The Roots Of Soul - Part One: Gospel, Blues... and Gospel-Blues!

Artist Song
The Soul Stirrers  Sleep On (1945) 
Louis Jordan  Caldonia (1945) 
Sister Rosetta Tharpe  Singing In My Soul (1945) 
Andy Kirk & His Clouds Of Joy with The Jubilaires  I Know (1946) 
Mahalia Jackson  Dig A Little Deeper (1947) 
The Pilgrim Travellers  Standing On The Highway (1948) 
The Orioles  It's Too Soon To Know (1948) 
The Ravens  Send For Me If You Need Me (1948) 
Sister Rosetta Tharpe & Marie Knight  Up Above My Head (I Hear Music In The Air) (1948) 
Ruth Brown  So Long (1949) 
The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi  In The Wilderness (1950) 
The Royal Sons Quintet  So God Can Use Me (1951) 
The Dominos  Do Something For Me (1951) 
The Dominos  That's What You're Doing To Me (1951) 
The Clovers  Don't You Know I Love You So (1951) 
The "5" Royales  Give Me One More Chance (1951) 
The "5" Royales  Baby Don't Do It (!952) 
The Orioles  Gettin' Tired Tired Tired (1952) 
Mahalia Jackson  He's My Light (1952) 
The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi  Will Jesus Be Waiting? (1952) 
Lloyd Price  Tell Me, Pretty Baby (1953) 
Faye Adams  Shake A Hand (1953) 
Ray Charles  Don't You Know (1953) 
The Midnighters  Get It (1953) 
Alex Bradford  Too Close To Heaven (1953) 
Lavern Baker  Soul On Fire (1953) 
Lowell Fulson  Reconsider Baby (1954) 
The Midnighters  Don't Say Your Last Goodbye (1954) 


A lot of the CDs I compile seem to be attempts at challenging popular misconceptions or righting wrongs by hi-lighting the work and importance of undervalued artists, song-writers, etc. This mix was my attempt to prove (once again to one of my brothers) that Soul music did not spontaneously appear out of nowhere in the 1960s. It had - in the words of one of its greatest pioneers - been 'a long time coming' - and this CD endeavoured to show this fact by going back to the birth of Rhythm & Blues in the mid-1940's and demonstrating that the merging of Gospel and Blues styles which gave birth to Soul Music was a gradual process which can clearly be traced back to this time. The concept was quite simple - start off with a Gospel song (by the highly-influential Soul Stirrers) and an early Rhythm & Blues classic (by the man who pretty much invented the concept, Louis Jordan) and follow them with examples from both genres which gradually blur the dividing lines between them - Blues with increasing tinges of Gospel... Gospel with ever more elements of Blues. Among the unsung heroes (and heroines) of this story for me are the criminally-underrated Gospel songstress, Sister Rosetta Tharpe (whose guitar playing is said to have inspired Chuck Berry as much as her vocal style influenced Little Richard); The "5" Royales who made the switch from their Gospel roots as The Royal Sons Quintet to secular music quite seemlessly and led the way for so many of the Sixties Soul artists to do likewise; and The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi (so much better than that lot from Alabama in my humble opinion!) whose lead singer, Archie Brownlee foreshadowed the great Soul 'screamers' like Wilson Pickett and James Brown. Along the way there are notable milestones, such as the emergance of the great R&B vocal groups like The Orioles, bringing Gospel harmonies into the pop charts and songs like Ruth Brown's "So Long" or Lavern Baker's "Soul On Fire" which would both have sounded 'modern' ten years later. By the time we reach the final track on this particular CD - The Midnighters' "Don't Say Your Last Goodbye" - the integration of the Gospel sound into R&B is pretty much complete, setting the scene nicely for part two!


Rob Conroy
Date: 7/1/2005
Date: 7/1/2005
Oh yeah, nice indeed!
Sean Lally
Date: 7/1/2005
I love this. Ambitious idea, and well executed. "Reconsider baby" is such a classic, and it's great to see the Soul Stirrers and Orioles, among others.
Dead Man
Date: 7/2/2005
Date: 7/2/2005
OH yeah! This is awesome. Great to see Sister Rosetta getting her recognition & I'd love to hear the boogie version of Caldonia.
Date: 7/2/2005
I'm quite sure this version of "Caldonia" is exactly the same as the version you already know - it's just that for some reason the CD I took this from listed it as "Caldonia Boogie" and for some reason I copied that! I'll ammend the track-listing to avoid any further confusion!
Date: 7/3/2005
I`ve been interested in gospel music but have no idea where to start.After reading your comments about the mix this looks like the perfect place to start!
no borders
Date: 7/3/2005
Keep up with the history lessons!