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The Gospel Truth: Complete Singles Collection Limited Edition Triple Vinyl Box Set
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- Release Date 11 December 2020
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- Triple Vinyl LP
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Craft Recordings honors the music of Gospel Truth Records, a subsidiary of Stax Records, with the first-ever digital release of 25 albums from the label’s catalog. The titles will be released every week, starting March 13th, in chronological order, leading up to September’s Gospel Heritage Month. In addition to the digital reissues, the campaign will include a singles compilation, set to drop in the fall on vinyl, CD and digital formats, plus several playlists and new video content.
The Gospel Truth catalog exemplifies the dynamic heritage of Stax’s influence. Reaching beyond the realms of the black American gospel tradition, the ’70s label showcased a diverse collection of talent. Established in 1972, Gospel Truth was conceived of by Stax executive Al Bell, who enlisted the help of radio promotions pioneer and songwriter Dave Clark and label staffer Mary Peak Patterson to oversee the formation of the imprint. With a focus on moving the good word out of the pulpit and into the hands of the masses, Gospel Truth was intended to “carry the message of today’s gospel to the people on the street,” as promotional material for the label’s launch touted. But what separated Gospel Truth from other labels in the genre was that it made its music accessible to everyone. With his sharp eye for talent, Clark paired down-home, traditional gospel musicians with raw, revolutionary artists that adopted the conventions of rock, funk and soul, creating a sound that resonated with a hip, ’70s audience.
The music, sermons and other recordings included in the Gospel Truth canon, while left for several decades as either a distant memory for many involved or a relic for collectors to behold, holds up today as a collection of enduring importance. In the age of social media, the pursuit of “truth” and the importance of the “gospel” has yet to diminish. In an effort to present both concepts to a new generation of seekers, learners and doers, this collection of releases will serve to provide context for contemporary listeners. As Stax put it in the initial press materials for the imprint, “After all, it doesn’t matter if you listen to gospel quietly…snap your fingers…sing along…or to dance to it, as long as you get the message.”