– The Sweet Inspirations

Today, I’ve added scans for Atlantic LP 8182, from 1968. The group is Cissy Drinkard & the Sweet Inspirations. Emily “Cissy” Drinkard (born 1933, married to John Russell Houston, Jr. in 1959 – she also used her husband’s name on many occasions), formerly known from the Drinkard Singers, sings lead on most of the tracks, but the other group members (Sylvia Shemwell, Myrna Smith and Estelle Brown) have their share as well. The group was usually billed as the Sweet Inspirations and they had quite a few secular successes. Apart from that the Sweet Inspirations provided backup vocals for a variety of artists, including Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Lou Rawls, the Drifters, Dusty Springfield, Cissy Drinkard’s niece Dionne Warwick, Elvis Presley and even Jimi Hendrix (“Burning Of The Midnight Lamp”).

The album’s back cover reads “their approach is modern but their conviction and sincerity are traditional”. To my ears their approach is rather traditional as well and has more in common with the 50’s female groups than the more soulful groups from the second half of the 1960’s. Of course that doesn’t mean this is a disappointing album. It’s pretty good actually.

“Songs Of Faith & Inspiration” was recorded on April 3 & 4, 1968, in New York City (Atlantic studios) and it was the group’s only gospel album. Cissy Drinkard was present on the first four albums by the Sweet Inspirations and left in 1969 to pursue a solo career as Cissy Houston. She was the mother of Whitney Houston (1963-2012).

Read more on Cissy Drinkard on this Wikipedia page.

Click for more album details and images on the image below.


– Kent & Kent Gospel scans

Yesterday and today I added scans to the Kent/Kent Gospel discography. Among them the LP by the Los Angeles Gospel Chimes, pictured below. It probably was their only record.
I found out that Brother Henderson most probably was involved in all releases on the Kent Gospel label, except for the song “Did You Stop To Pray This Morning” by the Pilgrim Travelers (#3000). This song was released earlier on Kent LP 564, and it was produced by J.W. Alexander. However, the b-side of #3000, “Jesus Knows”, was produced by Brother Henderson. His name is given on the label.

The King label is next and will take some more time…


– Martha Bass: Checker 10059

Martha Bass selected these songs from Mahalia Jackson’s oeuvre, in coordination with producer Ralph Bass, who was not related to Martha Bass (according to the back cover). Eleven songs were recorded in December 1969 and the album was probably released in early 1970. I’ve added scans and details today, click on the image below to see it all.


– Salem Travelers on Halo

While searching the internet, I found a fourth variation of Halo 11 by the Salem Travelers. I’ve added the scans to the Halo 11 page. This is just about minor details, but I find it interesting nevertheless. Maybe the same thing happened with other Halo 45’s as well, but to have four variations of one 45 seems a bit extraordinary to me.