The Dailey Singers - Come This Far By Faith
As promised earlier, today's post is about the HSE gospel record label. HSE, based in South Carolina at one point and then Nashville at another, stood for "Hoyt Sullivan Enterprises"; the namesake thereof ran a Southern beauty products concern in addition to this primarily-gospel record label. (In my aircheck collection I have a tape of WLAC's John R doing an advertisement for a "scalp conditioner" that Sullivan manufactured.) The HSE label was decidedly a mark below the majors of the time such as Peacock, Savoy, Nashboro, recording for the most part small-time gospel groups such as Nashville's Bethlehem Gospel Singers (whose "My Bible Is Right" LP was the first gospel album I ever heard) and the Gerald Sisters and groups whose glory years had faded (both the CBS Trumpeteers nad the Soul Stirrers ended up on HSE in the later '70s). The only group whose career blossomed from HSE, to my knowledge, is Willie Banks and The Messengers, whose gospel career goes on strong today. HSE gospel recordings are highly-prized by record collectors for their DYI feel and often brilliant (if technically sloppy) recordings. Today's selection, for example, is full of Holy Ghost fire, but also occasionally off-kilter accompaniment and a lead singer whose frothy testifying threatens to run the tune off the rails. There's truly no "show or fashion" going on here; just hard female gospel singing.
Unfortunately there's not a lot of info online about the HSE label. Kevin Nutt often plays HSE material on his "Sinner's Crossroads" radio show (see link on the right), but in my correspondence with him he didn't have a lot of additional info. If anyone knows anything about Hoyt Sullivan or his label I would love to hear from you. In the meantime, I'll keep looking for those green-and-black 45s and LPs!