Tuesday, September 13, 2011

THE SENSATIONAL GOLDEN KNIGHTS OF SHREVEPORT, LA. – Thank You Jesus (Hosanna, circa 1965)


THE SENSATIONAL GOLDEN KNIGHTS OF SHREVEPORT, La. – Thank You Jesus (Hosanna, circa 1965)




In 2009, I stumbled across a local gospel 45 that I’d never heard of before:

THE SENSATIONAL GOLDEN KNIGHTS OF SHREVEPORT, LA
“Thank You Jesus” (songwriter: J. Richards)
b/w
“You’ve Been So Good” (songwriter: M. Peters)
(Hosanna 8024, circa 1965)

I’ve yet to determine the identity of the Sensational Golden Knights, but I did realize the Dallas, Texas, address listed on this Hosanna label also served as the home of Rapturea Records, who issued gospel releases, too. Perhaps one succeeded the other.

In 2010, I ran across a new piece of information about the Sensational Golden Knights after attending Ponderosa Stomp. One of the highlights of the show was catching a last-minute addition to the bill—The Relatives, who hailed from Dallas, Texas. That night the group put on an impressive set of gospel funk…something perfected during their heyday in the early 1970s.


Later, I picked up the group’s LP “Don’t Let Me Fall” released by Heavy Light Records in 2009. It contains each of The Relatives’ singles from the 1970s and five previously unreleased songs. While reading the liner notes this caught my attention:
After a stint as associate minister at a Dallas church, [Gean] West began touring with the Sensational Golden Knights in 1958 and a year later was singing with the Mighty Golden Voices. By 1961 the gospel group had settled in St. Paul, Minnesota and West hit the road with the Southernaires, a vocal group out of Shreveport, Louisiana.
It’s not clear to me if West actually appears on the Sensational Golden Knights 45 issued on Hosanna. I’m also not sure about the release date; circa 1965 seems about right. I had hoped to clear up some of these mysteries at the Ponderosa Stomp 2011. However, I recently learned that the Relatives are no longer on this year’s schedule. Perhaps others can shed some light on this situation.

While you're at it, check out Andrew Dansby's article "The Relatives: Earth-Shaking Gospel" published in August 2010.

4 comments:

  1. So sad The Relatives aren't performing at this years Stomp - DANG! Great post with some good mysteries nonetheless.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just in from Noel Waggener of Heavy Light Records:
    -----

    Cool post. Thanks for sending. Indeed, this was a proto-Relatives group lead by Rev. Gean West. He toured non-stop from 1956 on with various vocal groups before forming The Relatives in 1970. Rev. Gean masterminded (and sang on) several Hosanna 45's, the most spectacular of which is The Relatives' "Don't Let Me Fall."

    I'm happy to say that Rev. West, at 74, is still out there spreading The Word with The Relatives and knocking out crowds worldwide. The Relatives tour literally took them around the world this summer with stops in France and Australia. They're currently recording an album of new material with Jim Eno of Spoon producing.

    best,
    Noel Waggener
    Heavy Light Records

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