The Best Of King Gospel Various Artists (King)


Ace Records
Catalogue Id:

We have been delving into the vaults of King Records for well over 10 years now, covering most of the key Americana musical genres. Now at last we take a look at its gospel catalogue and there is no better place to start than with the BEST OF KING GOSPEL.

The expert Opal Louis Nations has selected four tracks each by the leading King gospel groups: the Spirit Of Memphis Quartet, Swan's Silvertone Singers (later the Swan Silvertones), the Nightingales (later the Sensational Nightingales), the Trumpeteers, the Four Internes, and the Cumberland River Singers. These quartet recordings were cut in Gospel's Golden Age, between 1949 and 1953.

In his notes, Nations describes how King boss Syd Nathan dipped his toes gingerly into the spiritual waters after spotting the vast potential for race and hillbilly records from his Cincinnati, Ohio outpost. As the 1940s advanced, Nathan must have been impressed by the success of his fellow independent record men with gospel music, but in the early 50s the market became so competitive that he took a backward step.

While Nathan was involved seriously in gospel, he accepted only the best. Take the quality lead singing of Claude Jeter with the Swans' and Jet Bledsoe with the Spirit Of Memphis. In particular, Bledsoe tears up the house on the 1952 live recording of Lord Jesus. A real highlight is the Cumberland River Singers' heartfelt rendition of I Wonder Who Cares, an anguished plea to congregations to fill empty church pews in the troubled era of the Korean War. The Atomic Telephone is another period gem.

The harmonies of all the groups will delight gospel and, yes, doowop fans everywhere. The sound, from the original masters, is superb.

Opal Louis Nations ends his notes with a personal sermon, which speaks for itself: 'Let us hope, with your help, that this long awaited collection sells well enough to warrant further explorations into the treasures of the mighty King gospel catalogue.'

By John Broven

Track listing

Side 1

  • 01
    It's All Right Now - The Four Internes

  • 02
    The Atomic Telephone - The Spirit Of Memphis Quartet

  • 03
    Toll The Bell - Swan's Silvertone Singers

  • 04
    My Life Is In His Hands - The Nightingales

  • 05
    Nobody's Fault But Mine - The Trumpeteers

  • 06
    Live So God Can Use You - Swan's Silvertone Singers

  • 07
    Who Is Your Friend - The Trumpeteers

  • 08
    Jesus Is A Rock - The Cumberland River Singers

  • 09
    All Aboard - Swan's Silvertone Singers

  • 10
    Seek And Ye Shall Find - The Nightingales

  • 11
    Workin' Till The Day Is Done - The Spirit Of Memphis Quartet

  • 12
    Something Within Me - The Nightingales

  • 13
    I'm Using My Bible For A Road Map - The Four Internes

  • 14
    I Wonder Who Cares - The Cumberland River Singers

  • 15
    In That Great Reunion - The Four Internes

  • 16
    Lay Down My Heavy Burden - The Trumpeteers

  • 17
    It's A Highway To Heaven - The Nightingales

  • 18
    I'm Too Close To Heaven - The Cumberland River Singers

  • 19
    Going Back To Jesus - The Four Internes

  • 20
    Long Ago (The Old Account) - Swan's Silvertone Singers

  • 21
    Where Shall I Go - The Trumpeteers

  • 22
    That Awful Day - The Spirit Of Memphis Quartet

  • 23
    Jesus Is All The World (To Me) - The Cumberland River Singers

  • 24
    Lord Jesus Parts 1 & 2 - The Spirit Of Memphis Quartet

Delivery & Returns

We offer free P&P to UK addresses. For all other territories packaging is free and postage is charged on a weight basis.

We use Royal Mail First Class for UK deliveries and standard Air Mail for all other territories, very large orders will usually be sent via parcelforce. You may cancel your order at any time prior to your order being dispatched by emailing us at ensuring that you quote your name, address and order reference number or by telephoning +44 (0) 208 453 1311 between 9am and 5pm GMT/BST, Monday to Friday. Please note: As music downloads are dispatched immediately after purchase, there is no possibility of cancelling these orders.

In the event that any products supplied to you by us are damaged or defective, we agree to replace or repair the damaged or defective products or refund the amount you paid for such goods (including postage & packaging) providing you notify us (either via post at or e-mail: ) and return the goods within 28 days of purchase. Physical goods should be sent back to us in the same condition you received them to: “Returns” Bus Stop Mail Order Ltd, 42-50 Steele Road, London, NW10 7AS. Music downloads should be returned to us via the e-mail address above including a copy of your notification.

You have the right to cancel your order within seven days of purchase, or seven days of receipt of the goods (whichever is the longer). If you choose to cancel your order, full payment will be returned to you. Returned items should be sent to: “Returns” c/o Bus Stop Mail Order Ltd, 42-50 Steele Road, London, NW10 7AS. Music downloads should be returned to us via the email address: including a copy of your notice of cancellation and order number.

Customer reviews

comments powered by Disqus

Press quotes



Related products

Customers who bought this item also bought

© Ace records 2012-2016