The Lockhart Singers were one of the great COGIC groups to record for Chicago’s legendary Vee-Jay Records label.
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Until the rise of Motown in the 1960s, Chicago’s Vee-Jay Records was the largest African-American owned label in the U.S. Vee-Jay had its pick of top jazz, blues, R&B artists in the Windy City, from the Staple Singers to the Spaniels to Jimmy Reed and even the legendary DJ the Magnificent Montague.
Vee-Jay also had the corner on the Church of God in Christ – the COGICs – market, with top gospel acts like the Argo Singers, Bro. Isaiah Roberts and the Lockhart Singers. The Lockharts were a family quartet, led by little Esther who, to quote gospel historian Bob Marovich, sounds a lot like a gospel version of young Frankie Lymon. The Lockharts only recorded a couple of 45s, including this one – “Feed Me Till I Want No More” from 1954 ... it’s fueled by Esther’s precociously strong voice, pianist Ed Robinson, uncredited organist Maceo Woods, and an amateurish but energetic drummer.Esther would later marry, become the Evangelist Esther V. Smith and would record 9 more gospel LPs. As I record this in late 2020 -- at age 81, she is still singing regularly at the famed International Gospel Center Church on the edge of Detroit. MUSIC: “Feed Me Till I Want No More,” Lockhart Singers, 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.