Week 20: Heavenly

By: Vincent the Soul Chef

May 11 2009

Tags: ,

Category: 1969


Focal Length:4.99mm
Shutter:1/0 sec

Hello, kiddies.

Welcome to week 20, and a rather special one I hope it will be. To all the mothers of the 4BB faithful, living or passed on, I salute you. Without them, none of us would be able to gather together each week and spread the love.

This week’s post was inspired by Soulbrotha and our good friend Cosmo, who put the funky Gospel bug in my ears and prompted me to put this little gem in my crates. It’s not that I’m overly religious or anything (although my mom is working her way to becoming an ordained minister), but this record really has been sending chills up my back for the past two weeks. Without further ado, let’s get our ears dirty this time with the Salem Travelers’ “Children Gone Astray” – because this week we gon’ have a church up in heah!

As per usual, there is very limited information on this record, released on Chess/Checker sometime during the late 60’s – most probably in 1969, but that’s just an educated guess. A lucky search landed me on their MySpace page which solidified the fact that I absolutely adore this record. Here are the highlights…


Chester Feemster, a member of Salem Baptist Church organized the male gospel quartet. They called themselves The Salem Travelers, with each member attending churches throughout Chicago. The Salem Travelers (at the time of this release) consisted of Arthur Davis, Robert Dixon, Chester Feemster, Samuel Hanchett, Talman Thomas and William Ford.

This quartet impressed the gospel public with their stylized harmonies and complex rhythms. Demonstrating soul, drive, power, and exceptional musicianship. Giving God the glory for their gift to sing. The Salem Travelers went on to record “Give Me Liberty or Death” their first single. Following recording with record labels such as Checker Records, ABC Records, One Way Records and Creed Records. In 1980 Bennie Lee Edwards Sr. joined The Salem Travelers as a bass guitar player and singing tenor added electrifying energy to the group. The group went on to record with Nashboro Records. During the Salem Travelers career they recorded over 14 albums.


Be sure to check out the two vintage performances while you’re there, or you can click here and here. Either way, they are absolutely astonishing…

This record provides a nice mental image of going to the little church on the hill, where the air is warm and the sounds are uplifting causing the congregation to “get happy”. Some of you out there will know exactly what I mean.

Now I know you all are asking yourself, what’s this record gonna do for me… well, if you give this little snippet (preview) a listen, I think you’ll be pleasantly intrigued. It’s the heavenly harmonies, kids, and a rather funky rhythm section to boot.

I’d love to tell you that there’s a copy of this fine recording out there for all of you to have for your very own, but unfortunately, the availability is limited to say the least. I’ve found just two copies of the original vinyl for sale, both of them imports – check them out here and right here!

To top things off, have a look at this early 80’s clip, originally posted on YouTube by Chester Feemster’s daughter Jacqueline, to see the soulful Salem Travelers doing their thing with “Heaven Is My Goal”!

Now, time to head off and start studying for another round of midterms… fun! I’ve got something extra special on tap for the next time we meet so until then, have fun(k) and as always, please be safe.

Peace and blessings.

46 comments on “Week 20: Heavenly”

  1. Listen up! Here’s another soulful vinyl rip from our man Vincent! As always, please leave a comment and share your opinions on the post!

    http://lix.in/-44d446 (UploadJockey)
    or http://lix.in/-4aeeca (ShareBee)

    Read more about this on our “About” page.

    17 U.S.C. 107 permits copyrighted material to be used under the “fair use” doctrine without any permission from the copyright owner. As such, as far as these files are concerned, they are clips and/or low quality reproductions of material; As such they should not be used as substitutes for retail copies of the material contained within. No currency or materials in-Lieu of same has changed hands during the download and/or distribution of these files. No monetary reward is expected and/or accepted for the content of these files. No pretense has been, nor will ever be, made that these files and their contents have ever been, or ever will be, of retailable quality.

    Still, any artist or legal copyright owner who whould rather not see their music or other creations on this blog, please leave a comment with a valid e-mail address and we will sort things out A.S.A.P. If you do download any music or any other copyrighted material, please delete download within 24 hrs and hit the record shop. Always support the real artists whenever possible!

  2. Thank you guys – looking forward to hearing this.

  3. Looks interesting….gonna check it out now! Thank you. Great post Vincent! Hope all is well.

  4. bless you again my son…

  5. Thanks for making it look better, Laf. See, I told you, you have the magic touch 🙂

    Peace and blessings.

  6. Cadet Gospel..brilliant. Thanks.
    Anybody know the the Swan Silvertones cut at the end of this link is part of an LP of simillarly funky gospel?

  7. thanks for posting

  8. Thanks , nice gospel-funk. keep up the great work

  9. Yeah, this was released on Cadet records, not Checker I believe…………..been looking for this gem too, love me some sould gospel.

  10. I love a good gospel jam, looking forward to this one! Thanks fellas!

  11. I have read at least 2 years ago an interview from Kon, he was saying that the new crazyness of japanese were gospel, I will finally can make my opinion. Thanks

  12. “paying my dues” is lush. good digging vincent.

  13. I rarely like Gospel Music but this Album has a world of passion in it!! I think it translates well through the passage of time. Thank you Guys, I love it.

  14. This is some great stuff right here. Thanks as always, guys. I’m liking the new format.

  15. thanks alot for this gem Vincent. I’m really feelin this one. Much appreciated!

  16. Much thanks. Bless!

  17. thanks good grooves (but not enough to bring me back in a church…)

  18. Again many thanks to you all for doing this! Much appreciated!

  19. I may not have the faith, but I hope I got soul, so its IMPOSSIBLE to ignore this stuff. Everything about how soul music taps into my essence of being stems from these shoots – the passion and the power that intoxicates us is so vivid and pure, it transcends religious barriers. Wonderful stuff Vincent – keep reminding us where it all comes from.

    • Very well said… I agree with the passion aspect wholeheartedly. Whether or not one believes in any one diety is immaterial, but it really is hard to ignore the fury that comes from those gut wrencing harmonies.

      • Yep…couldn’t agree more, and I think Cody’s link above (or click here) proves that point once more…that must be the funkiest track ever in the genre. And listen to the lyrics, damn…just plain fantastic!

  20. wow! thanks for this one, cant wait to listen!!! and give praise!

  21. Thanks Laf. I just got finished with this record. Great production and so many powerful voices. For something on the new, but old school gospel tip, check out Lee Williams and The Spiritual QC’s. That dude can blow.

  22. Here’s a post I just did about Lee Williams and The Spiritual QC’s
    Have a great weekend everybody.

  23. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Beautiful!! Great LP! Thanks For Finding this one Vincent. Thanks For the inspiration Soulbrotha and Cosmo!! Much Appreciated.

  25. Great Lp : ) Definitely, worth having apart of the collection for real mousic lovers.

  26. Thanks so much. I can’t wait to give this one a listen.

  27. Hey Vin,
    Sorry for being so late to comment. Great funky gospel. I wish the songs didn’t end so quickly.

  28. Can’t say i’ve got much Gospel in my collection, but this sure does sound funky!
    Thanks for another dope share!

  29. i love you guys, seriously…

  30. i’m glad god gets down

  31. Brilliant music man. There’s a world of Funky and Contemporary gospel that has been untapped.

  32. Thanks a million.

  33. thanks

  34. lovely just lovely… big thanks, this will be perfect for my night shift this week!

  35. Love that Gospel sound, thanks guys!

  36. Love it… Love it …. LOVE IT!!!!! 4bb is so dope

  37. great! thank you. Real Gospel

  38. I’m gonna save this for sunday… Just kidding. These comments prove that The Word seems to bring out best in people. Keep it up Vincent and Laf, great post! As a gospel singer myself I loves me some real Funky Gospel music, maybe something for the choir in here, huh?

  39. I would like to download this, but I am having trouble. After clicking on the link and inputting the correct password I am taken to usenet. I did sign up with usenet, but am still having trouble. Please help.

    • Hi WaxMaster… There are two options on the lix.in page. After filling in the captcha code, you want to click “continue” and not “download”. That should take you to either Sharebee or Upload Jockey. I hope that helps 🙂

      Peace and blessings.

  40. Thanks in advance

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