Sunday, 11/7/10

Leon Russell loved these guys so much—both, alas, have since passed—that, in 1974, he recorded them for his Shelter label.

The O’Neal Twins

“Jesus Dropped The Charges,” live

Take 1 (Say Amen, Somebody [1982])

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Take 2

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“It’s A Highway To Heaven,” live (Say Amen, Somebody [1982])

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“Power In The Blood,” live (TV broadcast), mid-1960s

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“He Chose Me,” live

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“He’ll Give You Peace In The Midst Of The Storm,” live, Texas (Dallas), 1981

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lagniappe

In a 2005 interview with the Post-Dispatch, Mr. [Edgar] O’Neal spoke about the early challenges. “We always had bookings and recordings, but when we started, black gospel was not readily accepted with the wide range it is today,” he said. “And the money wasn’t there.”

The O’Neals—with Edgar on piano and both brothers singing—challenged gospel tradition. “The main gospel thrust at the time (was) male quartets, and we were a piano group,” Mr. O’Neal said. “We were considered in a different category from the male singing groups. But then the quartets got into piano. It took some years as we stayed out there before our style took hold.”

St Louis Post-Dispatch, 1/17/08

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The O’Neal Twins

Fontella Bass

Chuck Berry

Hamiet Bluiett

Lester Bowie

Miles Davis

Julius Hemphill

Scott Joplin

Albert King

Oliver Lake

Little Milton

Ann Peebles

Clark Terry

Ike & Tina Turner

When it comes to musical history, few cities are as rich as St. Louis.