Record review: 'Joy In My Soul' by the Soul Stirrers



The best ten bucks I've spent on a new release in some time has to be the two disc set Joy In My Soul: The Complete SAR Recordings (Abkco). Produced by Teri Landi and with notes by Bill Dahl, it's just remarkable music.

Cooke's stamp on the group in the wake of his leaving them looms large — more than one singer echoes some of his trademark "yodel," and as these recordings were made for his own label and Cooke owned the publishing, he modified a few of his pop songs for his former group to sing. 

The Stirrers were a great band before and after Cooke was a member. The singers here are Paul Foster, J J Farley, Le Roy Crume, Johnnie Taylor, S.R. Crain, Jimmie Outler, Richard Gibbs and James Phelps. This is some of Golden Age gospel's greatest music. It's worth ten dollars for the four unreleased songs, alone.

This set includes two albums recorded for SAR, produced by Cooke: Jesus Be A Fence Around Me, which I own a scratchy copy of, and Encore!, which I've never even seen a copy of. You also get 3 songs from a nifty SAR compilation record, and some singles tracks, too. This thing was just expertly compiled. One of the songs on here, "Time Brings About a Change," was featured in the film Selma.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.