Sunday, November 19, 2006

Bishop Manning Calls 'Em As He Sees 'Em

Bishop Manning and the Manning Family:

This Is Everybody's Song b/w
The People Don't Pray Like They Used to Pray

Today's selections are two good-timing gospel sides by Bishop Manning and the Manning Family, a gospel group about which I do not know anything except that this tasty 45 came out on Su-Ann. Manning's vocals are warm and the group provides good backup while the band rambles along. "This Is Everybody's Song" finds Manning essaying on everything from the high cost of living (references to Nixon, the 1973 oil embargo, Ford and inflation leads me to believe the record was made in 1974 or '75) to parents skipping church to people sleeping in church over a slightly-funky groove. "The People Don't Pray" has a gospel blues feel, and Manning addresses the shortcomings of church folk, ranging from money-driven preachers to men with long hair (perhaps this is more a product of the times, as Manning takes time out to "preach a little while" on that topic!) to women with short dresses; sermonizing aside, though, this tune, like "Everybody's Song," is laced with Manning's obvious sense of humor.

(Thanks to John Glassburner and H.C. Robinson for these tracks.)


Anonymous said...

These are brilliant, Jason. Gorgeous.
I've never heard of him. Why?

Did you get a comment from me on the Persuaders post or did it get lost somewhere?

The Stepfather of Soul said...

You haven't heard of Bishop Manning for the same reason so many great soul records exist for virtual unknowns. The teeming record industry took on all comers (especially outfits like Su-Ann and the other Hoyt Sullivan labels), so only the best-distributed, best-promoted stuff got out. It's crazy.

I did not get your comment about the Persuaders track.