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SHOUT! Black Gospel Music Moments - The Gospel Landers of Norfolk, Virginia

The gritty Gospel Landers of Norfolk, Virginia produced a rough and ready brand of soulful gospel music.

One of the many small gospel record labels of the 1960s and ‘70s, Pinewood Records, out of Chesapeake, Virginia, somehow managed to produce a number of superb tracks during its short 10-year run. Pinewood’s 45s are notable for their emphasis on soulful vocals and rough and ready R&B accompaniment.

Those groups had some great names, too -- including The Mighty Cherubim Gospel Singers, The Mighty Gospel Tornados, The Glorifying Vines Sisters, and The Gospel Landers of Norfolk, Virginia. Driven by raspy vocalist Sister Ruby Jones, the Gospel Landers only released a couple of 45s, “Hold On” backed with “Tribute to Mother” ... and “It’s Sweet” backed with this emotional reading of “Jacob’s Ladder.”

2420 The Gospel Landers - Jacob Ladder.mp3

MUSIC: The Gospel Landers of Norfolk, Virginia, “Jacob’s Ladder,” 45

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).