Vera Kolb (soprano vo); with Evelyn Starks Hardy (p), unk. (o)(b)(dm). Hollywood, CA, 05/07/1951.
(16) Same. Hollywood, 11/07/1951.
(17) Same. Hollywood, 24/07/1952.
(18) Golden Harp Gospel Singers: Ann Grant, Jeanette Harris (lead vo), Irene Williams, Gussie Walton (soprano vo), Betty Weathers (bass vo). Chicago, Ill, 10/1951.
(19) Gay Sisters: Mildred Gay (soprano vo), Evelyn Gay (alto vo), Geraldine Gay (tenor vo); with Evelyn Gay (p), Herman Stevens (o). NYC, 06/07/1951.
(20) Wings Over Dixie: unknown vocal group; with piano. ca. 1951.
(21) Queen C. Anderson & The Brewster Singers: Queen C. Anderson (lead alto vo), Gurice Malone (lead vo), Hessie Ford, Nancy Jerome (alto vo), Dorothy Ford (tenor vo); with Dorothy Ford (p), unk. (o)(dm). Prob. Memphis, TN, or Philadelphia, PA, 03/1952.
(22) Rosette Gospel Singers: Thelma Bradley, Jean Braxton (soprano vo), Barbara Johnson, Emma Wallace (contralto vo); with Oreen Johnson (p), unk. (o). NYC, 09/02/1952.
(23) Caravans: Albertina Walker (lead contralto vo), Ora Lee Hopkins, Elyse Yancey, Nellie Grace Daniels (vo); with Edward C. Robinson (p), Louise Overall Weaver (o). Chicago, 25/08/1952.
(24) Same. Chicago, 11/05/1953.


CD2
 1 IN THE MORNING WHEN I RISE (Trad.) RD    DS 16
 2 STAND BY ME (J. Cleveland) IG    DS 21
 3 OH LORD, HOW LONG (W.H. Brewster) CW    SWS 4422
 4 I’M CLIMBING HIGHER AND HIGHER (W.H. Brewster) MW    SWS 4525
 5 GREAT IS THE LORD (W.H. Brewster) MW    SWS 6781
 6 HE’S ALRIGHT WITH ME (Trad. - arr. D. Akers)    506
 7 YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN (D. Love Coates) DL    874
 8 YOU BETTER RUN (Trad. - arr. D. Love Coates) DL,OE    887
 9 WAIT FOR ME (C. George) CG    1503:70357
10 ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS (A. Sullivan - S. Baring-Gould) IG    1603:70349
11 I’LL BE ALRIGHT (M. Allison from C.A. Tindley) MA    558
12 JESUS, LOVER OF MY SOUL (S.B. Marsh - C. Wesley) LS    1554
13 WON’T IT BE WONDERFUL THERE (R. Davis) RD    SDS 8710
14 SHINE ON ME Pt.1 & 2 (Trad - arr. A. Davis) RD    SDS 6963/64
15 WHAT HE’S DONE FOR ME (A.M. Brunner) JV    SDS 70200
16 NEAR THE CROSS (F.J. Crosby - W.H. Doane) LB    56-442
17 BRING BACK THOSE DAYS (J. Goodwin) RN    5184
18 99 ½ WON’T DO (Trad. - arr. D. Love Coates) DL    1015
19 THAT’S ENOUGH (D. Love Coates) DL    5044
20 ALL THAT I NEED IS IN JESUS (Trad. - arr. M. Allison) MA    659
21 HARD TO GET ALONG (L.L. Rundless) DR,ER,LLR    1083
22 SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOT (Trad. - arr. S. Caesar) AW,SC    GCA 70398
23 I’M WILLING (I. Andrews) AW,IA    GCA 70396
24 THE STORY OF JOB (Trad.) AW    39018:U10867


(1) Davis Sisters: Ruth Davis, Audrey Davis, Thelma Davis, Alfreda Davis, Imogene Greene (vo); with Curtis Dublin (p), unk. (o). Early 1952.
(2) Same; but unk. (dm) added. ca. summer 1952.
(3) Famous Ward Singers: Clara Ward, Gertrude Ward, Willa Ward, Henrietta Waddy, Marion Williams, Frances Steadman, Thelma Jackson (vo): with Clara Ward (p), unk. (o)(b)(dm). NYC, 13/10/1953.
(4) Ward Singers; same, but Kitty Parham (vo) replaces Jackson; with Clara Ward (p), Sam Windom (steel g), unk. (o)(dm). NYC, 05/06/1954.
(5) Same; but prob. Ethel Gilbert (vo) added. NYC, 19/12/1955.
(6) Simmons-Akers Gospel Singers Trio: Dorothy Simmons, Doris M. Akers, Hattie Hawkins (vo); with Doris Akers (p), Albert Goodson (o). ca. 1953.
(7) Original Gospel Harmonettes: Dorothy Love, Mildred Miller, Odessa Edwards, Willie Mae Newberry Garth, Vera Kolb (vo); with Herbert Pickard (p), unk. (o)(b)(dm). 08/09/1954.
(8) Same; but Evelyn Starks Hardy (p), Herbert Pickard (o), unk. (b)(dm). 15/02/1955.
(9) Caravans: Albertina Walker, Cassietta George, Iris Humble, Gloria Griffin, Johneron Davis (vo); with James Cleveland (p), unk. (o). Chicago, 05/10/1954.
(10) Albertina Walker, Johneron Davis, Dorothy Norwood, Imogene Greene (vo); with James Cleveland (p), unk. (o). Chicago, 22/06/1956.
(11) Angelic Gospel Singers: Margaret Allison, Josephine McDowell, poss. Bernice Cole + unk. (vo); with prob. Margaret Allison (p), Blind Jimmy (James Herbert Francis?) (o). Nashville, ca. 07/1955.
(12) Little Lucy Smith Singers: Lucy Smith-Collier, Gladys Beamon Gregory, Sarah McKissick (soprano vo), Catherine Campbell (alto vo); with Lucy Smith (p), Herman Stevens (o), unk. (b)(dm). Chicago, 22/08/1955.
(13) Famous Davis Sisters: Ruth Davis, Audrey Davis, Thelma Davis, Alfreda Davis (vo), Jackie Verdell (mezzo vo); with Curtis Dublin (p), unk. (o)(dm). NYC, 09/08/1955.
(14) Same, but Thelma Davis out; omit (dm). 25/01/1957.
(15) Same as for (14); unk. (dm) added. 21/01/1958.
(16) Argo Gospel Singers: Lorenza Brown (soprano vo), Minnie Colbert, Claudia Jeter + unk. (vo); with William Lambert (p), Maceo Woods (o), unk. (b), Al Duncan (dm). Chicago, 09/03/1956.
(17) Argo Singers: Lorenza Brown Porter, Minnie Colbert, Estherline Smith (vo), Rebecca Nixon (contralto vo), Eddie Wheeler, Mildred Thomas (vo); with Joe Goodwin (p), unk. (o)(dm). Chicago, 16/12/1958.
(18) Original Gospel Harmonettes: Dorothy Love, Mildred Miller, Odessa Edwards, Willie Mae Newberry Garth, Vera Kolb (vo); with Evelyn Starks Hardy (p), Herbert Pickard (o), unk. (dm). Hollywood, 10/08/1956.
(19) Same. 20/01/1956.
(20) Angelic Gospel Singers: Same as for (11), but Cole out, unk. (o). Nashville, ca. 1959.
(21) Della Reese presents Her Meditation Singers: Della Reese, Earnestine Rundless (lead soprano vo), Laura Lee Rundless (lead alto vo), Delillian Price (Lillian Mitchell) (soprano vo), Marie Waters (contralto vo); with Kirk Stuart (p), Emory Radford (o). Detroit, MI, summer 1958.
(22-23) Caravans: Albertina Walker (lead), Delores Washington (soprano vo), Shirley Caesar (mezzo vo), Inez Andrews (contralto vo); with Eddie Williams (p), unk. (o)(dm). NYC, 09/10/1958.
(24) Southern Echos: prob. Alberta Washington, Ann Washington + unk. (vo); with Stanley Parker (p), unk. (o). ca. 1958/59.


CD3
 1 WE SHALL BE CHANGED (C. Ward - L. Herman) KP    SWS 70228
 2 THE SEVEN SEALS (W.H. Brewster) DR    17582
 3 I FOUND THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM (W.H. Brewster) CW    16216
 4 WHEN I LAY THIS BODY DOWN (M. Williams) MW,EF    SSF 70317
 5 MEAN OLD WORLD (M. Williams) FS,EF    SSF 70315
 6 LOOKING FOR JESUS (L.E. Campbell) KP    SSF 70696
 7 TOO LATE (Rev. Harrison) CS    617
 8 LOOKING FOR A HOME (Trad. - arr. D. Love Coates) MM,OE    58-367
 9 SO MANY YEARS (D. Love Coates) MM,WNG    SGH 70520
10 CHILDREN DON’T YOU GET WEARY (F. Williams) BG    13002
11 I WANT TO GO HOME (Trad.)    AS 102
12 OLD SHIP OF ZION (T.A. Dorsey) EG    61-2273
13 LET ME CROSS OVER (Trad. - arr. K. Woods Jr.) EG    61-2275
14 I WON’T BE BACK (J. Herndon) SC    SGC 6500
15 JESUS WILL SAVE (S. Caesar) SC    62-2890
16 TIRED (R. Davis) RD    SDS 6392
17 ONE MORE RIVER TO CROSS (Trad.) ER,LLR    CP-4825
18 HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW (C.H. Gabriel - C.D. Martin) ER,LLR    CP-4826
19 SHALL BE SAVED (R. Wallace) RW    SIG 6442
20 TAKE TIME TO BE HOLY (J. Marshall) JM    SOA-8-A
21 I’M GLAD ABOUT IT (I.A. Gibbs - K. Morris) IA    UV 11009
22 LAMB ON THE ALTAR (Trad.) MG    222
23 GET MY MANSION READY (S. Jenkins) SJ?    SJ 56436
24 MARY, WHAT YOU GONNA NAME THAT PRETTY LITTLE BABY (Trad.) MW,FS    62-2702


(1) Ward Singers: Clara Ward, Gertrude Ward, Willa Ward-Royster, Marion Williams, Frances Steadman, Kitty Parham (vo); with Clara Ward (p), unk. (o)(b)(dm)(tamb). NYC, 24/02/1958.
(2) Clara Ward Singers: Clara Ward, Gertrude Ward, Jessie Tucker, Dorothy Robinson, Mildred Means + unknown (vo); with Clara Ward (p), Sam Windom (Whinham) (g), David “Panama” Francis (dm). Live, Apollo Theatre, NYC, mid.-09/1959.
(3) Clara Ward with The Clara Ward Singers: same or similar (vo); with unk. (p)(o)(b)(dm). ca. 08/1960.
(4-5) Stars Of Faith: Marion Williams, Kitty Parham, Esther Ford ( soprano vo), Frances Steadman, Henrietta Waddy (contralto vo); with William Neal (p), Robert Banks (o), poss. Berisford “Shep” Shepherd (dm). Newark, NJ, 09/09/1958.
(6) Same, but Mattie Williams (Harper) replaces Ford; unk. (dm). Newark, 21/01/1960.
(7) Jewel Gospel Trio: Naomi Harrison, Maggie Staton, Canzetta (Candy) Staton, Sederia Boles, Shirley Boyd (vo); with unk. (p)(g)(b)(dm). ca. 1958.
(8) Original Gospel Harmonettes: Dorothy Love Coates, Mildred Miller Howard, Odessa Edwards, Willie Mae Newberry Garth, Vera Kolb (vo); with Joe Washington (p), unk. (o). 06/1958.
(9) Same; with Dorothy Love (p), Joe Washington (o), Gus Johnson (dm). NYC, 13/03/1959.
(10) Gospel Pearls with Bessie Griffin: Bessie Griffin (lead vo), Delores Addison, Jerry Moss, Patricia Bryant, Felma Johnson, Thelma Lewis (vo); with Eddie Lee Kendrix (p), Billy Preston (o), Bob West (b), Charles Blackwell (dm), Joe Clayton (cga). LA, ca. 1960.
(11) Drexall Singers: unknown vocal group; with unk. (p)(o)(g)(b)(dm). ca. 1961.
(12-13) Sallie Martin Singers: Sallie Martin, Edith Gary, Shirley Bell, Sarah Jordan Powell (vo); with unk. (p), Kenneth Woods Jr. (o) unk. (dm). Chicago, ca. 12/1961.
(14) Caravans: Albertina Walker, Cassietta George, Shirley Caesar, Delores Washington, Johneron Davis (vo); with James Herndon (p), unk. (o)(b)(dm)(tamb). 13/09/1962.
(15) Same, but Josephine Howard (alto vo) replaces Davis; unk. (celesta) added. ca. 12/1962.
(16) Famous Davis Sisters: Ruth Davis, Audrey Davis, Alfreda Davis, Imogene Greene (vo); with Curtis Dublin (p), unk. (o)(g)(dm). 23/05/1962.
(17-18) Meditations: Earnestine Rundless, Verline White (Rodgers?) (soprano vo), Laura Lee Rundless, Marie Waters (contralto vo), Cassietta George, Donna Hammond (vo); with unk. (p)(o)(dm). ca. 1961/62.
(19) Imperial Gospel Singers: Anna Smallwood, Rosie Wallace + unk. (vo); with unk. (p)(o)(dm)(tamb). 25/07/1962.
(20) Ingram Gospel Singers of Trenton, NJ: Bertha Bryant, Julia Marshall, Lola Mae Hardin (vo); with unk. (p)(o)(dm). Trenton, NJ, ca. 1960/61.
(21) Inez Andrews & The Andrewettes: Inez Andrews + unk. (vo); with (p)(o)(dm). ca. late 1962.
(22) Gospel Stars: Mae Gooch, Etta Gooch, Sandra Gooch, Elizabeth Davis (soprano vo), Lilian Woods, Lois Russell (contralto vo); with unk. (p)(o)(b)(dm). Detroit, MI, 03/1961.
(23) Sally Jenkins Singers: Sally Jenkins + unk. (vo); with unk. (p)(o)(dm). 18/07/1962.
(24) Marion Williams & The Stars Of Faith (Black Nativity): same as for (6); with Alberta Carter (p), Willie James McPhatter (o). NYC, 23/10/1962.

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