Monday, October 31, 2022

VA - A Capella Black Gospel, Look How the World Has Made a Change 1940-1969 [2020] (3 x CD's)



VA - A Capella Black Gospel, Look How the World Has Made a Change 1940-1969 [2020] (3 x CD's)

This recent gospel compilation from Swedish producer and collector Per Notini is a three disc, 84 track set focused exclusively on a capella singing without any instrumental accompaniment. Featuring many well-known quartets such as the Fairfield Four and Soul Stirrers as well as lesser-known artists, the set traces stylistic changes over a thirty-year period, concluding in 1969 before the ‘contemporary’ gospel era. These groups created some of the most inventive and progressive African American vocal music of the post-war period, which had a profound effect on later R&B and soul artists, not to mention artists across all other genres.

Presented in alphabetical order by group, rather than chronological, listeners can more readily compare and contrast artists from different regions of the country. Quite a few of the recordings on this compilation are considered gospel rarities, released as singles on labels such as Kno-Mar, Pepper, Scoop, Sara and Ohio, and many have never been reissued. Major labels (Aladdin, King, Decca, Savoy, Mercury, etc.) are also well represented, so a portion of these tracks are likely included on many other collections, but it’s the curation of a capella selections that makes this set unique

In the liner notes, author Ray Templeton explains how, in the absence of instruments, these performers had to work much harder to creative a distinctive sound, which required “assiduous practice, rigorous vocal technique, harmony and dynamics, honed by tireless rehearsal and keen competition.” Across the three decades of releases presented here, one can trace the “continuous innovation and development” of these vocal groups (

The first half of the 20th century, vocal group singing was one of the most progressive and inventive of African American arts. In the absence of instruments, singers had to work much harder to make sure that their own distinctive sound grabbed and held the attention of the audiences and record buyers. An amazing legacy in gospel music – three decades' worth of tracks that feature just harmony vocals, no instrumentation at all – in a rich summation of all that the style brought to American music in mid-century! 



Track list


01 Camp Meeting Choir Of Winston-salem, N.c. I'm Gonna Walk Right In And Make Myself At Home 2:12

02 Camp Meeting Choir Of Winston-salem, N.c. Search My Heart 2:24

03 Charming Bells Jesus Hits Like The Atom Bomb 2:45

04 Charming Bells Hallelujah 2:57

05 Christian Leaders Quartet If You Love God, Serve Him 2:58

06 Elite Jewels Ride On, King Jesus 3:03

07 Ever-ready Singers I'm A Pilgrim And A Stranger 2:28

08 Ever-ready Singers Two Wings 2:22

09 Evangelist Singers The World Is In A Bad Condition 2:39

10 Fairfield Four Jesus In Heaven 2:53

11 Famous Blue Jay Singers Of Birmingham Alabama Jesus Met The Woman At The Well 2:29

12 Famous Blue Jay Singers Of Birmingham Alabama Jesus Gave Me Water 2:43

13 Famous Jubilee Singers Sweet Little Jesus Boy 3:05

14 Fantastic Silveraires Steal Away 2:43

15 Flying Clouds Of Detroit John Saw A Mighty Number 2:43

16 Flying Clouds Of Detroit When Jesus Comes 2:50

17 Georgia Peach I Don't Know Why 2:39

18 Georgia Peach Give Me Strengh, Lord And I'll Carry On 3:02

19 Golden Eagles Anytime Anywhere 2:23

20 Golden Gospels Old Time Way 3:09

21 Golden Gospels New Home 3:13

22 Gospel Vocalaires Of Norfolk, Va. I'll Be Satisfied 1:38

23 Brother Green's Southern Sons I'll Make It Somehow 2:32

24 Harmoneers Before This Time Another Year 2:59

25 Harp-tones Of Cincinnati, Ohio I Made It 2:40

26 Heavenly Gospel Singers Standing On The Highway 3:09

27 Heavenly Gospel Singers My Life Is In His Hands 2:29

28 Heavenly Kings I'm So Glad I Found The Lord 2:57

29 Heavenly Kings Every Living Thing 2:20


01 Jubileers Daniel Was A Witness For My Lord 2:41

02 Jubileers Jesus Gonna Make Up Your Dyin' Bed 2:47

03 Keys Of Heaven Movin' In 2:59

04 Keys Of Heaven Something Within Me 2:50

05 Knights Of Glory I Don't Mind 2:25

06 L. & N. Gospel Singers Lord, You Been So Good To Me 2:34

07 Loving Five Gospel Singers Baptism Of Christ 2:34

08 Mcneil Choir Soon I Will Be Done 3:10

09 Masters Of Harmony In The Garden 3:21

10 Masters Of Harmony My Lord What A Morning 1:57

11 Melody Gospel Singers Of Chicago Look How The World Has Made A Change 2:32

12 Luvenia Nash Singers Great Gettin' Up Morning 3:05

13 National Clouds Of Joy Does Jesus Care 2:25

14 National Clouds Of Joy Don't Cry 2:50

15 New Salem Harmonizers Nothin' Else Can Help 2:59

16 National Independent Singers Of Atlanta, Ga. I Got Good Religion 2:37

17 Nightingales One Of These Days 2:47

18 Kings Of Harmony I Got A Mother Done Gone 3:18

19 Pilgrim Travelers I Love The Lord 2:45

20 Pilgrim Travelers Just A Little Talk With Jesus 2:32

21 Progressive Four I Ain't Ready To Die 2:27

22 Reliable Jubilee Singers Jesus, Lover Of My Soul 2:41

23 Revelators Free At Last 2:53

24 Rising Star Gospel Singers Thou Servant's Prayer 2:53

25 Rising Star Gospel Singers I Want Wings 2:58

26 Rising Star Gospel Singers What A Time 3:10

27 Seven Star Juniors Don't Know What I'd Do 2:52

28 Seven Star Juniors What A Time 1:51


01 Silver Leaf Quartet Of Florida I Love The Name Jesus 2:52

02 Silvertone Jubilee Singers Tell Me Where Shall I Be 2:46

03 Skylarks Stand By Me 2:49

04 Skylarks Something About My Lord Might Sweet 2:38

05 Smith Jubilee Singers Journey To The Sky 2:53

06 Smith Jubilee Singers Steal Away 3:14

07 Five Soul Stirrers Freedom After 'while 3:00

08 Soul Stirrers Golden Bells 2:28

09 Soul Stirrers One Day 2:58

10 Soul Stirrers He Knows How Much We Can Bear 3:03

11 Soul Stirrers Some Day 2:54

12 Southern Sons I'm Living Humble 2:36

13 Southern Sons Pray 2:28

14 Southern Echoes Sweeping Through That City 2:40

15 Spiritual Blind Boys Heal The Sick (Assumedly Mistitled For ''life's Evening Sun'') 2:51

16 Spiritual Harmonizers The Lord Is Still In Business 2:46

17 Sun Light Jubilee Singers Yes, God Is Real 2:31

18 Sunny South Singers Lordy, Lord 2:52

19 Sunset Jubilee Singers John On The Island 2:49

20 Sunset Jubilee Singers Trouble Not The Woman 3:11

21 Sunshine Quartette You Better Run 2:43

22 Traveling Four Too Late 2:39

23 Traveling Four Wake Up 2:18

24 Volunteers Travelin' Shoes 2:52

25 25. Brother Henry Lee Williams Bless The Lord 3:11

26 Wingmen Quartet Seeking For A City 2:36

27 Wings Over Jordan Choir You Got To Stand Your Test In Judgement 3:07




  1. I will spend some time listening to this and be calmed and uplifted. Thanks

    1. Good luck with that, lemonflag.
      A cappella is wonderful at times.

  2. Thanks for sharing this great compilation of A Capella Black Gospel, I was taken back at how many titles were totally unfamiliar to me!.

    1. Hi flatspin.
      I thought you would have this. I am glad I could offer something new to you.