Eugene Williams and Sister Lee Ida Brown and the Houston Interdenominational Choir: Help Your Brother
From Seek Ye First the Kingdom (ABC Songbird, 1974)
Gladys McFadden & The Loving Sisters: Never Gonna Turn Around
From Running Short Of Love, Today (ABC Peacock, 1977)
Freda Bush: City Called Heaven
From Songs of Faith and Inspiration (Aclassye, 1976)
One running joke re: gospel albums is how long “artist” names are. Of course, that’s partially because it’s not just the singers or bands being repped, but often times, their entire congregation (or, in this case, the name of their choir). Anyways, EWSLIDHIC (try sounding that out!) recorded with ABC’s Songbird subsidiary, which, along with Peacock, were two of the major gospel imprints, founded by Don Robey, then bought by ABC in the 1970s. “Help Your Brother” doesn’t have the most scintillating of arrangements but what won me over was the Houston Interdenominational Choir building that chorus up. “Peace” was, I felt, a stronger song overall (especially the strong rhythm section) and again, it’s the HIC that absolutely sell just how good it is. The hook is simply marvelous.
Gladys McFadden and The Loving Sisters come lovely with this latter ’70s album on Peacock that has some masterful soul/funk influences running through it, especially on this mellow track. Like the Art Reynolds Singers’ song from the other day, this is another one of those tunes that’s so close to being secular, you’d have consciously remind yourself that it’s not. 1
For this post’s closer, I wanted to play off the electric piano on McFadden’s song but we’re now flipping from ABC Records to the small private press reach of Freda Bush and her album on Aclassye. 2 I’m not 100% positive, but I’m guessing this is a Wurlitzer here (though it’s a 50/50 choice between that or a Rhodes) and it introduces that main melody that Bush herself then ports over into her vocals. I find the song to be unpolished in all the best ways and even those out-of-place synths that enter midway through can’t take away from it.