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Album Review

A remastered version of a Blind Boys album that was originally released in 1979 on Paula Records, an imprint of Stan Lewis' Jewel Records, The Tide of Life illustrates nicely how close hard Southern gospel is to secular soul, with tracks like "Please Remember Me" echoing a Stax Records feel and cuts like "Oh Well What Can You Do" and "Thank the Lord I'm Singing Again" coming within a whisper of Motown. This is not the vintage version of the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi from the 1950s — the one that was led by the great Archie Brownlee when the group recorded for Don Robey's Peacock Records — but this configuration still does an admirable job on Tide of Life, which is arguably the group's finest post-Brownlee recording. The title track is a gem.


Formed: Jackson, MS

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi are among the greatest singing groups in popular music history. Their smashing harmonies and the leads of Archie Brownlee not only influenced numerous gospel ensembles, but such secular artists as Ray Charles. Their origins date back to the '30s, when Archie Brownlee (Brownley in some accounts), Joseph Ford, Lawrence Abrams, and Lloyd Woodard formed a quartet. They were students at the Piney Woods School near Jackson, Mississippi. They began as The Cotton Blossom...
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