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).


45 & 78rpm releases:

releaseartistartist as shownsongsyear
Imperial 5017Colquith's Instrumental Choir, LordLord Colquitt's Instrumental ChoirOn Jordan's Stormy Banks b/w When The Saints Go Marching In1948
Imperial 5020Colquith's Instrumental Choir, LordA Child Of The King b/w Every Time I Feel The Spirit1948
Imperial 5034Sunny South SingersWhere Shall I Go b/w Lordy, Lord1949
Imperial 5035Sunny South SingersRight In b/w Glory, Glory1949
Imperial 5040Beck, ElderElder Charles Beck, His Trumpet and Radio Chorus (?)Dry bones b/w Delilah1949
Imperial 5041Beck, ElderElder Charles Beck, His Trumpet and Radio Chorus (?)Blow, Gabriel b/w Just A Closer Walk With Thee1949
Imperial 5053Silvertone Gospel SingersLord Jesus b/w y God Called Me This Morning1949
Imperial 5056Silvertone Gospel SingersDear Lord Look Down Upon Me b/w There Is A Light1949
Imperial 5063West, Prophet B.W.My Cup Runneth Over b/w Laid My Burden Down1950
Imperial 5088West, Prophet B.W.Prophet BW WestPrayer Changes Things b/w I'm Going Home To Live With God1950
Imperial 5107Gospel AngelsI Have Traveled With Jesus b/w This Man! Jesus1950
Imperial 5133Davenport, EthelGospel Hop b/w A Good Mother To Pray For You1951
Imperial 5142Davenport, EthelLet Us All Run To Jesus b/w Briney Tears1951
Imperial 5149Davenport, EthelPrayer Meeting b/w Recommending Jesus To You1951
Imperial 5178Davenport, EthelAlmighty God b/w God's On My Side1952
Imperial 5179Shaw, CecilCecil L. Shaw and the Union Spiritual HarmonizersJesus Be My Keeper b/w Pray On, My Child1952
Imperial 5184Shaw, CecilCecil L. Shaw with the Silverlight Quartet (?)Jesus, Lend Me A Helping Hand In Your Name b/w Unfair Deeds1952
Imperial 5185Shaw, CecilCecil L. Shaw with the Union Spiritual Harmonizers (?)Jesus Gave Me Life b/w See My Jesus By And By1952
Imperial 5191Killens, Rev. G.W.Rev. G.W. KilmensTesting Faith b/w Fighting For Jesus1952
Imperial 5200New Orleans Humming FourI'm Satisfied b/w Twelve Gates To The City1952
Imperial 5206Shaw, CecilCecil L. Shaw with the Union Spiritual Harmonizers (?)Jesus My Friend b/w Walk With Me Lord1952
Imperial 5207Johnson Family, ChristianI Am His Own b/w Jesus Will Go My Bail1952
Imperial 5217Shaw, CecilCecil L. Shaw with the Union Spiritual Harmonizers (?)Yes God Knows b/w Have Mercy My Father1953
Imperial 5232Rogers, Sister Z.J.Everyday Of My Life's Thanksgiving, Pt. 1 b/w Everyday Of My Life's Thanksgiving, Pt. 21953
Imperial 5242Shaw, CecilBro. Cecil L. Shaw with the Alpha Omega SingersIn Heaven I'll Rest b/w I Know He'll Answer1953
Imperial 5253Shaw, CecilBrother Cecil L. Shaw and the Silverlight Quartet (?)I Got Jesus In My Heart b/w Heaven's Bells Have Called Mother Home1953
Imperial 5263Simpson Jr., Rev. PercyYou Set Me Free b/w Must Jesus Bear The Cross1954
Imperial 5271Simmons, Dorothy b/w Doris AkersMeet Me In The Gloryland b/w Lead Me, Guide Me1954
Imperial 5298Shaw, CecilCecil L. Shaw and the Silverlight Quartet (?)A Christian's Plea b/w Livin' My Life For Jesus1954
Imperial 5972TrumpeteersMilky White Way b/w Leave That Lie Alone1963
Imperial 5973Soul StirrersFive Soul StirrersHis Eye Is On The Sparrow b/w Glory, Glory Hallelujah1963
Imperial 5974Traveling FourShoes, Wings And Harps b/w This Little Light Of Mine1963
Imperial 5993Soul StirrersFive Soul StirrersWell, Well b/w Lord Jesus1963
Imperial 5994TrumpeteersLord, Ease My Troublin' Mind b/w Seven Angels1963
Imperial 5995Delta SouthernairesJohn The Revelator b/w Bye And Bye1963


LP releases:

releaseartistartist as showntitleyear
Imperial LP 9101Evelyn FreemanSky High1960
Imperial LP 9108Valley SingersCanaan’s Land1960
Imperial LP 9143Shaw, CecilBrother Cecil L. ShawI Stretch My Hand To Thee1961
Imperial LP 9145VariousMy Cup Runneth Over1961
Imperial LP 9236Narcisse, King Louis H.King NarcisseLeaning On Jesus1963
Imperial LP 9240VariousGospel Hootenanny1963
Imperial LP 94007Soul StirrersGospel Music, Vol. 11968

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