Anita Butler’s towering “Every Day of My Life” is one of several highlights from the otherwise unknown Richburgh Record label.
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The history of gospel music is filled with small, struggling record labels, particularly in the Detroit to Chicago to Newark axis ... mom and pop operations that produce a handful of great 45s then simple vanished. The Black Gospel Music Restoration Project is packed with these mostly forgotten gems, but that comprise some of my favorite releases ever. The tiny Richburgh label from Newark released a handful of records in the 1960s and early ‘70s – most received little airplay or notoriety, although songs by the Sensational Gospel Six and the Missionary Jubilaires sometimes show up on various gospel compilations. The label’s 45s proudly proclaim the company’s bold logo, “World’s Best Spirituals.” Of the Richburgh 45s that I’ve heard, my favorite are by Anita Butler, sometimes recording with the Muse Gospel Singers. “Every Day of My Life” is a stone classic, a low and building gospel shouter featuring Butler, whose voice can sound like anybody from Gladys Knight to Shirley Caesar – on the very same song. She deserved a wider audience and it’s clear Butler sings from the heart ... and that voice is a thing of wonder. Check it out! MUSIC: “Every Day of My Life” by Anita Butler, 45 I’m Robert Darden … “Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments” is produced by KWBU, the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project at Baylor University Libraries and is funded by generous support from the Prichard Foundation.