Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thursday Gospel Godspeed

The Highway Q.C.'s - Do You Love Him

Tomorrow your ever-lovin' Stepfather of Soul is heading out of town for a few days for his college reunion, so today's post will be the last for the week; Monday's post will kick off the countdown to this blog's second anniversary (wow - it seems like only yesterday I was celebrating the first anniversary)! Since I won't get to do "Sunday Gospel Time" at its usual time I thought I'd do it today.

The Highway Q.C.'s were formed in Chicago in 1945 and have continued to perform into the twenty-first century. For the first dozen or so years of the group's existence the Q.C.'s were literally a "farm team" for some of the bigger names of the time: Lou Rawls left the group to go to L.A., where he worked with both the Chosen Gospel Singers and the Pilgrim Travelers before breaking out as a solo superstar; Sam Cooke absconded from the group at the behest of the Soul Stirrers' S.R. Crain to start his ascent to pop fame with that group; and Johnnie Taylor replaced Sam in the Q.C.'s lineup and then replaced Sam in the Soul Stirrers' lineup before breaking out on his own. In 1956, Spencer Taylor (no relation to Johnnie) joined the group, and for the remainder of the century he led the group on fine recordings for Vee-Jay, Peacock and others. "Do You Love Him" was an early-'60s Vee-Jay release, and the group shows that they can work well with a bit of a beat, as they also do on the excellent "Lord, I'll Go" from the same era, which I must post at another time. After a couple of choruses, Taylor launches into a little testimony and some call-and-response with the group that works very well. I'm also particularly fond of the tune's fake-out ending. It's a solid piece of gospel group singing, and with it I'll wish you all Godspeed until next week.

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