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SHOUT! Black Gospel Music Moments - The Angelic Choir

The famed Angelic Choir of Nutley, New Jersey, released a host of compelling albums and songs, including “The Last Request” from 1968.

In the 1960s, the most famous gospel choir in the country was the Angelic Choir of 1st Baptist Church of Nutley, New Jersey.

Most closely associated with the Rev. James Cleveland. Their song, “Peace be Still,” is so influential that gospel historian Robert Marovich even wrote a book about it.

But the Angelic Choir also recorded several fine albums without Cleveland, including The Soul and Faith of the Angelic Choir with their long-time producer and director, the Rev. Lawrence Roberts. Like all of Savoy recordings, it’s a master class in gospel music.

The LP also marked the debut of powerful soul gospel singer, Edward Anthony Taylor – whose raspy, compelling voice can be heard on “The Last Request,” another one of those wonderful gospel story songs about a wayward child who finds redemption in the end.

2341 Angelic Choir - The Last Request.mp3

MUSIC: (2341) The Angelic Choir, The Soul and Faith of the Angelic Choir LP, “The Last Request,” Side 1, Track 1, (October 8, 2023)

I’m Robert Darden … “Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments” is produced by KWBU, the Black Gospel Music Preservation Program at Baylor University Libraries and is funded by generous support from the Prichard Foundation.

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Robert F. Darden is the author of two dozen books, most recently: Nothing But Love in God’s Water, Volume II: Black Sacred Music from Sit-In to Resurrection City (Penn State University Press, 2016); Nothing But Love in God’s Water, Volume I: Black Sacred Music from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement(Penn State University Press, 2014); Jesus Laughed: The Redemptive Power of Humor(Abingdon Press, 2008), Reluctant Prophets and Clueless Disciples: Understanding the Bible by Telling Its Stories(Abingdon Press, 2006); and People Get Ready! A New History of Black Gospel Music(Continuum/Bloomsbury, 2004).