Personnel: Bishop Jeff Banks (vocals, piano); Charles Banks (vocals, organ); Alice McCloud, Doris Jones, Jim Ford , Ella Adams, Lula Gillespie, Ann Colbert, Minnie E. Sirmans, Thurston Frazier, Thelma Young, Roberty Gary, Marion Steward, Aubrey Pettis, Barbara Graham, William Thomas, Jr., Gerry Murray, Anne Payton, Helen Carter, Brenda Wright, Carole Brown, Adele Woulard, Anna Bell Polete, Arlenne Pleasant, James Hill, Mildred Lane, David Steward, Helen Robinson, Bobby Wright (vocals); Curtis Lewis, Beverly Glenn (piano, organ); Robbie L. Preston (piano); Helen C. Perkins (organ); Ronald Kersey (percussion).
Audio Remasterer: Kirk Felton.
Liner Note Authors: Opal Nations; Lee Hildebrand.
Recording information: Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA (03/31/1954-01/28/1963); Unive (03/31/1954-01/28/1963); Universal Sound Systems, Detroit, MI (03/31/1954-01/28/1963); Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, NJ (03/31/1954-01/28/1963).
Directors: Herbert Rankin; Thurston Frazier; Rev. Columbus Mann; Helen Robinson; Bishop Jeff Banks.
Photographer: Steve Maruta.
Unknown Contributor Role: Rev. Clemmon Anderson.
Arrangers: Thurston Frazier; Helen Robinson.
This entry into Specialty's Legends of Gospel series brings together 23 selections from four groundbreaking gospel choirs. The Back Home Choir of Newark, New Jersey clocks in with ten performances from 1962 with "Climbing High Mountains," "He Knows How Much We Can Bear" and "Without God I Can Do Nothing" being particular standouts. Next up is the Pentecostal Choir of Detroit with two rousing selections, "Prayer Wheel Turning Over" and "How Glad I Am." The Helen Robinson Youth Choir from Chicago contributes three tracks from a previously unreleased 1959 session for Specialty, including "Sit Down Children," "Working on the Building" and "Run and Help Us Tell." Closing out the set is a 1954 Choir album session from the Voices of Victory. Intended to simulate an actual church service, their set starts with an invocation and ends with a benediction, with the strong musical highlights "I'm So Glad Jesus Lifted Me," "Lord, Lord, Lord," "The Angels Keep Watching" and "Blessed Assurance" sandwiched in between. Once again compiling material from the Specialty and Tru-Sound labels, this brings together some great gospel performances culled from two different decades. ~ Cub Koda