Latest 45 release from fast growing MILES AWAY RECORDS features two storming tracks from the HOWARD LEMON SINGERS… a name well-known to gospel aficionados. They’ll tell you that Detroit-based Lemon is a Gospel legend with music in his DNA. He’s the great nephew of Berry Gordy, Sr and in his teens he was proficient on piano, clarinet, trumpet and trombone. His skills meant he was always in demand in the storefront churches that blossomed throughout Detroit.
He formed his first “Singers” in the 50s and through till the late 70s, different incarnations thrilled gospel audiences. The Lemon singers recorded for labels like Stax’s Gospel Truth and TK’s Gospel Roots and like Andre Crouch and Rance Allen, Lemon was always pushing boundaries and he would never shy away from mixing spiritual messages with commentary on pressing, secular issues of the day.
The two tracks on the new Miles Away 45 come from Lemon’s time with Gospel Roots. The songs are ‘You Are Somebody’ and ‘For The Children’ and both first appeared on a rare 1977 album, ‘Seasons’. The former is a meaty, modern soul dancer with convincing and committed vocal from Esther Smith while the latter is more mid-tempo, though Ms Smith’s vocal still takes no prisoners! Musicians on the cuts include Stax’s Lester Snell, the Bar Kays, members of Isaac Hayes’ Movement and Lemon himself.
For the record, Lemon disbanded the Singers shortly after the Gospel Roots album and he then worked as an administrator for the Neighbourhood Services Development division of the City of Detroit, and then he served ten years as a probation officer. In 2007 he retired to Florida, where he still plays every Sunday in church. Now an ordained evangelist, Esther Smith lives outside Detroit, busy with her on-going singing career.
‘You Are Somebody’ and ‘For The Children’ show just what the Howard Lemon singers achieved and both songs appear here on 45 for the first time. Find out more @ https://www.milesawayrecords.co.uk/