Proper soul collectors know that it all began in church…. many of soul’s true greats served their apprenticeship in Gospel music. Sam Cooke, Curtis Mayfield, Aretha Franklin. Jerry Butler, Johnnie Taylor, James Brown and countless more all found their voices in spiritual music while the structures, format and harmonies of classic soul took Gospel as their template.
Helping underline what we all know CRAFT RECORDINGS have just released an authoritative 40 track compilation that pulls together key cuts from what many consider the Golden Age of the small gospel group – 1951-1965…the very period when the rubrics of soul music were being crafted.
‘JESUS ROCKED THE JUKEBOX’ comes as a double CD and in a 3 LP vinyl pack and delves deep into the vaults of influential labels like Specialty and Vee-Jay and features music from many of Gospel’s biggest names, amongst them The Staple Singers, The Blind Boys of Alabama, The Swan Silvertones and The Soul Stirrers. There are also plenty of rarities – notably ‘Father Don’t Leave’ by the Silver Quintette and ‘People Don’t Sing Like They Used To Sing’ by the Original Blind Boys.
The album comes complete with extensive liner notes from gospel music author, talk show host, and editor-in-chief of the ‘Journal of Gospel Music’, Robert M. Marovich. He writes: “Whether stolen, borrowed, leased, or subconsciously emulated, the music of the African American church in the twentieth century has had a profound and permanent influence on popular music. Every perspiration-drenched performance by a soul singer [and] every shouting improvisation from a rock-and-roll vocalist…evokes the exuberance of black preachers, church singers, and church musicians in the throes of the spirit.” Amen, brother!
JESUS ROCKED THE JUKEBOX: SMALL GROUP BLACK GOSPEL (1951-1965) is out now on CRAFT RECORDS