Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Gospel Soul of Motown

The Golden Harmoneers - I Am Bound

Most R&B independent labels had some sort of gospel catalogue. Although labels such as Atlantic and King did not delve into gospel music as much as others, labels such as Chess and Specialty had very strong catalogues and labels such as Peacock and Nashboro made gospel the specialty of their main labels and relegated R&B to subsidiary labels: by the end of the '50s, Peacock put out most of its R&B on Duke; Nashboro, which was founded in 1950, spun off the blues and R&B label Excello in 1951.

Like most other R&B independents, Motown released some gospel records, but Berry Gordy got out of the gospel business fairly early, as his empire became known for "The Sound of Young America." Today's selection is one of the smattering of great Motown gospel recordings that appears on the massive Hip-O Select reissue series The Complete Motown Singles, and it features a great driving rhythm and the rare bass lead vocal.

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