Sister Wynona Carr
Classic R&B-rooted Gospel that will move anyone with a pulse -- whatever your religious inclinations. A magnetic singer and songwriter from Cleveland, Ohio, Carr also successfully crossed over into the secular world in 1955 during the second half of her stay with the Specialty label. Whether she was singing "Dragnet for Jesus" or "Ding Dong Daddy," the same quality shone through: a charming, slightly grainy voice capable of soulful power on up-tempo numbers and nuanced detail on slower ones. Her piano/upright bass/drums rhthym sections met the rockin' standards you'd expect from a label that recorded Little Richard, Lloyd Price, and Louis Jordan, and she was usually joined by a honking sax and a small cast of crooning background vocalists. Add to this lineup some memorable yet relatively unknown songs, and you have a formula for timeless music -- and one on which she consistently delivered.