So, what is My Kind Of Gospel?

An exploration of uptempo gospel music : 1945-1965

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Waldo we know more?


Click above song titles to listen/download

Here is the first of two releases on the Bibletone label by The Waldo singers. The release of this record is noted in Billboard Magazine Feb. 25, 1950. According to The Gospel Discography, after their two records on Bibletone, they recorded one on Gotham early in 1950, then two final records for Excello in late 1953. Like much of what I post, I didn't have much in the way of additional information regarding this group. So, I did some digging around. First, I took a look in the Gospel Discography and noted that for their Gotham release (Gotham 629), they were called the Waldo Singers of Washington D.C. Then, I found the following from 1954:

This is interesting because it associates Rev. Waldo with the Waldo singers and confirms that they were recording artists from Washington, D.C. I then located this from 1950:

This ad would have been printed around 8 months after the release of the record posted. Again, it ties the group to Washington D.C. and states they are now called the Paradise Echoes, under the direction of H. J. Ford. I am guessing this is the same group, perhaps Rev. Waldo stopped his association with the group, thus the name change for a short period of time. Further digging around unveiled the following from 1983:

This was quite an interesting find. From the contents of the obituary, we see that Pastor Leroy Waldo was blind, played piano and sang. As you can hear from the record, the Waldo Singers were a piano driven group. Rec. Waldo relocated to Washington DC in 1947. It states that he preached his first sermon in 1951 and before that, he was offered a recording contract but it seems he decided not to pursue music professionally. Is this why the group was referred to in August of 1950 as formally the Waldo Singers and under new direction? What to make of the two records on Excello from 1953 as noted in the discography? Perhaps the reference to being offered a musical contract before being called to the ministry refers his 12/8/1958 ordination to the ministry, thus after those last Excello records. 

There are many questions and perhaps I am on the wrong track with all of this. Certainly, the evidence is circumstantial, but it does add up. Perhaps others will  be able to add some additional information. In the meantime, enjoy this great record from one of the many gospel groups about which, sadly, too little is known......



    I am very close with the family. I just shared the article on FB..

  2. Thank you for visiting! Perhaps the family could confirm my conjecture. Glad you enjoyed the music....

  3. The other day I was talking with Rev. Thomas Spann, longtime leader of the Brooklyn Allstars. He said that two of his sisters, Norvis Grant nd Mary Jane Marks were integral members of the Waldo Singers. Rev. Spann recalls driving the group around to programs and singing with them on occasion, but never while recording. Norvis Grant was a primary lead singer with the group, and he identified her as leading on "I Want To Live So God Can Use Me". I've made a little collection of eight of the ten known sides the group recorded for Rev. Spann. I'll let you know if I learn more.
    john g

    1. Thank you for the news John. I look forward to learning more!