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Charming in its conjuring of a Sunday morning church service, this warm, endearing gospel classic is full of close harmonies, funky organ work and even the occasional bluesy guitar lick. Come for the voices, but stay for the songs, which are uniformly stirring in their encouragement and praise: “Victory” is a clap-along raver that exhorts believers to pray for what they need; “New Direction” celebrates fresh beginnings in Christ; and in this context, it’s impossible to hear “A Change Is Gonna Come” as anything but gospel promise.


Formed: 1927 in Trinity, TX

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Indisputably among the premier gospel groups of the modern era, the Soul Stirrers pioneered the contemporary quartet sound. Pushing the music away from the traditional repertoire of jubilees and spirituals towards the visceral, deeply emotional hard gospel style so popular among postwar listeners, the group's innovative arrangements -- they were the first quartet to add a second lead -- and sexually charged presence irrevocably blurred the lines between religious and secular music while becoming...
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Top Albums and Songs by The Soul Stirrers