Juanita Johnson & The Gospel Tones

Landra 492 – Juanita Johnson & The Gospel TonesClimbing High Mountains LP (first press)

Juanita Johnson Landra_492A

Folkways FTS31037 – Climbing High Mountains LP (2nd press)

Charleston 133-CR-222 – There Is A God Somewhere /He Gave It To Me (2nd press of a 45 also released privately in Michigan by the group)

In 1964, five Mississippians living in Grand Rapids, Mich., started a southern style gospel group called Juanita Johnson and the Gospel Tones. During the years that followed, the group gained considerable success, touring high schools and auditoriums throughout the United States and sharing stages with the Sons of Dixie and former members of the legendary Blind Boys of Alabama.  The releases here are from the early/mid 70s & are top quality soulful gospel.  As the group photo above shows, the group are still active as of January 2011 with founders Rev. Alfred Charleston & his wife Sister Juanita (Johnson) Charleston standing & sitting at the left respectively.  The group has released several albums & singles over the years.  Vicki Williams did the cover design for the Landra LP.  Hines & Williams share writers credits with Juanita Johnson on each track.  Group membership around this time was:  Charleston, Johnson, James Nails, Ollie Jones & Thomas Coles.  This doesn’t seem to quite match the cover photo, but these things tend to not really matter with gospel LPs from what I can tell, still quality stuff, well worth picking up.

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