Nashville's Nashboro records was the home of the finest gospel music in America from the early '50s to the early '90s. The label originated with Ernie Young, a jukebox stocker who opened his own record store, Ernie's Record Mart. He saw first hand the popularity of the genre, which led him to sponsor a gospel radio show on WLAC in Nashville. He also set up a basic recording studio in the back of his store, and with that, Nashboro was born.
Young and his independent label made stars out of a number of gospel performers, whom you can hear on the new four-disc collection, I Heard the Angels Singing: Electrifying Black Gospel from the Nashboro Label, 1951 to 1983.
"Electrifying" is the right word for this collection: the music is pure and powerful, with singing that will give you chills. Gospel morphed into so many things over the years, including soul, and the roots of American music can be found in bands like Skylarks, Swanee Quintet and the Radio Four.
CBC Music is streaming the first disc of the collection until Dec. 16.
I Heard the Angels Singing: Electrifying Black Gospel from the Nashboro Label, 1951 to 1983.