The Gospel Truth Reissues Set For Release
Craft Recordings announces the release of The Gospel Truth: The Complete Singles Collection, a brand new, comprehensive compilation that spotlights The Gospel Truth Records—an imprint of the legendary soul label, Stax Records. Set for a November 13th release date and available digitally today, The Gospel Truth: The Complete Singles Collection includes all 17 singles – plus their respective B-sides – issued by the imprint between 1972 and 1974. Physical formats of the title, which can be pre-ordered now, include a two-CD set, as well as a vinyl edition. The three-LP set was pressed at Memphis Record Pressing and comes housed in a handsome triple-gatefold jacket.
The collection also includes in-depth liner notes from Jared Boyd, a Memphis-based journalist and host of NPR’s Beale Street Caravan, who captured new interviews with Stax Records executive Al Bell, trailblazing gospel artist Rance Allen, and Mary Peak Patterson, who helped
establish The Gospel Truth Records label. In addition, exclusive bundles with a Gospel Truth T-shirt, plus a special gift with purchase (while supplies last), are available at the Stax online store
Jared Boyd will be participating in an interactive conversation series titled Sips And Stanzas, hosted by The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM), today in celebration of Gospel Music Heritage Month. The virtual discussion will revolve around The Gospel Truth history and current reissues. Join the event today at 4:30 p.m. CST/5:30 EST at NMAAM’s Facebook page.
Throughout 2020, Craft Recordings has celebrated the legacy of the pioneering gospel imprint. Beginning in March, all 25 albums in The Gospel Truth’s catalog were reissued digitally—most for the first time ever. Now, as we celebrate Gospel Music Heritage Month this September, The Complete Singles Collection completes the comprehensive rollout—not only including the label’s biggest hits but also unearthing rare, non-album singles and songs from artists who never released full albums on the imprint.
Established in 1972, The Gospel Truth Records was conceived of by Al Bell, who enlisted the help of leading blues and gospel promoter Dave Clark. Operating until Stax closed its doors in 1975, Gospel Truth signed a diverse collection of acts. As Jared Boyd recounts in his liner notes, “there were the various uplifting arrangements of Chicago’s Reverend Maceo Woods and his Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir. There were the evangelical harmonies of Bob Hemphill’s Birmingham-based, all-white quintet, The Commanders. The label even made way for Blue Aquarius, a psychedelic orchestra donning an earnest agenda in support of a 15-year-old Indian guru…”
However, It all began with Gospel Truth’s very first signing: Detroit’s Rance Allen, who, along with his brothers, stood out with a unique sound that blended the messages of the gospel with the popular soul, R&B and rock stylings of the day.
The Gospel Truth’s roster also included the likes of Rev. Jesse Jackson’s People’s Choir of Operation Push, who chronicled the Civil Rights struggle; Chicago vocal group 21st Century (who later scored a disco hit, “Tailgate,” under the name of 21st Creation); soprano Louise McCord, whose cutting-edge message music was a highlight on the Wattstax Stage; and Operation Push soloist, and future Grammy nominee, Jacqui Verdell. Another signing was Joshie Joe Armstead—a backing singer for the likes of Ike and Tina Turner, James Brown, and B.B. King, and an acclaimed songwriter who not only wrote alongside Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson but also penned hits for Aretha Franklin, Ruby Andrews, and Carl Carlton.