So, what is My Kind Of Gospel?

An exploration of uptempo gospel music : 1945-1965

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Royal Chanters...back from the dead.

Click above song title to listen/download

Wow. Remember when I mentioned getting a bunch of store stock records up in Louisville? Well, I got this one as well. It is not quite as pretty as the rest. None the less, we have the Royal Chanters singing 'Joy, Joy, Joy' on the King Solomon label. This is record number 1015, their first and was recorded March 25th, 1946.

As you can see from the picture, this record was a mess. As I recall, it was sitting in a box....the bottom of the box.....and had obviously gotten wet over its time in that damp cellar. Parts of the cardboard were still sticking to the shellac and the grooves were filled with crusty deposits of 'who knows what' origin. Then, to top it off, the record is cracked in at least 4 different places. I have had the record for years and had not done anything with it. But as it sat on the shelf, it has always nagged at me. Could it be saved? 

So, I took it down and started to clean it up. I soaked the non-label parts of the record with water, loosening up the cardboard and other deposits from the grooves. All the while, not wanting to disrupt the serious cracks in the record. With time and careful scrubbing, I was able to salvage what you hear. Not too bad if I say so myself!

The flipside of the record is a song called 'Let It Be Known' and is as good as the song I posted. I have cleaned that side as well but the crusty powder is not breaking free quite as easily. I will have to work on that some more. It is not easy to do deep deep cleaning on a record that is broken in 4+ places and not cause more damage....I tell you what! I am sure as soon as I finish I will find a mint copy.....well, at least I hope I do....

The Royal Chanters recorded four records in 1946 and then they faded from the scene. The name of the lead singer was Wilbur Bell. I don't know anymore about the record. Perhaps someone can fill me in. Now, back to careful yet vigorous scrubbing.....

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