Monday, March 31, 2008

Spiritualaires of WBIL

Actually, they used to be the Spiritualaires of WBAT-AM, a station in Tuskegee, Alabama. In the late 1960s the Spiritualaires began guesting on a WBAT gospel show hosted by another gospel group, St. Mark's Traveling Four. About 1965 they got their own program on Sunday mornings.

The Spiritualaires are one of the last remaining examples from an old tradition of bluesy old gospel groups. It's a jubilee-style acappella gospel like the Charlie Jackson, or the Staple Singers. Today they're still hosting a Sunday morning radio show after six straight decades. In 1973 they moved from WBAT-AM to 580 WBIL-AM also in Tuskegee. More recently in October of 2005, they were forced to cut their half-hour program to only 15 minutes after a long-time sponsor pulled out. But after 60 years maybe they didn't mind so much.

last year casequarter put out a CD of their work. Most of it was recorded by Richard Young at LeElAn Studios in Montgomery, AL. But four magical tracks were taped live on their program on WBIL-AM.