Friday, March 23, 2012

The Soul Corner - "Sweet Inspiration"

The Sweet Inspirations were backup singers to a long list of major acts, most famously Elvis Presley, and including Wilson Pickett, Jimi Hendrix, Solomon Burke and Aretha Franklin. They can be heard on the Dusty Springfield classic album Dusty in Memphis, as well Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl".
The Sweet Inspirations also had a few hits of their own in the late-60's. My favorite is "Sweet Inspiration" from 1968, written by Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham:

At this point the group consisted of Cissy (Drinkard) Houston, Estelle Brown, Myrna Smith and Sylvia Shernwell. Various other members came and went though the Sweet Inspirations long career, which started in the late 1950's. They continued recording through 2005, and have performed even more recently.

But the composition, musicianship and and most of all vocals on "Sweet Inspiration" are just perfect, a powerful love song.


Frank Fahey said...

Cissy Houston is the mother of Whitney Houston. In addition, she was the mother of Gary Garland, a 4 year starter at guard for DePaul and a 2nd round pick by the Denver Nuggets

Jim Desmond said...

And I suspect, though am not 100% sure, that Patterson Hood's father played bass on this song.

Sweetie said...

Please check out the documentary THIS TIME, which follows the Sweet Inspirations as they prepared their comeback album. Features a rare appearance by Cissy Houston.

Jim Desmond said...

@Sweetie, Thanks for reading and for the tip. Their story is a compelling one and rich material for a documentary. I will seek it out. When I was researching background for this little piece here, I read many good things about the film.

Frank Fahey said...

@sweetie.....Thanks I will definitely check it out