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The Vinyl Frontier #4 - Collecting Black Gospel Music

Posted by Joe Goldmark, March 10, 2015 07:02pm | Post a Comment

Head to the Vinyl Beat website to check out extensive LP label guides and wild cover galleries!

A friend said that gospel music was soul music for black folk and that mainstream soul music was music made for a white audience. The implication being that if you wanted to hear music with real soul, listen to gospel.
 

The Fantastic Violinaires with an incredible live version of “Children Are You Ready.”


Generally speaking, gospel reflected whatever musical trend was happening in R&B music. Gospel music was a little rougher and less polished than secular music, and of course the theme was religious, but otherwise it was relatively easy for artists to cross back and forth between the two styles. And besides, most black pop and soul artists grew up singing in the church.
 

Dorothy Love Coates and the Gospel Harmonettes Dorothy Love Coates and the Gospel Harmonettes, "Thats Enough."


 


The Staple Singers, Mavis Staples The Staple Singers with Mavis Staples on lead vocal, “Sit Down Servant.”

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The Ethereal Joe Hinton

Posted by Joe Goldmark, January 25, 2015 04:07pm | Post a Comment

Head to the Vinyl Beat website to check out extensive LP label guides and wild cover galleries!
 

Name the only gospel singer to have a million-selling soul hit record with a country song, which also happened to have been written by Willie Nelson

That would be Joe Hinton, who grew up in the church singing in various gospel groups and eventually became the lead singer in the Spirit of Memphis Quartet. He had a number of great singles with them during the period when they recorded for Peacock Records, a subsidiary of Houston's Duke Records.
 

If It Ain’t One Thing (It’s Another) – The Spirit Of Memphis Quartet


Lost In Sin – The Spirit Of Memphis Quartet

Noting Joe’s huge talent, Duke Records owner Don Robey decided to try some secular tunes with him on his Back Beat subsidiary.  After a few misses they had a monster hit with “Funny How Time Slips Away,” AKA “Funny” as they called it on the label. You’ll want to listen all the way through on this one.



 

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Before Reggae

Posted by Joe Goldmark, November 21, 2014 06:00pm | Post a Comment

Head to the Vinyl Beat website to check out extensive LP label guides and wild cover galleries!

Before Reggae, Rock Steady, and Ska, Calypso was the folk music of the English speaking Caribbean. Like all good folk music, calypsos told stories in song and were often written to celebrate topical events. The music originated with slaves on the plantations. By the golden era of the late 1920s and '30s, there were many diverse influences including music heard from U.S. radio waves that reached the islands.

Here’s what Wikipedia says: Calypso is a style of Afro-Caribbean music that originated in Trinidad and Tobago during the early to mid-20th century. Its rhythms can be traced back to West African Kaiso and the arrival of French planters and their slaves from the French Antilles in the 1600s.

Some of the earliest recordings were by Atilla the Hun, and The Roaring Lion, in the early 1930s.

Atilla – “Roosevelt in Trinidad”

Roaring Lion – “Ugly Woman”


 

 

Next came Lord Invader and Wilmoth Houdini in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

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The Top Ten Merle Haggard Albums

Posted by Joe Goldmark, October 21, 2014 02:50pm | Post a Comment

It’s been said that during his heyday, 1966-1976, Merle Haggard wrote a good song every day.  I’ve only heard that said about one other artist: Stevie Wonder. Indeed, Merle’s albums during this period showcase his talents as a songwriter and performer. When he wasn’t recording his own tunes, his covers of mostly Bakersfield songwriters further displayed his unique ability to get to the heart of a song.

Merle started out playing bass in Wynn Stewart’s band and soon cut some singles for Tally, a small Bakersfield label. After scoring a top 20 country hit with “Sing a Sad Song,” Merle got signed to Capitol and was teamed up with producer Ken Nelson. Ken let Merle use his own band, supplemented with some L.A. studio guys like James Burton, to get his Bakersfield sound.  The key components were the hot but sparse sounds of guitarist Roy Nichols, steelers Ralph Mooney and Norm Hamlet, and the stark harmonies of Merle’s then wife, Bonnie Owens. Merle had more hits when he moved on to MCA, Epic, Curb, ANTI- and others, but the hard-biting brilliance of his early Capitol works defines Bakersfield C&W music.  There were also five excellent, mostly instrumental albums by Merle’s band, The Strangers, that are worth seeking out if you like slinky West Coast country pickin’.

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Do Vinyl Reissues Lessen the Value of Originals?

Posted by Joe Goldmark, September 29, 2014 05:40pm | Post a Comment

Head to the Vinyl Beat website to check out extensive LP label guides and wild cover galleries!

One would correctly assume that a record is reissued because there is a pent up demand for an out of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Are You Experiencedprint title. Let’s take the latest reissue of Jimi HendrixAre You Experienced for example. Once this demand is sated, one might conclude that the elevated value for the original would come down, citing the law of supply and demand. This should be especially true because the newest release is pressed on 180 gram vinyl and sounds superior to previous versions.

My experience however, is that the added buzz and exposure adds to the mystique of owning the original and raises the value, especially if the original is in great shape. If you buy records just to hear the music, you absolutely shouldn’t pay more just to get an original. But, if you’ve crossed the line into being a “record collector,” all kinds of other considerations start to creep in. Suddenly condition starts to matter, you tend to be more of a completest in regard to an artist’s catalog, you weigh mono versus stereo, and you start to favor original issues.

A simple analogy would be: if you were an art collector would you want the original Mona Lisa, or a $29 copy? No matter how beautiful they might think it is, most art collectors would not put a repro up in their house, even though they could never afford the original.

Getting back to Hendrix, we see below the original Reprise tri-tone label, which was soon replaced by the two tone label, and then by the 1970s a solid brown label was used.
 

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