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Detroit's Independent Gospel Record Labels

Image of Bilesse logo
Image of DoRohn logo
Image of SOG logo
Image of HOB logo
Image of Inner Court music group logo
Image of Crystal Rose Inc. logo

These logos represent some of Detroit's independent gospel record labels.

Detroit's reputation as a major center for gospel music is due, in part, to the entrepreneurs who recorded the city's talented gospel artists. For example, Carmen Murphy was the successful founder of the House of Beauty (1948), the city's first full-service salon for Black women. After hearing a Good Friday concert in 1959 featuring the Reverends Charles Ashley Craig II and James Cleveland and the Voices of Tabernacle, she knew she had to share their music with others. She named her label after her salon, later shortening the name to HOB Records. The Voices' first album, "The Love of God," was historic, laying the foundation for Cleveland's uncontested reign as the "King of Gospel" and establishing the Voices as one of the most versatile choirs in the country.

Armen Boladian, the son of Armenian immigrants, grew up listening to gospel music in Highland Park. After establishing the R&B label Westbound with such acts as the Funkadelics, he recorded gospel legend Mattie Moss Clark in the mid-1960s. In 1969, he created his all-gospel label, Sound of Gospel (SOG), and released its first album, "The Gospel According to St. James." Today, SOG's catalog includes classics by the Reverend Charles Nicks, Jr. and St. James, the Clark Sisters, Thomas A. Dorsey, Minister Thomas Whitfield and the Whitfield Company, and some of the region's most popular artists.

Others with Detroit connections who have created gospel labels include Bill Moss, Sr. (Bilesse); David Gough (DoRohn); Michael J. Powell, Brian Spears, Donald Lawrence, and Ben Whitfield (Crystal Rose); Kenneth Mathies, Gregory Pearson, and Dianne Sharpe (Inner Court); CeCe Winans (Wellspring); and Fred Hammond (J. Hammond Music).

Image of music bar

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