The other day I started looking at old gospel performances on youtube, mostly because of ArchieB9876’s great vintage gospel videos. I decided that I’d have to hand pick 10 and share them. There’s some really great music and performances in here. Classic gospel is linked to modern rock n roll through “soul” and “R&B”. A lot of the white rockers and country stars grew up singing gospel tunes from the country side of things.
1. Soul Stirrers – Listen To The Angels Sing
The Soul Stirrers were the group Sam Cooke came out of (they kept going, this is after he left), but you can hear a lot of that same sound. This is a great mid-tempo number with a lot of soul.
2. Inez Andrews And The Andrewettes – There Must Be A God Somewhere
This is a medium slow song in 6/8 with an odd swing and with great vocals. Also, the complex-rhythmed clapping near the end is a nice touch.
3. Five Blind Boys Of Alabama – Something Got A Hold On Me
The sound quality of this is fairly distorted, but, man, this group just tears into this song. I love the raw guitar tone (even if the distortion is due to an old tape or bad encoding). I can’t believe the other people in the video are just sort of standing there.
4. James Cleveland – Can’t Nobody Do Me Like Jesus
Rev. James Cleveland is a forbearer of modern mass gospel choirs. This is a clip from maybe the 70s in that style (choir call-and-response with a leader out front). It should also be noted that the scene in Blues Brothers where James Brown is singing gospel is with Cleveland and his choir.
5. Emmylou Harris & Johnny Cash – Where the Soul of Man Never Dies (+ a quick rendition of “Harvest Moon”)
Oh man, those are two very classic and awesome voices and they go together very well.
6. Drinkard Singers – Lift Him Up
Starts simmering and then–bam–it’s full-on. I love the quality the lead singer gets on her voice.
the rest after the jump
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