Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Atlanta Gospel: The Barnetts on Brother Love

mid-week gospel

... yesterday I was close to losing my temper (which then in a wise move of self appeasement and by remembering Biblical injunctions I was able to avoid), but indeed the advantages of keeping my composure became evident today when yesterday's problems no longer mattered. I am good at ignoring problems anyhow. This is nothing to be proud of because sometimes the problems bounce back at you and matters will actually be much worse than before. Sometimes, however, they just disappear. This is the lucky turn of events.

Today, I am even luckier with what I have to offer musically wise, that is, I've got this 45 with two formidable performances and at first hadn't much information about the artists. The label is called Brother Love Records, and my copy has no additional info whatsoever. What I do know, though, is that Brother Love was an Atlanta-based label and that The Female Nightingales released one 45 on that label (see the Georgia Soul website). At least one Brother Love 45 also features non-sacred music, namely Bobby Strickland's »After All I'm Still In Love With You / The Girl That I Love« (an unnumbered 45). This record is mentioned as completely obscure over at Sir Shambling's Deep Soul Heaven, but an update on that page, based on the expertise of Georgia Soul buff Brian Poust, reveals that this was the only non-sacred issue on this label, the others being gospel music. Says Poust, »the same Brother Love label released gospel records here in Atlanta. This [viz. Bobby Strickland's] is the only secular record I know of on the label, and all of the gospel 45s have a blue label, but the exact typeface/design. The three copies of the 45 I've ever had were all found here in Atlanta« (quoted from here). Release dates are uncertain, and a good guess is late 1970s or early 1980s. -- For completeness sake, there is at least one other label called »Brother Love Records«, out of Philadelphia, and then we have one 45 issued by »Brother Love Production«, of Akron Ohio (details here); both have nothing to do with Atlanta's Brother Love Records.

The Brother Love 45 I happen to possess (# MA 1065) features a duet of Reverend J.T. Barnett and Sister Barnett on the A side, and Sister Barnett solo on the B side, accompanied by the Central Holiness Choir. Now, from the label prints of their 45 we do not get many clues, but the best giveaway is the choir's name. It appears that this choir belonged to the Central Holiness Church of Deliverance in 1069 Washing- ton Street, Atlanta, the founder and pastor of which was and still is Bishop J.T. Barnett. What I am not sure about is who Sister Barnett is. A fair guess that she's the same person as Evangelist Blondine Barnett, first lady at the church mentioned. To my knowledge, there are no other records by Rev. and Sister Barnett.

The two sides of this 45 are very different, which is nice. The A side is a soulful version of »You Can Go On« with a forceful piano setting the beat and Rev. & Sister Barnett engaging in sort of an answer-reply tune; the male voice has the lead. The B side, on the other hand, is an ecstatic hymn in the Holiness tradition and quite a church wrecker. Mind, you all, that the A side has one - little but unfortunately noticeable - skip right in the middle... it can't be helped but shouldn't distract I hope.

Rev. J.T. Barnett & Sister Barnett: »You Can Go On« /
Sister Barnett & Central Holiness Choir: »Home Up In Glory« on Brother Love # 1065:

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