Memphis music

Elizabeth King: “I Need The Lord”

Back in February, we celebrated Black History Month with Sacred Soul: The D-Vine Spirituals Record Story Volume One & Two, a gospel compilation that introduced once-rare 45s to digital platforms. D-Vine Spirituals was founded by record producer Juan D. Shipp and studio engineer Clyde Leoppard, with Elizabeth King & The Gospel Souls as the label’s flagship artist. King and D-Vine started off the ’70s strong with an impassioned string of “sacred soul” singles, but by the mid-’80s, Shipp called it quits and King’s aspirations for a debut LP were left behind…until 2021. Despite all that passage of time, Shipp (in his early eighties) and King (in her late seventies) rekindled their six-decade-relationship and brought the heat on last year’s Living In The Last Days. And while others may have hung up their crown after that impressive accomplishment, you don’t just become the “Queen of Sacred Soul” without a regal sense of drive. To that point, King just released her sophomore full-length I Got A Love on June 24th. King’s rejuvenated powerhouse performance on I Got A Love makes Living In The Last Days sound like a first-round audition tape in comparison. And although the set list stems from the classic D-Vine collection, I Got A Love‘s modern style of production gives those timeless tracks a bold new set of legs. We’re a little late for Sunday mass, but this ten-track collection definitely deserves another pass around the congregation, especially with sacred soul stunners like “I Need The Lord”.

The Southern Bells: “I’ve Got To Tell It”

Although Song of the Day tries not to play favorites, in these final hours of Black History Month 2022 we’ve just gotta give you one more Memphis soul rarity from Sacred Soul: The D Vine Spirituals Record Story Vol. 1 & 2. This killer compilation’s now available on LP vinyl so you don’t need to jockey between singles on twin turntables, or if you’re strictly on streaming, you can just kick back and press play on Sacred Soul.

These singles are drenched in both faith and finesse, and now that they’re archived digitally, they’re not going anywhere. So share the twenty-eight tracks off Sacred Soul with a fellow soul-fanatic, especially today’s final highlight from The Southern Bells, “I’ve Got To Tell It”.

The Shaw Singers: “My Time Ain’t Long”

With less than a week to go in our celebration of Black History Month, we’ve gotta keep sweeping through the amazing compilation Sacred Soul: The D Vine Spirituals Record Story Vol. 1 & 2. Engineer Clyde Leoppard and Producer Juan D. Shipp poured their hearts into this ’70s Memphis label and recorded some of the steamiest gospel ever heard. Now that these nearly thirty singles are crisply remastered and on streaming for the first time, there’s no need to dig in the crates to curate a playlist of strictly D Vine Spirituals. Instead you can throw the record on and instantly transport yourself back a half-century with breathtaking pieces of Black History. They all capture a singular snapshot of ’70s Southern soul with lyrics applicable to both society and spirituality, such as those heard onThe Shaw Singers‘ “My Time Ain’t Long”.

Evelyn Taylor: “Look At Your Life”

We’re just past halfway through Black History Month but have only scratched the surface of Sacred Soul: The D-Vine Spirituals Record Story Vol. 1 & 2. This compilation preserves the legacy forged by producer Juan D. Shipp and engineer Clyde Leoppard and their incredible roster of Memphis ’70s-soul acts by digitizing these rare 45s for the first time ever. But if you’d prefer to listen to these remasters on wax, you can snag Sacred Soul on vinyl and lift up your spirits up across all four sides with steamy gospel originals like Evelyn Taylor‘s “Look At Your Life”.