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Album Review

The Sensational Nightingales were formed as a quintet in the 1940s (when they were known as simply the Nightingales) and have reassembled in various configurations all the way through to the present, with tenor and guitarist Joseph "Jo Jo" Wallace the only original member still working with the group. Now a quartet, Larry Moore, Horace "Sug" Thompson, and guitarist Darrell Luster round out the current lineup on Songs to Edify. The original group was anchored by the intense, rough-hewed vocals of baritone Julius Cheeks, the prototype of a hard gospel singer, but little here rises quite to the level of that legacy. The Nightingales are a solidly professional outfit, however, and the album does feature sharp group harmonies and several easy-spirited gospel shuffles, including "Please Send Lazarus" and "Separation Line."

Biography

Formed: 1942

Genre: Christian & Gospel

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

The Sensational Nightingales were assembled in the '40s. In 1957 they appeared on the Gospel Train tour with The Clara Ward Singers and five other big-name gospel acts. Members included Julius Cheeks (lead), Carl Coates (bass), JoJo Wallace (tenor), Howard Carroll (baritone), and Paul Gwens (tenor). Their noted hit was "See How They Done My Lord." One of the earliest gospel quintets, they recorded and toured throughout the 1990s. Many of their '50s and '60s sides (found on MCA reissues) feature the...
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Songs to Edify, The Sensational Nightingales
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