Archive for the ‘The Selah Jubilee Singers’ Category

Tarheel Slim & Little Ann

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Listen: Security / Tarheel Slim & Little Ann
Security / Tarheel Slim & Little Ann

The musical history of Tarheel Slim is a long one. As a member of The Jubilators, he and his cohorts pulled a true fast one in 1950, when the six man group drove to New York from North Carolina with a mission in mind. On a single day, they recorded seventeen songs for four different labels, under four different names.

Initially, billing themselves as The Selah Jubilee Singers, they cut four gospel songs for Jubilee Records, before moving on to Regal Records’ studio in New Jersey as The Jubilators. Then over to Newark, recording four secular blues songs, including ‘Lemon Squeezer’, as The 4 Barons for Savoy Records. Finally, they drove back to Apollo Records in Manhattan, where, as The Southern Harmonaires, they recorded four more gospel tracks. However, Apollo owner Bess Berman realized the subterfuge. She signed them to a contract which allowed the other companies to release their recordings, providing they promoted them as a secular R&B rather than gospel.

Fast forward to ’56, by which time he and Anna Lee Sanford, now married and professionally recording as The Lovers, found themselves signed to Fire Record as Tarheel Slim & Little Ann. In addition to being a much better name, seems the label steered them in a way better direction too. Suddenly they were releasing some happening 45′s, all a seemingly perfect balance between gospel, soul and rockabilly. Despite a red hot guitar break, as one reviewer described it, for some reason, ‘Security’ has remained basically overlooked.