Check Out This Incredible Trove of Vintage Amateur Gospel

Memphis Spiritual FourBig Legal Mess Records

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Various Artists
The Soul of Designer Records
Big Legal Mess Records

 

With 101 tracks on four discs, The Soul of Designer Records isn’t for casual listeners, but it will delight most anyone who partakes. This amazing, irresistible collection chronicles the output of the Memphis-based Designer label, which from 1967 to 1977 served as a vanity press for mostly amateur gospel artists looking to record their own 45s. Despite the artists’ nonprofessional status, not to mention the microscopic budgets, the recordings are almost uniformly excellent and exciting, marked by raw, unfeigned passion and stripped-down settings that suggest a church-ified counterpart to garage rock. From Grand Junction to Cora Bell Watkins to the Mighty Blytheville Aires, likable nobodies all, this is one terrific set.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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