Imperial gospel discography (1948-68)
- Imperial 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:
|release||artist||artist as shown||songs||year|
|Imperial 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|
|Imperial 5020||Colquith's Instrumental Choir, Lord||A Child Of The King b/w Every Time I Feel The Spirit||1948|
|Imperial 5034||Sunny South Singers||Where Shall I Go b/w Lordy, Lord||1949|
|Imperial 5035||Sunny South Singers||Right In b/w Glory, Glory||1949|
|Imperial 5040||Beck, Elder||Elder Charles Beck, His Trumpet and Radio Chorus (?)||Dry bones b/w Delilah||1949|
|Imperial 5041||Beck, Elder||Elder Charles Beck, His Trumpet and Radio Chorus (?)||Blow, Gabriel b/w Just A Closer Walk With Thee||1949|
|Imperial 5053||Silvertone Gospel Singers||Lord Jesus b/w y God Called Me This Morning||1949|
|Imperial 5056||Silvertone Gospel Singers||Dear Lord Look Down Upon Me b/w There Is A Light||1949|
|Imperial 5063||West, Prophet B.W.||My Cup Runneth Over b/w Laid My Burden Down||1950|
|Imperial 5088||West, Prophet B.W.||Prophet BW West||Prayer Changes Things b/w I'm Going Home To Live With God||1950|
|Imperial 5107||Gospel Angels||I Have Traveled With Jesus b/w This Man! Jesus||1950|
|Imperial 5133||Davenport, Ethel||Gospel Hop b/w A Good Mother To Pray For You||1951|
|Imperial 5142||Davenport, Ethel||Let Us All Run To Jesus b/w Briney Tears||1951|
|Imperial 5149||Davenport, Ethel||Prayer Meeting b/w Recommending Jesus To You||1951|
|Imperial 5178||Davenport, Ethel||Almighty God b/w God's On My Side||1952|
|Imperial 5179||Shaw, Cecil||Cecil L. Shaw and the Union Spiritual Harmonizers||Jesus Be My Keeper b/w Pray On, My Child||1952|
|Imperial 5184||Shaw, Cecil||Cecil L. Shaw with the Silverlight Quartet (?)||Jesus, Lend Me A Helping Hand In Your Name b/w Unfair Deeds||1952|
|Imperial 5185||Shaw, Cecil||Cecil L. Shaw with the Union Spiritual Harmonizers (?)||Jesus Gave Me Life b/w See My Jesus By And By||1952|
|Imperial 5191||Killens, Rev. G.W.||Rev. G.W. Kilmens||Testing Faith b/w Fighting For Jesus||1952|
|Imperial 5200||New Orleans Humming Four||I'm Satisfied b/w Twelve Gates To The City||1952|
|Imperial 5206||Shaw, Cecil||Cecil L. Shaw with the Union Spiritual Harmonizers (?)||Jesus My Friend b/w Walk With Me Lord||1952|
|Imperial 5207||Johnson Family, Christian||I Am His Own b/w Jesus Will Go My Bail||1952|
|Imperial 5217||Shaw, Cecil||Cecil L. Shaw with the Union Spiritual Harmonizers (?)||Yes God Knows b/w Have Mercy My Father||1953|
|Imperial 5232||Rogers, Sister Z.J.||Everyday Of My Life's Thanksgiving, Pt. 1 b/w Everyday Of My Life's Thanksgiving, Pt. 2||1953|
|Imperial 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|
|Imperial 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|
|Imperial 5263||Simpson Jr., Rev. Percy||You Set Me Free b/w Must Jesus Bear The Cross||1954|
|Imperial 5271||Simmons, Dorothy b/w Doris Akers||Meet Me In The Gloryland b/w Lead Me, Guide Me||1954|
|Imperial 5298||Shaw, Cecil||Cecil L. Shaw and the Silverlight Quartet (?)||A Christian's Plea b/w Livin' My Life For Jesus||1954|
|Imperial 5972||Trumpeteers||Milky White Way b/w Leave That Lie Alone||1963|
|Imperial 5973||Soul Stirrers||Five Soul Stirrers||His Eye Is On The Sparrow b/w Glory, Glory Hallelujah||1963|
|Imperial 5974||Traveling Four||Shoes, Wings And Harps b/w This Little Light Of Mine||1963|
|Imperial 5993||Soul Stirrers||Five Soul Stirrers||Well, Well b/w Lord Jesus||1963|
|Imperial 5994||Trumpeteers||Lord, Ease My Troublin' Mind b/w Seven Angels||1963|
|Imperial 5995||Delta Southernaires||John The Revelator b/w Bye And Bye||1963|
|release||artist||artist as shown||title||year|
|Imperial LP 9101||Evelyn Freeman||Sky High||1960|
|Imperial LP 9108||Valley Singers||Canaan’s Land||1960|
|Imperial LP 9143||Shaw, Cecil||Brother Cecil L. Shaw||I Stretch My Hand To Thee||1961|
|Imperial LP 9145||Various||My Cup Runneth Over||1961|
|Imperial LP 9236||Narcisse, King Louis H.||King Narcisse||Leaning On Jesus||1963|
|Imperial LP 9240||Various||Gospel Hootenanny||1963|
|Imperial LP 94007||Soul Stirrers||Gospel Music, Vol. 1||1968|