Golden Oldie of the Week


Classic tracks that still pack the perfect punch - The Chosen Gospel Singers - 'Ananais'

Whilst we are blessed with fresh new tunes at our fingertips on a daily basis, there's a multitude of bangers still waiting for the latest generation to rediscover them.

This weeks Golden Oldie comes with a religious spin as we delve into the elusiveness of The Chosen Gospel Singers.

Experiencing a golden era in the 1940s and 1950s, gospel music, and more specifically African American gospel, began to figure in mainstream music more often. As groups began to break out of the church setting and sign record labels, gospel was seen in music halls and auditoriums rather than just religious settings.

Groups such as, The Dixie Hummingbirds and Five Blind Boys of Mississippi had billboard success in the United States, demonstrating that the traditional call and response style of gospel singing had a way of generating mainstream success in the music industry.

In the early 1950s, a young gospel group formed in Houston decided to chase the same successes. Very little is known about The Chosen Gospel Singers, founded in the aforementioned southern city, the group relocated to Los Angeles in search on a record deal.

Whilst the group secured recording contracts with Specialty Label, they were unable to hold down a consistent line-up, partly due to their semi-professional status and partly due to family commitments supposedly preventing them from touring west coast.

The group had hits such as 'One-Two-Three' and 'Prayer for the Doomed' and it was around the time of the latter release that the group had recruited Lou Rawls. Perhaps the most famous singer to have leant his tones to The Chosen, Rawls, who passed away in 2006, became a three-time Grammy winner following his exit from the group and landed seven top 50 billboard singles of his own.

Our Golden Oldie of the Week is 'Ananais'. Succumbing to traditions of gospel, the songs lyricism is of course deeply rooted in religion. The title, though misspelt, is a reference to Ananias of Damascus, a disciple of Jesus who was sent to restore the sight of Saul of Taurus.

In terms of style, 'Ananais' follows call and response accompanied with a cappella, yet the song is driven by the percussion background that carries the tune along at a pace. You probably think gospel is not for you, but this song is the perfect example of how music we listen to today can be traced back decades. 

Listen to the song on Spotify!

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