It’s not too often that I dip into my collection and pull out a gospel record to feature, so today’s selection is something a little different from that which I normally bring you. Even though the track itself is a gospel song, it’s heavily drippin’ with funk and probably one of the best known/well respected tunes in the gospel funk genre.
The Stovall Sisters featured 3 sisters (Lillian, Netta & Joyce) who were born in Kentucky along with 19 other siblings – yes 22 children born to the one group of parents!! At one time or another pretty much all of the children had a stint as gospel singers but it was the aforementioned sisters who went off on their own to achieve recognition.
They had a career as both studio & touring backing singers where they performed with artists including Al Green, Ray Charles, Jackie Wilson, Etta James, Bobby Womack, Sam Cooke and countless other well-known acts in the r&b world. Few people knew, but they also provided the backing vocals to Norman Greenbaum’s massive ’69 hit “Spirit In The Sky”
The sisters growing profile and popularity encouraged Reprise Records to allow them to record an eponymous album in 1971 (their one and only album) This LP yielded three singles – one of which was a cover of Norman Greenbaum’s classic and the rest as they say is history…
For those of you eager to hear more than just one track, I’ve uploaded a new mix to my mixcloud page entitled “Funky Popcorn”. You can check it out here www.mixcloud.com/gazfunk (along with my other mixes)