‘Save Me Jesus’ by The Sons of Harmony | “Long Lost Memphis ‘70s Sacred Soul”

June 10, 2021

‘Save Me Jesus’ by The Sons of Harmony | “Long Lost Memphis ‘70s Sacred Soul”

Exclusive track premiere from the the reissue series ‘The Last Shall Be First – The JCR Records Story. Volume 2’, available on June 18, 2021 on Bible & Tire Recording Company.

Last year, Bruce Watson’s Bible & Tire Recording Company released long lost Memphis sacred soul grooves the ‘Last Shall Be First: The JCR Record Story, Vol. 1.’. ‘Vol. 2’ is coming June 18 and it more than equals its predecessor. This is just incredible, raw, impassioned music from the 1970s.

Following the widespread critical acclaim lavished upon ‘Vol. 1’ Bible & Tire Recording Co. is set to release ‘The Last Shall Be First: The JCR Records Story, Vol. 2’ on June 18, 2021 showcasing seventeen long-lost tracks culled from over 170 reels of tape discovered in a foreclosed shack outside Olive Branch, MS, the collection is a stunning time capsule of ‘70s sacred soul music captured in Memphis, TN, by radio DJ, Air Force veteran, and Baptist Pastor Juan D. Shipp for his JCR Records, an imprint of his D-Vine Spirituals label.

The original producer Juan D. Shipp

The unlikely story behind these extraordinary recordings dates back to the early 1970s, when Shipp began looking for a way to close the gap in sound quality between releases from the large sacred soul labels and the smaller, more local outfits. After stumbling onto Sun Records artist Clyde Leoppard’s Tempo Recording Studio above a burger joint in downtown Memphis, TN, Shipp embarked on a new career as a producer, recording more than 75 acts over the course of 13 years. While D-Vine Spirituals was Shipp’s flagship label, he and musicians and producers Charles Jones and Robert Bowers also recorded a variety of other artists for a secondary label named JCR, which, though perhaps a bit more rough and ready, still featured Shipp’s trademark stellar audio quality and a distinctive sound marked by deep and beautiful vocal harmonies, up-front guitar, grooving bass, explosive drums, and an ever-present overtone of rhythm and blues and country and western.

While some acts like The Calvary Nightingales and The Spiritual Harmonizers return from ‘Vol. 1’, ‘Vol. 2’ features a host of new voices including The Sons of Harmony, The Faithful Travelers, and The Canton Spirituals, whose electrifying performance of ‘Leaning On the Lord’ absolutely leaps out of the speakers. Like ‘Vol. 1′, the songs here showcase the broad range of sounds that fell under the sacred soul umbrella, from the high-octane shuffle of The Dixie Wonders’ ‘Stand By Me’ and the doo-wop waltz of The Bible Tones’ ‘Never Grow Old’ to the bluesy shout of The Dixie Harmonizers’ ‘When I’m Gone’ and the smooth R&B of The Chosen Wonders’ ‘Be So Glad.’

Released in 2020, ‘The Last Shall Be First: The JCR Records Story, Vol. 1’ was widely hailed as essential listening, a living, breathing time capsule capturing of an entire region during a particularly fertile moment in its social and musical history.

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