Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Never Judge a Gospel Record - Ever.

 So I was visiting the local thrift chain today, digging through the LP bins, when I spotted this Greeley family faith-based recording, from the Parker Quartet, entitled Unshackled, featuring former Shook-Parker Gospel Singers members Don and Alvera Parker.

The Shook-Parker foursome disbanded in 1960, after releasing two fantastic old-fashioned country gospel albums.

While the Shook side of the group went on to record several albums, I hadn't seen anything from the Parker side, until today. There was no year indicated on the album. but I noticed it was a Rite pressing. According this fantastic Rite record pressing site, I was able to determine that it was recorded in 1971. The pink-colored label on Unshackled noted the price was half off the $1.99, so I decided to invest a buck in yet-another Colorado religious LP (not that the discount would have mattered, as I still would have purchased it, at $1.99 - 😀).

So I get home, and put my latest vinyl find on the turntable. Sure enough the album was your typical family, heavy-harmony, gospel recording. So I leave the room, to make lunch, with the record playing in the background. Then I hear this:

(2:34 - wait for the surf rock-vibe, starting at :43)


Oh it gets better. Yet another surprise, from the next cut - a moody, Byrds-vibe, instrumental:


The back of the album indicated that it was sold at "church activities and meetings." Don and Alvera later moved to Longmont.  Alvera passed away in 1997. Don passed away in 2011.

Don and Alvera Parker tombstone - Lyons Cemetery, Lyons, CO
 (note the name of the LP is added to the tombstone).

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