The Dixie Nightingales - All I Need Is Some Sunshine In My Life
The gospel recordings on the short-lived Stax subsidiary Chalice, set up by Al Bell upon his arrival at the label, are an outstanding alchemy of good gospel singing and the excellent accompaniment provided by Booker T. & The M.G.'s and other Stax musicians, who were clearly at the top of their game at the time.
Today's selection was an unreleased Chalice recording that saw the light of day on one of the Volts of Stax comps and on Disturb My Soul, a compilation of Chalice recordings (released in the US on the Specialty CD Free at Last). Ollie Hoskins and the Dixie Nightingales were a popular Memphis group with a weekly radio broadcast on WDIA. The group had recorded for Nashboro until their departure from the label over their song "The Assassination" (Ernie Young felt that the group's lamentation over JFK's assassination, with no references to God or Jesus, was not a gospel song and refused, therefore, to release it). The song was released on Chalice, starting the Nightingales on a new chapter of their career, which culminated in the group's transformation into the secular group Ollie & The Nightingales ("I Got a Sure Thing") and the establishment of Ollie Hoskins (later "Ollie Nightingale") as one of the most intense male vocalists in soul music. "All I Need Is Some Sunshine in My Life," like "The Assassination," differs from other gospel songs of that time with its dark lyrics (although there is a sense that God will make things right, face it - Ollie's depressed here!) and smoky accompaniment. It's a favorite of mine.