The Soul Stirrers - Joy in My Soul: The Complete SAR Recordings

The Soul Stirrers - Joy in My Soul: The Complete SAR Recordings
Release Date:
January 26, 2015
Joy in My Soul: The Complete SAR Recordings
Gospel, Black Gospel, Traditional Gospel, Early R&B

The Soul Stirrers provided Sam Cooke his launching pad toward stardom, so when he started SAR in 1960, he decided to return the favor by making the gospel group the first act signed to his label.

Indeed, the mere availability of the Soul Stirrers prompted Cooke and his partners J.W. Alexander and S.R.

Crain to form SAR, an unusual and risky move for black artists at the start of the '60s, but the Soul Stirrers inspired that kind of passion, even if Specialty Records wound up cutting the group from its roster in 1959. Cooke rushed the Soul Stirrers into the studio and they cut a session in 1959 with Sam's replacement Johnnie Taylor, but he would soon depart for his own solo career, with the group bringing in Jimmie Outler to sing lead.

Outler wasn't as indebted to Cooke stylistically, but the records on Joy in My Soul: The Complete SAR Recordings -- an ABKCO/Ace release from 2015 that marks the first-ever digital release of this material (there are also four previously unreleased cuts here) -- still bear the imprint of Cooke, who produced a good chunk of this material and wrote many tunes to boot. Much of the similarity derives from a shared sensibility. While the harmonies may be firmly planted in the church, the production on these 33 tracks often resembles the nimbler sides Cooke recorded for RCA, a modernity that's accentuated by the Soul Stirrers' reliance on original material from Cooke, Alexander, Crain, Outler, and Leroy Crume. All this makes the Soul Stirrers' SAR recordings quintessentially contemporary gospel music: it's rooted in tradition but open-hearted and open-minded. Sometimes, the group might slide into sappiness ("Heaven Is My Home"), but these slight missteps are forgiven because this attitude also gave the group the slinky "God Is Standing By," the rolling "No Need to Worry," a wildly imaginative rearrangement of "Amazing Grace," and many other lively surprises that keep this feeling fresh and alive, even when the production sometimes bears all the hallmarks of its time.

I'm a Pilgrim / Senior Roy CrainThe Soul Stirrers3:02
Listen to the Angels Sing / Leroy Crume / Jimmie OutlerThe Soul Stirrers3:03
Jesus Be a Fence Around Me / Sam CookeThe Soul Stirrers2:27
Toiling On / Leroy CrumeThe Soul Stirrers2:20
He's Been a Shelter for Me / Sam CookeThe Soul Stirrers2:51
Stand by Me Father / Sam CookeThe Soul Stirrers2:46
Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone / George AllenThe Soul Stirrers2:43
Don't Leave Me Alone / Leroy CrumeThe Soul Stirrers2:16
I'm Thankful / Richard GibbsThe Soul Stirrers2:22
I Love the Lord / Paul FosterThe Soul Stirrers2:46
He Cares / Barbara GrantThe Soul Stirrers2:41
Wade in the Water / Sam CookeThe Soul Stirrers3:07
Lead Me Jesus / Sam Cooke / Leroy CrumeThe Soul Stirrers1:56
Heaven Is My Home / Leroy CrumeThe Soul Stirrers2:39
God Is Standing By / Johnnie TaylorThe Soul Stirrers2:23
Oh How I Love Him / Leroy CrumeThe Soul Stirrers2:34
Since Jesus Came Into My Heart / Charles H. Gabriel / Rufus H. McDanielThe Soul Stirrers2:56
His Love / Leroy CrumeThe Soul Stirrers2:23
No Need to Worry / Leroy CrumeThe Soul Stirrers2:41
Since I Met the Savior / Jimmie OutlerThe Soul Stirrers3:04
Praying Ground / Richard GibbsThe Soul Stirrers2:26
Amazing GraceThe Soul Stirrers3:24
Free at Last / Leroy CrumeThe Soul Stirrers3:03
Something Here Inside / Sam CookeThe Soul Stirrers2:41
Time Brings About a Change / Jimmie OutlerThe Soul Stirrers2:35
Joy in My Soul / Leroy CrumeThe Soul Stirrers2:54
Where Jesus Is / Paul FosterThe Soul Stirrers2:30
Looking Back / Brook Benton / Belford Hendricks / Clyde OtisThe Soul Stirrers3:04
Oh Mary, Don't You Weep / Sam Cooke / Leroy CrumeThe Soul Stirrers2:55
Mother Don't Worry 'Bout Me / Leroy CrumeThe Soul Stirrers2:36
Lead Me to Calvary / TraditionalThe Soul Stirrers2:55
All Over This World / Leroy Crume / James PhelpsThe Soul Stirrers2:24
When the Gates Swing Open / Rev. Thomas A. DorseyThe Soul Stirrers3:53

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