Personnel: Sam Cooke (vocals, tenor); Paul Foster (vocals, baritone); George Scott (vocals, guitar); Clarence Fountain, Solomon Womack, James H. Medlock, Rev. Robert Crenshaw, Ace H. Fletcher, Oliver Green, Vance Powell, Kylo Turner, Paul Owens, Leroy Barnes, E.J. Brumfield, George Butler, Rev. Sammy Lewis, Fred Sims, Keith Barber , Joseph Dean, Willmer Broadnax, R.H. Harris, Rev. Claude Jeter (vocals); A.C. Franklin, Dempsey Harrison, Rev. George W. Warren, Archie Reynolds, James W. Alexander, Roy Crain, SR. (tenor); Jimmy Copeland, Oscar Cook, Bill Johnson , R.B. Robinson, Jesse Whitaker, Olice Thomas, Thomas L. Bruster (baritone); J.B. Randall, James Knowles, Robert Thomas , Ben Williams , James Ricks, J.J. Farley, Raphael Taylor, Henry K. Bossard (bass voice); Jesse Sailes (drums).
Liner Note Author: Opal Nations.
Recording information: Boulevard (??/??/1947-02/27/1953); Geno Terrell's Livingroom, San Francisco, CA (??/??/1947-02/27/1953); United Sound System, Detroit, MI (??/??/1947-02/27/1953); Universal Recorders, Hollywood, CA (??/??/1947-02/27/1953).
Photographer: Steve Maruta.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Chosen Gospel Singers; Clarence Fountain; Golden Echoes; The Five Blind Boys of Alabama; Paul Foster; R.H. Harris; Rev. Claude Jeter; Sam Cooke; The Swan Silvertones; Detroiters; The Paramount Singers; Pilgrim Travelers; The Soul Stirrers.
Arrangers: Kenneth S. Morris ; William Johnson.
The accent is on harmony in this collection of 26 tracks from the gospel side of the Specialty Records vaults. The bulk of the selections here are previously unissued and in the main feature a cappella performances. Besides worthy entries from the Pilgrim Travelers ("The Old Rugged Cross"), the Soul Stirrers ("By and By"), the Swan Silvertones ("I'm Coming Home") and the Five Blind Boys of Alabama ("Marching Up to Zion"), this disc also boasts equally fine performances from lesser-known groups like the Paramount Singers ("He Means So Much to Me"), the Southern Harmonizers ("What Are They Doing In Heaven Today?"), Golden Echoes ("Since I Laid My Burden Down"), Detroiters ("Let Jesus Lead You"), Chosen Gospel Singers ("Leaning on the Lord") and the West Coast Jubilees ("Since Jesus Came Into My Heart"). Recorded between 1947 and 1954, the set runs in roughly chronological to better spotlight the change in gospel singing from a cappella to full rhythm section backing during this time period. A remarkable set of recordings. ~ Cub Koda