Tag Archives: Opal Louis Nations

The Robert Broussard Story

Partly based on telephone interviews with Robert Broussard in 2005 By Opal Louis Nations Robert Broussard is sadly one of the unheralded baritone shout leads from gospel quartet’s Golden Age. He led the jubilee-rooted Ever Ready Gospel Singers of Shreveport in 1953-1954, then switched to Nashville’s famous Skylarks Quartet near the close of 1954. He denies ever recording with the Skylarks after 1957 despite the fact that Hayes & Laughton in their Gospel Records 1943-1969 discography have him down as a member in the group on the November 15th, 1962, August 4th, 1965, and January 1967 Nashboro studio dates, and ...

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Prof. Harold Boggs (and Lula Reed): Lord Give Me Strength

Prof. Harold Boggs (and Lula Reed) Lord Give Me Strength: Early Recordings 1952-1964 Gospel Friend Records (release date: September 21, 2018) www.gospelfriend.com By Bob Marovich Perhaps one reason Professor Harold Boggs is not as well remembered, or as appreciated, as his golden era contemporaries is his penchant for copying their sound. Seemingly bereft of a distinctive style of his own, Boggs, a blind singer, emulated the prevailing sound of gospel music. In other words, listening to Boggs on Per Notini’s superb compilation of the blind singer’s initial recordings is a gospel music history lesson in audio. You hear the influence of the expansive-voiced ...

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On Jesus’ Program – The Gospel Soul of O.V. Wright

By Opal Louis Nations Overton Vertis Wright was perhaps one of the finest gospel and soul-blues singers to emerge from out of the Volunteer State. He was born to Emanuel and Helen Wright on October 9, 1939, in Lens, some thirty miles west of Memphis, Tennessee. His first public appearance was made atop a soap box in 1945 at the Temple of Eads. Even then Wright seemed to possess perfect pitch and total control over his voice. By the age of twelve Wright was singing in the choir of the Golden Leaf Baptist Church, pastored by Rev. Hamblin who recognized ...

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“Lord, Give Me Strength” – The Prof. Harold Boggs Story

“Lord, Give Me Strength” – The Prof. Harold Boggs Story By Opal Louis Nations During the dark ages of slavery, those African Americans who escaped bondage and headed north to more liberal, free states traveled “The Underground Railroad,” led by those who risked their lives in the name of freedom. Escapees from Southern tobacco plantations, cotton and rice plantations and farms made their way up through Richmond, Baltimore and Philadelphia. Others, taking the route that crossed Lake Erie into Windsor, Ontario, journeyed through Louisville, Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland or Detroit. This route also took escapees to safe houses in Seville, Medina, ...

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The Rise of Chicago’s Highway Q.C.s During Gospel’s Golden Era (1947-1964)

The Rise of Chicago’s Highway Q.C.s During Gospel’s Golden Era (1947-1964) by Opal Louis Nations When the Famous Blue Jay Singers of Birmingham, Alabama and Soul Stirrers of Houston came to Chicago during and after World War II, both the dynamic, hard-singing Silas Steele of the Jays and the yodeling, melismatic Rebert H. Harris of the Stirrers changed the course of church-going gospel quartet in ways that helped transform the Windy City into a principal hub of gospel activity. As Horace Clarence Boyer put it, Chicago became the center for the development of gospel. Many a young, aspiring quartet singer ...

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