Tag Archives: Gospel

Reclaimed Soul: A Thin Line Between Chicago Soul and Gospel.

Reclaimed Soul Host Ayana Contreras explores the thin line between the Gospel and Soul scenes in Chicago during the 1960s and 1970s, and plays cuts that dip into each genre. Featuring music by The Salem Travelers, Gospel Clouds, Brother Samuel Cheatam, The Independents, and much more.187256-001

Just to illustrate the ties that bind Chicago Soul and Gospel, Samuel Cheatam rose through the ranks of both the Tabernacle Church of Prayer Choir and the Mount Pleasant Choir before self-releasing his first solo work, a working of the classic “Troubles of the World” on the Cora label in 1969. His single was produced by none other than Chuck Bernard. Chuck Bernard was a Chicagoan by way of St. Louis. He was a hip, gritty soul singer, playing in clubs and recording in the late 60s on St, Laurence, Satellite, and Zodiac. Cheatam’s Bernard-produced 45 sold well enough, leading to a reissue by West Side Chicago-based label One Way Records. A subsequent 1977 album was called “Stranger In The City”. This give-and-take was very common in Chicago, despite the historical chasm between the secular world and the sacred.

For fresh episodes of Reclaimed Soul, listen in Thursdays at 8pm CST on vocalo.org, or tune in to 89.5fm (NW Indy) and 90.7fm (CHI)

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One Day I Was Walking: Soulful Gospel from the Swan Mellarks (Update!)

Just to give you some warning… Lynnell Harris (misspelled as Lindell Harris on the label) has an amazing tone and vocals that are SOOOOO bananas.  This record was recorded for tiny Valberst Records in the 70s here in Chicago at Pervis Staples’ (of the Staple Singers) Studio.

“One Day I Was Walking” has been in my head for at least two years.  Very basic track.  Very soulful delivery. Very dope guitar work. Jive on!

UPDATE: Here are the comments from the original post for more info on this record.


Hip Hop’s Gospel Roots

primeridianTwo genres that Chicago artists have left their indelible mark on,

Gospel & Hip-Hop, were highlighted in this Sunday’s Chicago Sun-Times, with a feature profile of Simeon Viltz from The Primeridian:

From Sunday’s Sun-Times:

February 22, 2009

Like heavenly clouds, snippets of hip-hop rise from gospel music.

“Simeon Viltz, who goes by Simeon, is half of the popular Chicago hip-hop duo the Primeridian. His partner Race (a k a Darshon Gibbs) is formerly with the Late Show, a group from the Common camp. Their soulful music addresses contemporary ideals through a historical lens while providing positive inspiration.

Simeon, 34, also plays keyboard, vibes and trumpet. He has studied the blend of jubilee gospel and hip-hop.

“Rhythmically, a lot of the pioneers of rap were the pastors,” said Simeon, 34, also a teacher at the Digital Youth Network (for laptop/media usage) in Hyde Park. “There was a certain drawl and cadence they had in their sermon. With the words in their sermons they were basically rapping. Then the pianist or the organist or the drummer would be in synch. That’s what I heard early on.”