Craft Recordings Announces ‘Jesus Rocked The Jukebox: Small Group Black Gospel (1951-1965)’

Jesus Rocked The Jukebox


Craft Recordings is pleased to announce the release of a new compilation celebrating the roots of American popular music. Jesus Rocked the Jukebox: Small Group Black Gospel (1951-1965) delves deep into the Specialty and Vee-Jay Records‘ vaults, to honor such esteemed gospel groups as The Staple Singers, The Blind Boys of Alabama, The Swan Silvertones and The Soul Stirrers – several of whom would eventually cross over into the secular soul and pop radio airwaves. In his extensive liner notes, which accompany the release, gospel music author, talk show host, and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Gospel Music, Robert M. Marovich writes, “Whether stolen, borrowed, leased, or subconsciously emulated, the music of the African American church in the twentieth century has had a profound and permanent influence on popular music. Every perspiration-drenched performance by a soul singer [and] every shouting improvisation from a rock-and-roll vocalist…evokes the exuberance of black preachers, church singers, and church musicians in the throes of the spirit.”

In stores on September 15th, the 40-track compilation will be available as a 3-LP album, housed in a triple-gatefold jacket, or on 2 CDs. The collection contains some of the most sought-after sides of the genre, including “Father Don’t Leave” by the Silver Quintette and “People Don’t Sing Like They Used To Sing” by the Original Blind Boys, both long-forgotten gems that shine with new light.

The Church is where it all began: from Curtis Mayfield and Jerry Butler, who sang together in a choir before forming the Impressions, to Wilson Pickett, James Brown, and Aretha Franklin, who all sang in religious groups before making it big as soul singers. Jesus Rocked the Jukebox offers a variety of acts – some, like Sam Cooke and The Staple Singers, who became huge stars, as well as lesser-known artists, who stayed with the flock and declined to make the move to secular music, and, often, in turn, stardom.

In his liner notes, Marovich adds, “Black sacred music’s influence on popular music was inevitable if you consider that the church was the primary music school for generations of African American singers and musicians. The list of R&B and soul artists who honed their skills singing in the church choir, accompanying the church choir, or performing as part of a gospel group or quartet is prodigious.”

LP track list and CD tracklist –  click here.

Pre-order the 3-LP album on Amazon here:

Pre-order the 2-CD version on Amazon here:


Jesus Rocked The Jukebox

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