“I want everybody out in radio land or wherever you may be today, I want you to do me a favor and lift up both hands towards heaven way, you see this is a prayer and I want everybody to help me pray,” urges the great Reverend Howard “Slim” Hunt of Slim & The Supreme Angels. And so begins, Gospel Music, an 18-track compilation drawn from the golden age of gospel. Produced by famed photographer, Lee Friedlander, and acclaimed record producer, Joel Dorn, Gospel Music is a love letter to the music.
Featuring 18 tracks, numerous cornerstone artists from the golden age of gospel are presented, including icons like Mahalia Jackson (“My God Is Real”), The Staple Singers (“Stand By Me”), The Soul Stirrers (“The Last Mile Of The Way”) and The Original Five Blind Boys of Alabama (“This May Be The Last Time”). Lesser known, but equally important contributors to the pantheon are also well represented, including acts like The Swan Silvertones (“Oh Mary Don’t You Weep”), Dorothy Love Coates (“Strange Man”), Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet (“Go Where I Send Thee”) and The Consolers (“Waiting For My Child”).
Gospel Music plays like a long lost radio station that used to be found at the far end of the dial, but that no longer exists in modern America. It was programmed that way purposely. Not meant to be confused as a historic or scholarly presentation of the music, Friedlander and Dorn’s intention was to simply provide an amazing listening experience; one that connected on a visceral level true to the music’s original intention. A simple introductory note from Dorn and a few choice photos by Friedlander set the tone for the compilation. The rest is left to the ears and, ultimately, the heart.