Imperial gospel discography (1948-68)


  • ImperialImperial Records was based in Los Angeles and was owned and operated by Robert ‘Lew’ Chudd. He founded the label in 1947. Read a short label introduction here.
  • The Delta Southernaires recorded in 1953 (Cosimo Matassa’s J&M Studios, New Orleans), but the songs (two are known to exist) weren’t released until 10 years later (Imperial 5995). In the meantime they became known as the Spiders, a famous New Orleans doo-wop group.
  • The New Orleans Humming Four first recorded as the Famous Four on Wonder (1951). In 1952 Dave Bartholomew coupled the group with Allen Matthews and they recorded secular as Fat Man Matthews & the 4 Kittens (Imperial 5211) and later (1954-56) as the Hawks (Imperial, Post, Modern). In 1956 the group appeared as the Outer Spacemen (Sid Noel & His Outer Spacemen, Aladdin 3331). (Some of these details were taken from Marv Goldberg’s R&B Notebooks)
  • Imperial 5179 was released as by ‘Bro. Cecil L. Shaw’ and as by ‘Cecil L. Shaw’ (both with the Union Spiritual Harmonizers).
  • Imperial 5972 and 5994 (Trumpeteers) were first released on Score. The same applies for #5974 (Traveling Four), although the Imperial disc features sides from two different Score discs.
  • Imperial 5053 and 5056 (Silvertone Gospel Singers) were first released on the Radio Artists label.
  • The gospel singles in the 5900 series were all released in 1963 but featured recordings from the late 1940’s/early 1950’s (some with overdubs).
  • The LP by King Louis Narcisse (#9236) was first issued on Veltone LP 3000.
  • LP 9101 (Evelyn Freeman) features more than just gospel songs.
  • The LP by the Soul Stirrers (#94007) was compiled from recordings made for Aladdin and Score. As for the 45’s on Imperial: #5973 reissued a side from Aladdin 2004 and one from #2027, while #5393 reissued the other side from Aladdin 2027 and one from #2035.
  • This discography lists all known Imperial gospel releases (1948-68).


78's, 45'srelease artist artist as shown songs year
1Imperial 5017 Colquith's Instrumental Choir, Lord Lord Colquitt's Instrumental Choir On Jordan's Stormy Banks b/w When The Saints Go Marching In 1948
2Imperial 5020 Colquith's Instrumental Choir, Lord A Child Of The King b/w Every Time I Feel The Spirit 1948
3Imperial 5034 Sunny South Singers Where Shall I Go b/w Lordy, Lord 1949
4Imperial 5035 Sunny South Singers Right In b/w Glory, Glory 1949
5Imperial 5040 Beck, Elder Elder Charles Beck, His Trumpet and Radio Chorus (?) Dry bones b/w Delilah 1949
6Imperial 5041 Beck, Elder Elder Charles Beck, His Trumpet and Radio Chorus (?) Blow, Gabriel b/w Just A Closer Walk With Thee 1949
7Imperial 5053 Silvertone Gospel Singers Lord Jesus b/w y God Called Me This Morning 1949
8Imperial 5056 Silvertone Gospel Singers Dear Lord Look Down Upon Me b/w There Is A Light 1949
9Imperial 5063 West, Prophet B.W. My Cup Runneth Over b/w Laid My Burden Down 1950
10Imperial 5088 West, Prophet B.W. Prophet BW West Prayer Changes Things b/w I'm Going Home To Live With God 1950
11Imperial 5107 Gospel Angels I Have Traveled With Jesus b/w This Man! Jesus 1950
12Imperial 5133 Davenport, Ethel Gospel Hop b/w A Good Mother To Pray For You 1951
13Imperial 5142 Davenport, Ethel Let Us All Run To Jesus b/w Briney Tears 1951
14Imperial 5149 Davenport, Ethel Prayer Meeting b/w Recommending Jesus To You 1951
15Imperial 5178 Davenport, Ethel Almighty God b/w God's On My Side 1952
16Imperial 5179 Shaw, Cecil Cecil L. Shaw and the Union Spiritual Harmonizers Jesus Be My Keeper b/w Pray On, My Child 1952
17Imperial 5184 Shaw, Cecil Cecil L. Shaw with the Silverlight Quartet (?) Jesus, Lend Me A Helping Hand In Your Name b/w Unfair Deeds 1952
18Imperial 5185 Shaw, Cecil Cecil L. Shaw with the Union Spiritual Harmonizers (?) Jesus Gave Me Life b/w See My Jesus By And By 1952
19Imperial 5191 Killens, Rev. G.W. Rev. G.W. Kilmens Testing Faith b/w Fighting For Jesus 1952
20Imperial 5200 New Orleans Humming Four I'm Satisfied b/w Twelve Gates To The City 1952
21Imperial 5206 Shaw, Cecil Cecil L. Shaw with the Union Spiritual Harmonizers (?) Jesus My Friend b/w Walk With Me Lord 1952
22Imperial 5207 Johnson Family, Christian I Am His Own b/w Jesus Will Go My Bail 1952
23Imperial 5217 Shaw, Cecil Cecil L. Shaw with the Union Spiritual Harmonizers (?) Yes God Knows b/w Have Mercy My Father 1953
24Imperial 5232 Rogers, Sister Z.J. Everyday Of My Life's Thanksgiving, Pt. 1 b/w Everyday Of My Life's Thanksgiving, Pt. 2 1953
25Imperial 5242 Shaw, Cecil Bro. Cecil L. Shaw with the Alpha Omega Singers In Heaven I'll Rest b/w I Know He'll Answer 1953
26Imperial 5253 Shaw, Cecil Brother Cecil L. Shaw and the Silverlight Quartet (?) I Got Jesus In My Heart b/w Heaven's Bells Have Called Mother Home 1953
27Imperial 5263 Simpson Jr., Rev. Percy You Set Me Free b/w Must Jesus Bear The Cross 1954
28Imperial 5271 Simmons, Dorothy b/w Doris Akers Meet Me In The Gloryland b/w Lead Me, Guide Me 1954
29Imperial 5298 Shaw, Cecil Cecil L. Shaw and the Silverlight Quartet (?) A Christian's Plea b/w Livin' My Life For Jesus 1954
30Imperial 5972 Trumpeteers Milky White Way b/w Leave That Lie Alone 1963
31Imperial 5973 Soul Stirrers Five Soul Stirrers His Eye Is On The Sparrow b/w Glory, Glory Hallelujah 1963
32Imperial 5974 Traveling Four Shoes, Wings And Harps b/w This Little Light Of Mine 1963
33Imperial 5993 Soul Stirrers Five Soul Stirrers Well, Well b/w Lord Jesus 1963
34Imperial 5994 Trumpeteers Lord, Ease My Troublin' Mind b/w Seven Angels 1963
35Imperial 5995 Delta Southernaires John The Revelator b/w Bye And Bye 1963
LP'srelease artist artist as shown title year
1Imperial LP 9101 Evelyn Freeman Sky High 1960
2Imperial LP 9108 Valley Singers Canaan’s Land 1960
3Imperial LP 9143 Shaw, Cecil Brother Cecil L. Shaw I Stretch My Hand To Thee 1961
4Imperial LP 9145 Various My Cup Runneth Over 1961
5Imperial LP 9236 Narcisse, King Louis H. King Narcisse Leaning On Jesus 1963
6Imperial LP 9240 Various Gospel Hootenanny 1963
7Imperial LP 94007 Soul Stirrers Gospel Music, Vol. 1 1968

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