The Great 1955 Shrine Concert, Live in LA, with Sam Cooke, Dorothy Love Coates and Other Gospel Greats

My neighbor Chick just brought this CD over. Man!

If you don’t want to listen to the full 74 minutes, skip to 35:30 for Sam Cooke and The Soul Stirrers and the sensational Dorothy Love Coates.

Five of the major attractions of gospel music’s Golden Age — The Pilgrim Travelers, The Caravans (featuring a young James Cleveland), Brother Joe May, the Soul Stirrers (featuring Sam Cooke), and Dorothy Love Coates’s Original Gospel Harmonettes — met on the mammoth stage of the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on July 2, 1955. Specialty Records was there with tape recorder rolling. Now, for the first time ever, this stunning concert can be heard in its near entirety, and without unnecessary overdubs that appeared on the several selections previously issued on LP. Annette May and Ethel Davenport, two powerful, if lesser known artists, also perform one song apiece.

  1. The Pilgrim Travelers: Spoken Introduction
  2. The Pilgrim Travelers: All the Way
  3. The Pilgrim Travelers: Straight Street
  4. The Caravans: Since I Met Jesus
  5. The Caravans: What Kind of Man Is This
  6. Brother Joe May: It’s a Long, Long Way
  7. Brother Joe May: I’m Happy Working for the Lord
  8. Annette May: Remarks by Brother Joe May
  9. Annette May: Consider Me
  10. The Soul Stirrers: I Have a Friend Above All Others
  11. The Soul Stirrers: Be with Me Jesus
  12. The Soul Stirrers: Nearer to Thee
  13. Ethel Davenport: My Troubles Are So Hard to Bear
  14. Dorothy Love Coates and The Original Gospel Harmonettes Medley: You Must Be Born Again / Get Away Jordan / The Fires Keep On Burning / It’s Getting Late in the Evening / You Must Be Born Again

The power and splendor that was gospel in the ’50s radiates throughout the performances on The Great 1955 Shrine Concert. The Pilgrim Travelers, with twin powerhouse leads Kylo Turner and Keith Barber, get things started in fiery fashion, followed by the dynamic Caravans, whose roster at that time included Albertina Walker and Rev. James Cleveland, who doubled as a pianist. Also on the bill were Brother Joe May, justifying his “Thunderbolt of the Midwest” nickname; the Soul Stirrers, with Sam Cooke still in the fold; and the Original Gospel Harmonettes, concluding the proceedings with a flourish. Anyone who attended certainly felt the spirit, as will anyone who listens to this magnificent 14-song set. –Ron Wynn, Allmusic

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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