Gospel Celebrities & Celestial Lights

Various Artists
FORMAT: Audio CD - 2 Disc
Release date: 15 Nov 2010

"Rousing foot- stompers and tingley testifying ballads"4/5  MOJO

"A solid introduction to sanctified screamers, shouters, preachers and sermonisers over two discs." 4/5  RECORD COLLECTOR

"Will appeal to both aficionados, and newcomers to the full blooded, rousing type of music that gave birth to many talented artists." BLUES AND SOUL MAGAZINE

CAT No: FVDD077UPC TEXT: 5055311000770

Full details

After a decade of gospel music, soul diva Candi Staton returned to secular music in the ’90s and recent albums have met with acclaim. 2009 inductee into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Bobby Womack sang with Gorillaz at Glastonbury this year. Gospel Celebrities & Celestial Lights offers an opportunity to hear them both singing the music that launched their careers. Vocalists like Sam Cooke, Joe Hinton and Judy Clay (born Judy Guions) are well known to collectors of vintage soul, but all of them were equally adept at gospel. The same is true of R&B singers Marie Knight, LaVern Baker and Ann Cole, bluesmen Jesse Fuller and Nappy Brown, and all-rounder Lou Rawls. Even wild man of rock ‘n’ roll Little Richard turned to gospel on occasion.

The inclusion of all these artists on Gospel Celebrities & Celestial Lights ensures that for many this will be the ideal introduction to the genre. Also present are gospel giants Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who was not adverse to rocking out in the service of the Lord, Mahalia Jackson, The Five Blind Boys Of Alabama, The Golden Gate Quartet, The Dixie Hummingbirds, The Staple Singers and The Swan Silvertones.

But Opal Louis Nations has been careful to avoid a round-up of over-familiar repertoire. An authority of the genre, with many much-praised collections to his name, Opal has included rarities and unreleased material, as well as turning the spotlight on some significant but under-compiled acts, namely The Gospel Clefs with Leon Lumpkins, Rev. Morgan Babb & The Philco Singers, LC Cooke & The Zion Travelers and The Soul Seekers of New Orleans. As a result, Gospel Celebrities & Celestial Lights will appeal equally to aficionados and newcomers to the vocal delights of gospel music.



  1. Mother Take Your Rest (The Soul Seekers)
  2. Jesus, Wash Away My Troubles (The Soul Seekers)
  3. Dedication To Mother (Rev Morgan Babb & The Philco Singers)
  4. Low Is The Way [original version] (The Staple Singers)
  5. Walk Around Me (My) Lord (The Sensational Wonders)
  6. When He Spoke (Mahalia Jackson)
  7. On Revival Day (Marie Knight & The Sensational Nightingales)
  8. I've Got A New Home (Ollie Nightingale & The Dixie Nightingales)
  9. I'm Tired (Ethel Davenport with Brownie McGhee)
  10. Coming Up Thru The Years (The Five Blind Boys Of Alabama)
  11. When He Calls Me (Marion Williams)
  12. Robe Of Calvary (The Orioles)
  13. Amazing Grace [instrumental] (Jesse Fuller)
  14. Ladder Of Prayer (Joe Hinton)
  15. Too Late (Jewel Gospel Trio)
  16. I'll Live Again (The Dixie Hummingbirds)
  17. This Same Jesus (The Staple Singers)
  18. God Has Promised [fragments, live] (George McCurn & The Pilgrim Travelers)
  19. I Want To Go To Heaven And Rest (Nappy Brown with The Selah Singers)
  20. I Can Hear The Angels (Sister Rosetta Tharpe & The Harmonizing Four)
  21. I May Never Pass This Way Again (The Zion Travelers)
  22. I'm A Pilgrim (The Golden Gate Quartet)
  23. Big Wheel (The Gospel Clefs)
  24. Just A Little Talk With Jesus (The Jordanaires)
  25. Search Me Lord (Odessa McCastle & Catherine Burkes with The Antioch Evangelist Temple Choir)
  26. Steal Away To Jesus (The Gospel Clefs)


  1. On The Rock (The Soul Seekers)
  2. Cold Cold Ground (Rev Morgan Babb & The Philco Singers)
  3. Living For My Jesus (Ollie Nightingale & The Dixie Nightingales)
  4. Since He Lightened My Heavy Load (The Staple Singers)
  5. Beautiful City (The Zion Travelers)
  6. Each Day [live] (Mahalia Jackson)
  7. Book Of Revelations (The Gospel Clefs)
  8. In The Upper Room (LaVern Baker & The Alex Bradford Singers)
  9. I'm Serving The Lord (The Soul Seekers)
  10. This Old World (Goldia Haynes with Joe Liggins)
  11. Have Thine Own Way (The Golden Gate Quartet)
  12. Satisfied With Jesus (Marie Knight & The Sensational Nightingales)
  13. Hark From The Tomb (Jesse Fuller)
  14. Last Mile Of The Way [take 2] (The Soul Stirrers)
  15. Be Ready When He Comes (Ann Cole & The Colemanaires)
  16. Somebody Touched Me (Judy Guions & The Drinkard Singers)
  17. Say A Prayer For The Boys In Korea (Little Joe Cook & The Evening Star Quartet)
  18. Ocean Of Prayer (The Sims Brothers)
  19. Believe In Me (The Zion Travelers)
  20. Today (Evening Song) (The Dixie Hummingbirds & The Angelic Gospel Singers)
  21. Talking About My Mother [alt take] (Little Richard)
  22. Strange Things Happening Every Day (Bill Doggett Quintet with Sister Dorothy Willett)
  23. The Bible Tells Me So (Bobby Womack & The Womack Brothers)
  24. Won't Be Back (Lou Rawls & The Chosen Gospel Singers)
  25. This May Be The Last Time [original] (The Staple Singers)
  26. Medley
  27. Jesus Brought Me (Dewey Young & The Swan Silvertones)
  28. I Found Joy [fragments, live] (Dewey Young & The Swan Silvertones)