Thursday, October 3, 2019

Rare gospel gems uncovered on No Other Love: Midwest Gospel, 1965-78

Compiled from rare gospel 45s dug up in Chicago, No Other Love is due from Tompkins Square on Nov 8th.
This collection of rare black gospel from the Midwest—featuring church congregations, basement recordings sessions, family bands and children’s choirs—is drawn together by two threads. The first—hope—which holds fast and unchanging, even in the most trying of circumstances. The second—circumstance—the way these recordings fell into the hands of producer, Ramona Stout, in Chicago at the dawn of the Obama era, when she had just about lost hope in her American Dream.

Over the course of five years (2006-2011) of vinyl hustling in Chicago’s South and West Sides, these 45s came into Ramona’s hands, mixed up in milk-crates stacked with Northern Soul, water-damaged jazz and Hall & Oates LPs. After much travel and time, Ramona has articulated the spirit that drove this music forward. In this collection, she writes of this music and its relationship to the struggling communities where the records were found.

Sourced from exceedingly rare 45s—many of which were vanity pressings of less than 100 copies—all but one of the tracks found on this collection appear for the first time since their original release. Remastered by Grammy-winning producer Christopher King, these recordings have been resurrected for a new generation of listeners. With art direction by Grammy-winning graphic designer Susan Archie, this collection is a tangible, immersive experience in the struggles—the victories, the failures and the lingering hope—that defined Chicago in the post-Civil Rights era.

No Other Love is a singular, impressionistic journey into music that expresses faith, despair and exuberance. It is also a profound exploration of the very meaning of hope.

Tracks :
1. It’s Going to Pay - Bro. Randy Wilson
2. I Want You to Help Me - The Travelers of Zion
3. No Other Love - Messiahs of Glory
4. Christmas in Heaven - Rev. H.H. Harrington
5. Try Jesus - Gospel Carolets
6. The Number - Wondering Gails
7. Journey - Joanne & Sonny
8. You Can’t Make It - The Georgia Brooks Singers
9. God is Using Me - The Harmony Five
10. Christ Rose - Rev. John Thomas and the New Christian Fellowship Church Choirs
11. Black Pride - Rev. H.H. Harrington
12. I’m Gonna Stand Still and Do My Master’s Will - New Home Baptist Church
Rev. Mack McCollum w/ Combined Choirs
13. Rocky Road - Joanne & Sonny
14. Why - Sister Mary Lucas and The Harambee Singers of Sacred Heart School

Listen below to "Journey" by Joanne & Sonny, of which compiler Ramona Stout says:
"It is likely that Sonny was Sonny Mitchell (whose name appears on other PEACE sides as a producer, director and bass player), who was a member of the Highway QC's from 1950 until the early 60's, after Sam Cooke had left the group for the Soul Stirrers. Joanne, however, is a mystery."

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