Gospel Friend
About Gospel Friend News Our Titles Contact Us Customer Information Links

"It is inexplicable that Golden Age stars such as J. Earle Hines and the St. Paul Baptist Church Chioir of Los Angeles, Wings over Jordan and Georgia Peach lacked decent reissue for years, but thanks to Gospel Friend, their music and story live on."
[Bob Marovich, the Black Gospel Blog, November 2010]

These are our current titles. To find out more about a specific CD, please click the corresponding image.
We will continue to add new titles to the list as they are published.
Marie Knight J. Earle Hines Clara Ward
PN-1500 Marie Knight
Hallelujah What a Song
A magnificent contralto, combined with jazzy timing and an ability to adapt her voice in sacred as well as secular settings, enabled Marie Knight to become one of the first gospel super stars as a duo partner with Sister Rosetta Tharpe. A few classics of Knight’s and Tharpe’s recordings are included in this CD, but the majority features many of her best selling records under her own name. She is accompanied by the elite of the 1940s New York musicians, above all boogie pianist Sam Price. On a few tracks she has blues guitarist Brownie McGhee and the famous gospel quartet, the Nightingales with her.
PN-1501 J. Earle Hines & His Goodwill Singers
Jesus Steps Right in
With his thunderous baritone and committed delivery, James Earle Hines epitomizes the consummate artist, who gave up Shubert and Brahms to sing gospel. After having performed with the famous Wings over Jordan Choir, Hines emerged as a nationally sought-after gospel soloist and choir director. He personally encouraged and inspired many singers, like the young Etta James. Some of Hines studio recordings for Sacred, Gotham and Specialty are included here, mixed in with some of his live recorded best sellers for Capitol, with the widely popular St. Paul Baptist Church Choir of L.A.
PN-1502 Clara Ward and the Ward Singers
I Feel the Holy Spirit
Clara Ward excelled as a singer, piano player and arranger, as well as leader of her own group. Inspired by gospel poet, Rev. W.H. Brewster, she composed the standard, "How I Got over". Clara’s artistic dedication and professional stage routines gave the Ward Singers a national, and eventually an international following. Clara had an indelible influence on a generation of singers, among them Aretha Franklin. The Ward Singers were one of the first gospel groups to enter show business with success in the Las Vegas lounges. Their classic, early 1950s recordings on this CD prove their ambitions.
Dixie Hummingbirds Georgia Peach Wings Over Jordan
PN-1503 Dixie Hummingbirds
Jesus Has Traveled This Road Before
The Dixie Hummingbirds were the most successful male quartet to come up in the wake of the Golden Gate Quartet, the most celebrated quartet ever. Building their style on precise vocal attacks, showmanship and original song material, they became true masters of their craft. Their enduring popularity rested on well modulated harmonies, slight body movements and the vocal pyrotechnics of lead singer Ira Tucker. He served the model for rhythm & blues and soul singers from Jackie Wilson and Clyde McPhatter to Bobby Bland. Tucker also introduced the concept of the “activity singer, who ran up and down the aisles, jumped from stage etc., using the body to underscore lyric content. At the fading of the gospel quartet movement in the mid 1960s, the Birds found home in the folk music circuit. This CD gives examples of the Dixie Hummingbirds abundant recordings, from the outset of their career with Decca in 1939, continuing with Apollo, Gotham and Okeh and ending up on Peacock, where they scored their biggest success.
PN-1504 Georgia Peach
Let Me Be More Humble in this World
Equipped with a beautiful contralto voice, Clara Hudman Gholston, a.k.a. the Georgia Peach, was a pioneer in gospel singing. She first became acquainted with the famous gospel composer Thomas A. Dorsey, who let her sing his songs. He compared Georgia Peach’s vocal ability to blues singer Bessie Smith. A little later Clara teamed up with the vastly popular Atlanta singing preacher Rev. J.M. Gates, who gave her solo spots on his records. Georgia Peach predated and influenced her more famous successors, Mahalia Jackson and Clara Ward. Beginning with spirituals and hymns in her childhood Baptist churches in Georgia, Clara Hudman started making records already during the Depression years. After moving to New York, she switched from Baptist to C.O.G.I.C. and eventually had become a star performer in 1939, when she headlined in a Spirituals to Swing concert at the Radio Music City Hall. This CD comprises Georgia Peach’s whole recording career, 1930-1960.
PN-1505 Wings over Jordan Choir
Trying to Get Ready
The Wings over Jordan Choir had an impact unequalled in the American music history. Led by their originator, Rev. Settles, they first appeared on the public scene in the late 1930s. They became the first full-time professional black choir in the USA. The WOJC was so proficient and versatile, that in the period 1938-1949, they performed before sold-out, non-segregated audiences in over forty American and European countries, Canada and Mexico. By utilizing the powerful Columbia Radio Broadcasting net work and selling gramophone records, WOJC influenced the minds of millions of Americans during the entire World War II and beyond. This CD is the first ever to present a broad perspective of this hugely popular choir’s achievements. It contains some of their early and scarce radio broadcasts, including a V-Disc, as well as selected performances from commercial record companies, which helped immortalize the WOJC during the 1940s-1950s.
South Carolina Gospel The Gay Family Clara Ward
PN-1506 South Carolina Gospel
Golden Stars of Greenwood, S.C. & Rev. Norris Turner
Through an illustrious career, starting in his home town as a member of The Golden Stars of Greenwood, S.C., with records for local labels, Norris Turner hooked up with the Spiritualaires of Columbia, S.C. to travel nationwide and recording for Vee Jay. After settling in New York, he was offered to join the prestigious Selah Jubilee Singers, with which he appeared at such venues as Carnegie Hall, Apollo Theatre, on Ed Sullivan show, and before President Eisenhower. His friendship with Sam Cooke inspired Turner to write his own songs. He then built a large local following furthered by a stream of solo records on HSE out of Greenwood/Nashville. In 2012, Rev. Norris Turner made a successful tour is Sweden.
PN-1507 Gay Family
God Will Take Care of You
Consisting of the three sisters, Evelyn, Mildred and Geraldine, and little brother Donald, the Gay siblings developed a remarkable skill for solo as well as harmony singing. Evelyn and Geraldine also mastered the piano. Recording for Savoy in 1951, their career got a flying start. Their best selling records enabled the group to tour and appear with such major stars as Mahalia Jackson, the Clara Ward Singers, the Davis Sisters and Jessie Dixon. The late 1960s opened new opportunities as the group, now led by brother and Reverend Donald, was offered recording contracts by Chess and Peacock. The resulting sessions yielded issues on the Checker and Song Bird labels. These, along with more obscure recordings up until 1975, sum up the Gay Family's musical heritage on the CD.
PN-1508 Clara Ward and the famous Ward Singers
In 1953, an American magazine reported that …when Clara Ward’s big voice delivers a gospel song, she transforms a quiet audience of 10.000 or more men and women into a pandemonium of screaming, shouting and crying. Apart from outdrawing contemporary blues and jazz artists for live appearances, Clara Ward and her Famous Ward Singers had no other peers in selling records. They kept an earthy sound, despite refined arrangements and accomplished musicianship. Soprano Marion Williams (later the celebrated leader of the super gospel group, the Stars of Faith) is the featured soloist on many of the songs on the CD. Gospel expert Anthony Heilbut has contributed with intriguing observations in the notes, written by Robert Sacre.
Sallie and Cora Martin Pilgrim Travelers Edna Gallmon Coke
PN-1509 Sallie & Cora Martin
Just a Little Talk with Jesus
From 1929 to 1970, Sallie Martin was one of gospel's most influential figures. A powerful publisher, choir and group organizer, soloist, and recording artist, Martin paved the way for generations of gospel singers to come. Without her, gospel may never have become the widespread phenomen it is today. Martin's association with Thomas A. Dorsey was crucial for her, as she rose to become gospel music's first financial success story. Her adopted daughter, Cora Martin joined the Sallie Martin Singers in 1940. Cora's marvelous and adventurous contra alto can be heard on the majority of the tracks on this CD, in company with Sallie Martin. On a few tracks she is heard alongside J. Earle Hines and Brother Joe May. Notes by Robert Marovich, author of "A City Called Heaven - Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music". (University of Illinois Press, 2015.)
PN-1510 The Pilgrim Travelers
Gospel Boogie
- Rare recordings 1946-1957

The Pilgrim Travelers - along with the Soul Stirrers and the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi - were the hardest-working, best-dressed, farthest-traveling and most recorded male quartet on the gospel highway. During an intense period of eight years (ca 1947-1954), they kept the same personnel and built a national career. With their magnificent voices, artful arrangements and outstanding showmanship, the group won acclaim and fame by singing with a fervor and power hardly heard before in gospel history. They were the first quartet to perform at New York's Apollo Theater in 1953. Singer , taent scout and A&R man at Specialty Records, J.W. Alexander, who later became Same Cooke's mentor, described the Pilgrim Travelers' lead singer Kylo Turner: He had the looks, he had the voice, he had it all.
PN-1511 Edna Gallmon Coke
My Joy
- Rare recordings 1948-1966

There is no more beautiful combination of the gospel sound and the quartet tradition than the marriage of Edna Gallmon Cooke and the Radio Four [or the Singing Sons]; And that includes Mahalia and the Selahs, Rosetta and her quartets, or the Staple Singers. Tracks like Amen or Walk Through the Valley reach imperial heights. And Madame Cooke's solos are the most erotic vocals in any form of music.
(Anthony Heilbut, author of "The Gospel Sound" and "The Fan Who Knew Too Much".)
The collection includes Cooke's first record, Merit 102, the original hit DeLuxe recording of "Angels, Angels, Angels", and the Republic recordings of "Walk Through the Valley" and "Amen". These and all other tracks are not duplicated on any other currently available CD reissue.
Revelation Records Best of Proverb and Gospel Corner Records  
NarroWay PN-1600 Best of Revelation Records 1959-1962
Though Revelation Records in New York City's Harlem lasted for four years only (1959-1962), the company made a large contribution to gospel music history, especially of New York and New Jersey. The label's brain and operating power, John Bowden, kept a tight relationship with a company called Fury/Fire Records. It was owned by the ingenious R&B producer Bobby Robinson. Along with a number of local groups, prominent gospel ensembles of the era, like the Stevenson Singers, the Gospel Wonders and the Christian Tabernacle Choir of N.Y. were captured on Revelation 45s. So were male quartets, like the Cross Jordan Singers and the Five Singing Stars, as well as the impressive females, the Gospel Challengers. Notes by Per Notini.
NarroWay PN-1601 Best of Proverb & Gospel Corner Records
The entire production is crystal clear, thanks in large parts to Henderon's production talents but also to Notinis flair for reproduction. The informative illustrated liner notes give the enthusiast as much knowledge about Hedenderon as exists, depicting an entrepreneur who made a living by giving the little guy a chance. A must for gospel music fans who revel in the pop-infused traditional gospel of the 1960s. [Five of five stars] (Bob Marovich, Journal of Gospel Music, Sept 28 2016)
Includes recordings by Mighty Clouds of Joy, James Wafer & Pilgrim Travelers, Chambers Brothers, Singing Corinthians, Hamptonaires, Melvin Boyd & Ohio Wonders, Prince Dixon, Sweet Singing Cavaliersand 18 other acts. Notes by Per Notini.
 
 
Gospel Friend Records also represent Gospel Treasures,
a label that was formed in 2002 and discontinued after two issued titles.
Stars of Bethlehem King Louis Narcisse  
OLN-2000 - Stars of Bethlehem
Above My Head
With its classic doo-wop gospel sound, this CD features singer, guitarist and song writer Richard Wallace's strong quartet. Sam Cooke & the Soul Stirrers were the model for Wallace, who later joined the leading quartet of the U.S. during the latter part of the 1960s and beyond, the Mighty Clouds of Joy.
Notes by Opal Louis Nations.
OLN-2001 - King Louis Narcisse
It's Nice To Be Nice
The founder of a non-denominational spiritual church in West Oakland, California, Louis H. Narcisse and his congregation exerted a strong attraction on the community. The CD presents a line of recordings (1949-1962), including twelve live tracks from Narcisse's church.
Extensive notes with photos by Opal Louis Nations.