Soul Stirrers - Joy In My Soul: The Comlete SAR Recordings

Published Friday 20th February 2015
Soul Stirrers - Joy In My Soul: The Comlete SAR Recordings
Soul Stirrers - Joy In My Soul: The Comlete SAR Recordings

STYLE: Gospel
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 155289-22893

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

All fans of the vintage gospel quartets will tell you that the recordings made by The Soul Stirrers in the early '50s featuring the breathtaking voice of the young Sam Cooke were amongst the finest cuts made in any field of music. Once Sam left the group to pursue his hit-studded career in mainstream music The Stirrers never again quite scaled the same creative peaks but as this lovingly put together compilation shows, they were still a fine ensemble years later. The tracks here were recorded for SAR Records, the label Sam set up with Pilgrim Travelers' mainstay J W Alexander and Soul Stirrers' founder Senior Roy Crain. They were originally issued on two vinyl albums, 'Jesus Be A Fence Around Me' and 'Encore! With The Soul Stirrers', three titles from the various artists album 'Gospel Pearls', four tracks from non-LP singles, and four previously unissued masters. Excellent they are too. This version of the group featured two soulful lead singers, Johnnie Taylor (who of course went on to hit secular paydirt with Stax Records) and James Phelps (who worked for a while with James Brown), while in Leroy Crume the group had an outstanding songsmith. The sound quality on these recordings is top notch and with 37 tracks on offer and some expert sleevenotes from Bill Dahl this is a set that gospel connoisseurs and deep soul devotees will equally enjoy.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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