James Cleveland

Harvest Gospel

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Carmen Murphy established a beauty salon called House of Beauty in 1948, turning the basement of the business into a gospel rehearsal and practice room, but things really got moving in the 1950s when she took things a step further and started HOB Records, a gospel label that went on to release numerous sides from Shirley Caesar, Rev. James Cleveland, the Staple Singers, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Albertina Walker, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, and many others. The label itself passed through many owners over the years, including Scepter Records between 1964 and 1976, until Sonorous Entertainment, an independent Christian record label founded by Dwayne Bigelow, purchased the HOB catalog in 2011, some 3,000 recordings in all, and began issuing them in its remastered Platinum Gospel and Harvest Gospel lines. This installment for Harvest Gospel features key sides from the great James Cleveland, whose jazzy, soulful arrangements and compositions, often full of odd and startling time signatures, merged sanctified church music with secular pop and almost single-handedly dragged gospel into the modern and contemporary era.

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