In this week’s retro spotlight I chose a very special year; at least it was for me. Some of you may get that. I am going to take a look at some albums released in 1975. As I began pulling out music from this specific year I found there was enough music to create two parts to this week’s retro spotlight.
There were several live recordings released by the HeartWarming records label in 1975. One of those was the Downings, Praise Him! The Downings were coming close to the end of their career about this time period. The group would release several more albums before coming off the road.
The Hinsons were also creating a name for themselves during this time period. Chris Hawkins (Freeman) joined the group in 1974 and would remain with the group until 1979/1980. The group released two albums in 1975, one of those being Harvest Of Hits. A song that would become a standard for the group was “The Touch Of The Master’s Strong Hand”.
JD Sumner & the Stamps were touring regularly with Elvis Presley during the mid ’70s. One of the quartet’s most recognized albums was released in 1975. Live At Murray State University was the Stamps at their best. “I Can Feel The Touch Of His Hand” was always one of my favorites.
The Kingsmen were picking up steam after the release of Big And Live in 1973. By 1975 their release for Canaan Records was an album titled Jubilation. Several songs from this recording would go on to become Kingsmen classics including “Shoutin’ Happy” and “When My Feet Touch The Streets Of Gold”.
While the group may not be remembered, the songwriter in this group surely will be. Lanny Wolfe was among the top songwriters of this era. His group, the Lanny Wolfe Trio, was a mainstay in Southern Gospel music during the 1970′s. In 1975 the group released Shout It…Jesus Is Coming.
Wendy Bagwell & Sunliters had a long and storied career that dates back to the early 1960′s. The three individuals (Wendy Bagwell, Jerri Morrison, Jan Buckner) remained intact for the group’s entire career up until Wendy’s passing in the 1990′s. In 1975 the group released The Spirit In ’76.
To close out part one of 1975 is Willie Wynn & Tennesseans. Willie was known for the many years spent with the Oak Ridge Boys. This popular tenor saw several years of success with the Tennesseans. The group would release their first recording in 1975 titled Presenting. Having Elmer Cole (noted songwriter) in the group brought them many great songs. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for part two of 1975.