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Prisoner Soul

All About the SOUL MrsWoodsrules

 
Posted

Absolutely spell bounding story of how U.S. in mates were allowed to form bands and produce music inside, even George Kerr ex of Motown came in to help these guys produce great music.

This was broadcast on R4 this afternoon.

5 star recommended listening, see the link for more details.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rtzdx

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Posted

Oh yeah I remember listening to it by accident in the car, just happened to be on, interesting, then they mentioned George Kerr and his recording machine - BOOM! Great stuff.

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thanks for sharing.

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Posted (edited)

Was Listening to Radio 4EXTRA on Wednesday evening 14th Nov. (8PM) and caught a very interesting show about inmates making their own music while serving time in prison in the USA Called,   "Prisoner Soul"

Could have done with a lot more than the half hour given to it but very interesting none the less.

Not only did they Write & record them they were pressed on to vinyl and made available to radio stations to play and were sold to the general public at Bull Riding/Rodeos

which they were allowed out to participate in under supervision, these discs are now very rare and collectors items selling for

lots of money, (sounds familliar) This was all organised by the Prison Governing Board at the time (1970's)

The Recording Studio was BETTER equiped than The likes of Duke And Sure-Shot (Quote from Program)

A couple of tracks played were Behind the Walls, I think by The Outlaws, a couple of tracks by Reginald Haynes (known By Northern and Modern Soul Collectors alike).

With The Morning, Everything Gonna Be Alright,

Legendary Writer Producer George Kerr Became involved too which made the subject all the more interesting,

We all know the legendary "They're Talking about me" - Johnny Bragg was recorded while he was in jail and we know what happened to that, But what other Gems are lurking about out there that we know nothing about recorded while Behind Bars, Maybe our American Members (or anyone for that matter) can help shed some light on this very interesting subject. And i am sure the program will be on the BBC's Website.

Hope you find the Short but Sweet Show interesting as i did, and we can generate some interesting debate and maybe some interesting Tunes.

All The Best Rick

 

 

Edited by RICK SCOTT
correction
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12 minutes ago, RICK SCOTT said:

Was Listening to Radio 4EXTRA on Wednesday evening 14th Nov. (8PM) and caught a very interesting show about inmates making their own music while serving time in prison in the USA Called,   "Prisoner Soul"

Could have done with a lot more than the half hour given to it but very interesting none the less.

Not only did they Write & record them they were pressed on to vinyl and made available to radio stations to play and were sold to the general public at Bull Riding/Rodeos

which they were allowed out to participate in under supervision, these discs are now very rare and collectors items selling for

lots of money, (sounds familliar) This was all organised by the Prison Governing Board at the time (1970's)

The Recording Studio was BETTER equiped than The likes of Duke And Sure-Shot (Quote from Program)

A couple of tracks played were Behind the Walls, I think by The Outlaws, a couple of tracks by Reginald Haynes (known By Northern and Modern Soul Collectors alike).

With The Morning, Everything Gonna Be Alright,

Legendary Writer Producer George Kerr Became involved too which made the subject all the more interesting,

We all know the legendary "They're Talking about me" - Johnny Bragg was recorded while he was in jail and we know what happened to that, But what other Gems are lurking about out there that we know nothing about recorded while Behind Bars, Maybe our American Members (or anyone for that matter) can help shed some light on this very interesting subject. And Maybe MIKE can put a link to the BBC Radio4EXTRA Show but i am sure the program will be on the BBC's Website.

Hope you find the Short but Sweet Show interesting as i did, and we can generate some interesting debate and maybe some interesting Tunes.

All The Best Rick

 

 

Google prisoner soul the huntsville penitentiary band. There is a write about them. Atb baz

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Guest Spain pete\
Posted

The escorts spring to mind  George Kerr involved 

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Posted

topics merged

 the old news article here has more info and current link etc 👍

 

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Posted

Thanks Guys,

Must have missed this first time around,

good job you lot are On The ball, must have been thinking of getting my impending "Bus Pass" at the Time 🙄 

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Posted (edited)

Another guy who performed soul in prison (& cut while there) was Baltimore's Jasper 'Syng' McGowan .........

Syng was first jailed in 1948/49. Eventually, he joined a singing 'convict' group in jail & they were dubbed the 'Wayward Sons'. This quartet started to perform, in & out of prison and became known nationally. McGowan, in conjunction with cellmate (& fellow group member) Russell Quarles also started to write songs (by the mid 60's, they had penned 450 together). Jasper got out of jail after serving much of the full term on his 1st conviction but was found guilty of an armed robbery offence & sent back 'inside' in 1958. His case was was taken up in 1962 by Mrs Betty Feldman who worked for 2 charitable Foundations that helped prisoners. She took up Jasper's case & eventually managed to win him a re-trail (on the 2nd offence) in 1964. In November 64, the group (Jasper -- 39 years old & serving 15 + 5 + 5 yrs for armed robbery; Russell Quarles -- 35 years old & serving 20 years for robbery; John Madison -- 23 yrs old & serving 30 yrs for murder/ robbery; Archie Shaw -- 35 yrs old & serving 20 yrs for larceny) performed at a big concert staged at Maryland Penitentiary. The group had already cut 2 songs, When his re-trail came up, Jasper was described as a model prisoner who was leader of the singing quartet, the Wayward Sons. He won that appeal but was not released from Maryland Penitentiary as he still had some time to serve on his first offence (also a robbery for which he had received a 10 year sentence). A re-trail on the 1st robbery conviction was asked for, also granted & when the Maryland State Attorney decided not to press on with the case, Jasper was released on 21st September 1965. Betty started a record label (Hope) & cut him on quite a few numbers.

Associated subject ... soul singers who spent time in prison (though they didn't record while inside; Wilson Pickett, Barry White, Chuck Berry, Billie Holiday, Ike Turner, Gary US Bonds, James Brown, Ronald Isley, Rick James, Bobby Brown, Billy Preston & more

AND MORE RECENT ARTISTS >> Lauren Hill, Lil Kim, Tupac (think he might be classed as a singer of sorts) + 2/3 other rappers.

 

SyngMcGowan45.jpg

Edited by Roburt
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Posted (edited)

Fascinating stuff. Hope label....

Makes sense now!

Remember the free Angela LP circulating at Bradley's records with a few top tracks on it like Dickie Wonder.

Read somewhere the voices of East Harlem were regular prison performers?

Ed

 

Edited by tomangoes
Spello
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Posted (edited)

 Original version before 

Johnny Ray 

 

Edited by the yank

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Posted (edited)

Same group, different name. I believe Johnny Bragg was

in both

 

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Posted

Always liked this 45 from the slammer, a little messy, mustn't have been any producers doing time when they cut this. A killer.. maybe more than one, oops! 

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Posted

And don't forget the Blues; Leadbelly famously had his prison sentence commuted because his playing abilities so impressed the warden.

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This was mentioned earlier but worth linking to 

 

 

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On 15/11/2018 at 23:51, chas said:

Always liked this 45 from the slammer, a little messy, mustn't have been any producers doing time when they cut this. A killer.. maybe more than one, oops! 

Wow really like this! 

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Posted (edited)
On 15/11/2018 at 23:59, Soulfusion said:

And don't forget the Blues; Leadbelly famously had his prison sentence commuted because his playing abilities so impressed the warden.

 

There’s a longstanding legend that Governor Oscar Allen pardoned Leadbelly after hearing him sing. The truth is that John Lomax had began making “field recordings” of various folk music styles, primarily on work-farms and in penitentiaries throughout the South, starting in 1933. Private grants and the Library Of Congress funded Lomax’s travels and his archiving of work-songs, reels, blues, ballads and folk songs.

Armed with a new, state of the art phonogram,John Lomax had met with and then delivered a recording of Leadbelly which was made In July of 1933 at the Louisiana State Prison in Angola.

However,Leadbelly was not actually pardoned at that time. The more mundane truth is that Leadbelly was simply eligible for early release based on good behaviour. Later, Leadbelly would be pardoned by a different Governor, Pat Morris Neff, while serving time in Texas and this is what gave credence to the earlier myth.

Edited by Soulsides
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Also bear in mind the following albums:

Edge Of Darkness - Eyes Of Love (a 1979 set recorded by inmates) 

Moments - Live At New York State Women's Prison (1970)

Power Of Attorney - From The Inside (1974 also recorded by inmates)  

 

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11 hours ago, Maxwell said:

Wow really like this! 

Imagine what a good production could've done! 

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Recently picked up a copy of "Murderer's Home" which is an Alan Lomax field recording of various incarcerated prisoners at a Mississippi Penitentiary in 1947

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