"Professor" Alex Bradford is best known as a leading gospel songwriter and for his work in the international stage hit Black Nativity. Twenty songs from two original Cotillion albums, including highlights "My Life Is Getting Sweeter," "Black Man's Lament," and "Lead Me Now" can be heard on this two disc set.
2 LPs on 1 CD: A LIFETIME BELIEVING (1971)/BLACK MAN'S LAMENT (1972).
Personnel includes: Alex Bradford (vocals, piano, celeste); Lawrence Lucie, Kenneth Ballard (guitar); Alberta Bradford (piano); Kenneth Rayborn (organ); Gordon Edwards (bass); Earl Williams, Charles Simons (drums); Dave Blocker (bongos, congas); The Bradford Singers; Barry Currington & The Young Peoples
Chorale Of The Cornerstone Baptist Church Of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Recorded at Atlantic Records, New York, New York. Originally released on Cotillion.
Personnel: Prof. Alex Bradford (vocals, piano, celesta); Alan Fontaine, Kenny Ballard (guitar); Alberta Carter Bradford (piano, celesta, background vocals); Kenneth Rayborn (organ); Earl Williams, Charlie Simons (drums); Dave Blocker (congas, bongos); Edwin Swanston (percussion, chimes); Kenneth Washington, Thomas J. Fouse, Robert Hill, Leonard Copeland, Carl Bean (background vocals).
Recording information: Atlantic Recording Studio, NY.
Arranger: Robert Banks.
A pair of albums made in 1971-1972 for Atlantic Records' Cotillion subsidiary. The songs are longer, in the fashion of the day, so two discs are required, but the extra time still isn't enough to let Bradford rock the studio the way he does a church. He seems caught up as much in the mechanics of record making as in the spirit. Still, the songs remain strong -- "Letter to the U.N.," from A Lifetime even turns over some new ground, and "Something Happened Today" offers historian Anthony Heilbut a chance to try his hand at lyric writing. Notes and packaging are generic Collectables stuff. ~ Dave Marsh