One of the most intriguing gospel record labels of the 1970s is Style Wooten’s Designer records from Memphis, TN. Designer was a ‘vanity label’. Designer put small ads in local and regional papers and magazines telling people that for several hundred dollars you got yourself a professional two song recording session in Wooten’s studio and 500 45s pressed of that session. For many smaller gospel groups who only had a local or regional following this was their only way to get recorded. By selling their 45s at (local) gospel programs and handing them out to local gospel DJ’s a lot of these groups were able to get their money back and making some extra dollars for a new recording session at Designer. Style Wooten did not only cater for the gospel community, he put similar ads in papers and magazines directed at the country & western fraternity.
In 1969 The Oakville Harmonizers walked into Style Wooten’s studio for what turned out to be their only released record session. Designer 6801 contains Little Wooden Church and Don’t Know What I Would Do Without The Lord. Both songs have Charles Irving singing lead. He’s the one kneeling on the right. The other gentlemen in the photo are standing left to right: James Mcbee, Will Mims, Jack Jackson, Tommy Johnson; Bottom row kneeling on the left James Johnson.
The Oakville Harmonizers – Don’t Know What I Would Do Without The Lord (Designer 6801)
Like so many others, O.V. Wright started his recording career singing gospel before switching to secular music. The Sunset Travelers were formed in 1950 in Memphis. They made their firs recordings for Duke records in 1953. In 1957 O.V. Wright joined the Sunset Travelers. He was a part group till 1964 when he started recording secular material. During his period as a member of the Sunset Travelers they had 5 singles released on Peacock and one album. O.V. Wright wasn’t involved in the recordings of all songs on the album On Jesus’ Program. He was still around when they recorded the song On Jesus’ Program. The mix on the 45 is slightly different (and longer) than the one used for the album. I’ve selected the longer version. Both the 45 and album were released in 1964.
In 1980 after hearing the Luckett Brothers (originally from Milwaukee) at a concert, Wright decided to record religious material after so many years. In October 1980 O.V. Wright & the Luckett Brothers recorded the album Four And Twenty Elders. One month after the recording session, on November 16, 1980 O.V. Wright passed away at the age of 41. In early 1981 the album was released on Creed a subsidiary of Nashboro out of Nashville. Creed also released a 45, with O.V. Wright singing lead on Four And Twenty Elders.
O.V. Wright singing lead with the Sunset Travelers:
- Sit Down And Rest (1957)
- Lazarus (1960)
- You Are Blessed (1962)
- Nobody Knows (The Troubles That I See) (1963)
- Glory Is Coming (1963)
- Old Blind Bartemeaus (1964)
- Another Day Lost (1964)
- On Jesus’ Program (1964)
O.V. Wright singing lead with the Luckett Brothers:
- Four And Twenty Elders (1980)
- Give An Account (1980)
- Stand Up And Testify (1980)
- He’ll Understand And Say Well Done (1980)
The Sunset Travelers – On Jesus’ Program (Peacock 3039)
Inez Andrews ( April 14, 1929 – December 19, 2012) made her recording debut, as a member of the Caravans, in 1956 at a session for Savoy. She left the Caravans in 1961 to start her own group; Inez Andrews & the Andrewettes. The Andrewettes were the Gospel Challengers (of Jamaica, Long Island). The Andrewettes and Inez Andrews split in 1965/1966. As Liz & the Gospelttes the former Andrewettes/Gospel Challengers had a succesful recording career with an album on Gospel and several singles and albums on SongBird.
Inez Andrews & the Andrewettes recorded between 1963 and 1965 five singles and two albums, all of them released on SongBird. In late 1963/early 1964 they recorded a couple of singles. Interestingly enough in that same period the Gospel Challengers also recorded a few singles. In January 1965 on a European tour they recorded the live album Live At The Munich Gospel Festival. The album was released in 1974. After returning from Europe they finished their debut album The Need Of Prayer. It was the first album to be released on the Peacock subsidiary SongBird. Andrews would continue recording 7 more albums for SongBird until 1978 when SongBird was folded. In the 1980s she had releases on Savoy, Jewel, Miracle and Spirit Feel.
Nobody Knows is taken from the album The Need Of Prayer (SongBird SBLP-200). I love the interplay between the unidentified organ player and the female voices on this one.
Inez Andrews & the Andrewettes – Nobody Knows:
Slowly but surely the artist and label discographies are getting back on line. We’re getting there in the coming days. Many of the discographies are updated and corrected. One of the updated discographies is that of The Mighty Wonders of Winston-Salem, NC.
Born again comes from their only 45 on Sav-A-Soul. This label was owned by Bro. Al Andres who had a prolific career as gospel artist himself. Andres recorded for HSH, Jewel and, of course, his own Sav-A-Soul among other labels. We’re still working on discographies of both the Sav-A-Soul label and Bro. Al Andres’ recording career.
Mighty Wonders of Winston-Salem,NC – Born Again (Sav-A-Soul 0017):
In January 2007 I started with the Just Moving On blog and website. It was fun to do, till the early months of 2011 when the blog software crashed a few times. After every crash it took my almost two days to get everything back online. The last crash in April 2011 was one too many and I decided to leave the blog offline for a couple of weeks. Weeks became months, became more than 2 years. The website remained online, although I didn’t make any updates and didn’t reply to emails. A little over a month ago I decided to get back in the saddle and get the Just Moving On blog back on line. The blog archive is beyond repair and cannot be put back online, unfortunately.
At the moment I’m transferring and updating the website and will start blogging in the coming days. All you have to do is to hold on a little while longer.
Friendly Gospel Singers – Hold On A Little While Longer: