The Virginia State Ensemble:
If I Had My Wings
I Work For God
For the first time in awhile, albeit on Monday (internet connection issues prevented yesterday's post from getting off the ground), "Sunday Gospel Time" makes an appearance on the blog with this nifty two-sider. I don't know (and couldn't find) anything about the Virginia State Ensemble, but I do know that these two sides were released as a Weis single, and I know that Weis was one of the handful of small labels (such as Warren, Front Page, Arch and Dig) that Stax distributed in the early '70s. Future Spinners lead singer John Edwards had a release on the label, and tunes like Bobby Holley's "Moving Dancer" and "Soultown" by The Forevers have become funky 45 faves.
"If I Had My Wings" is a rambling, organ-led number based on the spiritual "I Got Shoes," and the male lead enthusiastically engages the chorus in call-and-response. This record is this/close to being suitable to play for dancers as well as church folk. As nice as it is, however, the flip, "I Work For God," is an outstanding ballad featuring solid singing by the chorus and a fine vocal by the female lead. I really wish I knew more about this group!