Tuesday, February 13, 2007

RIP Ernestine Rundless

The Meditation Singers - Let Them Talk

Over the weekend I learned that Ernestine Rundless, founder and leader of the Meditation Singers and adoptive mother of soul legend Laura Lee, has passed away. Rundless founded the group in 1947, and among the initial lineup was Della Reese. The group started out in her husband's Detroit church and expanded into regional and then national prominence through records for Specialty, HOB, Checker and Jewel. I'm very partial to the group's Checker material, as the group proved itself to be adept at the "gos-pop" sound that Chess A&R man Ralph Bass encouraged in the mid-to-late '60s. Today's atmospheric selection finds Rundless and the group working it out over a groove that almost seems more appropriate for the Rotary Connection than a gospel act, but it really works.

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