Sunday, August 10, 2008
The aptly named Stars Of Virginia were among the elite groups from the gospel hotbed of Richmond, VA. In a career spanning decades, this highly regarded outfit recorded for several labels, local and national, including Atlantic and King Records.
The quintet cut at least four LP's and a handful of singles for John Major's Major Recording Company (MRC). Located in Waynesboro, the prolific MRC was responsible for a wide variety of recordings from Virginia artists. The bulk of these releases seemed to be Country or Bluegrass, but there were also quite a few interesting exceptions, including some pop, garage, light psych and black gospel records.
Led by Mr. Clyde Wilson, The Stars of Virginia were responsible for countless hard hitting gospel tracks, but this is the only one we know of that could be classified as a true "funk" record. Recorded in the early 70's, "Soul Religion" stands as a great example of a record that not only delivers but actually exceeds everything its title might promise. From the opening chords of wah wah guitar to the booming bass to the tight echoing horns to the rock solid back beat and tambourine, this song has all the right elements. Top it all off with the awe inspiring vocals of a world class gospel group and this one sails into the stratosphere.
Stars Of Virginia "Soul Religion"