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.
- The Pilgrim Travelers: Spoken Introduction
- The Pilgrim Travelers: All the Way
- The Pilgrim Travelers: Straight Street
- The Caravans: Since I Met Jesus
- The Caravans: What Kind of Man Is This
- Brother Joe May: It’s a Long, Long Way
- Brother Joe May: I’m Happy Working for the Lord
- Annette May: Remarks by Brother Joe May
- Annette May: Consider Me
- The Soul Stirrers: I Have a Friend Above All Others
- The Soul Stirrers: Be with Me Jesus
- The Soul Stirrers: Nearer to Thee
- Ethel Davenport: My Troubles Are So Hard to Bear
- 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