Friday, July 9, 2010

Bessie Griffin and The Gospel Pearls- Portraits in Bronze

The Gospels Pearls were an incredible gospel group consisting of Delores Addison, Jerry Moss, Patricia Bryant, Felma Johnson, Thelma Lewis, Tony Harris, Marlene Gwynn, Joe Clayton on Congos, Eddie Kendrix on piano, Billy Preston on Piano and Organ, fronted by Bessie Griffin and produced by Robert "Bumps" Blackwell. I never post anything about LP's, but this lineup alone merits this post.

For those who don't know, Bumps Blackwell is truly one of the most important producers and performers in Rock n Roll history. He recorded for Specialty in the 50's, produced, arranged and co-wrote a bunch of Little Richards first hits, had a hand in the careers of Ray Charles and Sam Cooke as well as countless other rock n roll groups in the 50's and 60's. I knew nothing of Mr. Blackwell's connection to this group or this album before I bought it though. Instead I found this LP in a search that is still incomplete to find a single or EP by The Gospel Pearls called "Two Little Fishes and Five Loaves of Bread" which is one of the most amazing songs I've ever heard which you can listen two below (if you have a copy that you want to sell or trade for email me please!).

Anyway, I found this album hoping that "Two Little Fishes" would be on it, and it wasn't. But the songs that were were almost as good. Particularly "Lord Don't Move The Mountain" and "Children Don't Get Weary" which both have a killer RnB feel to them. You can also listen to these songs below. I suggest that you go find a copy of this album and play it loud.

Children Don't Get Weary

Lord Don't Move The Mountain