Various Artists

Good News: 100 Gospel Greats

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The Proper label quickly joined JSP as one of the most valuable import labels in existence, reissuing stacks of important sides in the form of low-cost, high-value box sets. Its focus didn't dwell on artists either, giving space to important overviews of instruments (guitar for Hittin' on All Six, drums for The Engine Room) and styles (Bebop Spoken Here, Doughboys, Playboys & Cowboys: The Golden Years of Western Swing). Given that track record, it's no surprise to find Good News: 100 Gospel Greats, its gospel survey, an excellent summation of the genre, superior in its compilation, sound, and liner-note commentary to nearly any other set. Over the course of its (roughly chronological) four discs and 100 tracks, Good News tells the story of black gospel from the '20s to the '50s, usually with five to six important sides each from the biggest artists. Organized by disc, the set begins with the earliest recorded jubilee quartets (the Famous Blue Jay Singers, Selah Jubilee Singers), continues with the first flower of quartet singing (the Golden Gate Quartet, the Charioteers, the Dixie Hummingbirds), issues on the third disc important gospel soloists (Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Mahalia Jackson, Dorothy Love Coates), and closes with the late peak of gospel quartets (the Soul Stirrers, Pilgrim Travelers, and the Five Blind Boys of Alabama and Mississippi). One small caveat: Good News does tend to include many sides from important artists, making it less appealing to those who've already built a sizeable collection.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 3:06 Spotify
2 3:14 Spotify
3 3:16 Spotify
4 2:42 Spotify
5 3:21 Spotify
6
2:43 Spotify
7
3:09
8 3:14 Spotify
9 2:49 Spotify
10 3:19 Spotify
11 3:01 Spotify
12 2:53 Spotify
13 2:55 Spotify
14 2:52 Spotify
15 3:01 Spotify
16 2:29 Spotify
17 3:10 Spotify
18 2:44 Spotify
19 2:42 Spotify
20
2:46 Spotify
21
3:04 Spotify
22 2:40 Spotify
23 2:46 Spotify
24 2:21 Spotify
25 2:49 Spotify

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:37 Spotify
2 2:23 Spotify
3 2:19 Spotify
4 2:03 Spotify
5 2:48 Spotify
6 2:36 Spotify
7 2:27 Spotify
8 2:40 Spotify
9 2:47 Spotify
10 2:47 Spotify
11 2:56 Spotify
12 2:26 Spotify
13 2:01 Spotify
14
2:38 Spotify
15 2:02 Spotify
16
2:44 Spotify
17 2:58 Spotify
18 3:06 Spotify
19 3:03 Spotify
20 2:13 Spotify
21 2:46 Spotify
22 2:48 Spotify
23 2:36 Spotify
24 2:45 Spotify
25 2:34 Spotify

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:37 Spotify
2 2:34 Spotify
3 3:03 Spotify
4 2:50 Spotify
5 2:50 Spotify
6 2:31 Spotify
7 2:59 Spotify
8
2:43 Spotify
9
3:21 Spotify
10
2:58 Spotify
11
2:39 Spotify
12
2:43 Spotify
13
2:45 Spotify
14 3:09 Spotify
15 2:54 Spotify
16 3:01 Spotify
17 2:58 Spotify
18 2:47 Spotify
19 2:58 Spotify
20 2:52 Spotify
21 2:30 Spotify
22
2:51 Spotify
23
2:56 Spotify
24
2:27 Spotify
25 2:47 Spotify
26 3:06 Spotify

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
2:54 Spotify
2
2:11 Spotify
3 2:26 Spotify
4 2:53 Spotify
5 2:43 Spotify
6
2:17 Spotify
7 2:33 Spotify
8
2:56 Spotify
9
2:30 Spotify
10 2:23 Spotify
11 2:36 Spotify
12 2:06 Spotify
13 3:18 Spotify
14 2:54 Spotify
15 2:33 Spotify
16 2:22 Spotify
17 3:20 Spotify
18
2:53 Spotify
19 2:26 Spotify
20 2:34 Spotify
21 2:50 Spotify
22
2:57 Spotify
23 2:51 Spotify
24
3:03 Spotify
blue highlight denotes track pick