After the momentary detour for Erma Franklin’s birthday, I wanted to finalize our visit to the East Coast and spend a little bit of time with my favorite women to toil in the background: The dynasty of women of clan Drinkard and friends that included Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick and their Aunt Emily, better known as Cissy Houston.
The Gospelaires/Drinkard Singers/Sweet Inspirations long toiled (rather distinctively) on a number of New York (and thought to be elsewhere) records. They’re behind Dusty Springfield on Dusty In Memphis (minor side fact is that LP’s “sweetener” was finished in New York). Under the Sweet Inspirations name they found a small bit of success on the Pop and R&B charts between 1967 and 1971.
Between 5 LPs for Atlantic in those years, one of my favorites is the exquisitely lush sophisticated soul LP that was their 4th. Somewhat a sister LP to Dusty in Memphis, it carried the same feeling of raw, righteousness and richness. My absolute favorite track is the last track, a beautiful soliloquy to childhood sweethearts that you make it to jumping the broom with. Romantic, introspective and celebratory, it’s one of the finest album closers in Soul Music history. In my opinion. Your mileage may vary.