Friday, August 14, 2009

Willie Morganfield on Acquarian

Willie Morganfield
Acquarian 352-1
CP-4033 - Only The Lord Is Able To Help Us
CP-4034 - I Can't See Why

Willie Morganfield (1927- )

Pastor of Bell Grove Missionary Baptist Church in the Mississippi Delta heartland center of Clarksdale. Clarksdale has rich blues heritage. Prominent in this legacy is Willie Morgansfield’s first cousin, McKinley Morganfield –better known by his childhood nickname, Muddy Waters.

Willie Morganfield :
I was born out here at Stovall, six miles out, and I stayed here until ’45. I left here and went to Memphis and left there and went to New Orleans. I stayed in New Orleans ’46 to ’48. I was with a group there called the New Orleans Chosen Five. And we traveled. I was the old Soproce Singers. They had a contract with the Soproco Company that handled the detergent.

After the contract was over, they went back to being the New Orleans Chose Five. I was with them until ’48. Then I went with the old original Kings of Harmony, who were stationed in Baltimore and New York. They were from Bessemer, Alabama. I traveled with them until 1951. Then I moved to Cleveland, Ohio, and started work there, for a construction company. I trained a group there, the Delta Friendly Four. I had two brothers singing with them, Elvie Morganfield and Otis Howard, he’s a half-brother.

Then I came to Memphis in ’59, and I wrote « What Is This ? » in 1949, and I recorded it in November 1959, twenty-seventh of November. And the thirteenth of January 1960, it was number one across the country. It sold a million copies. I started going from there – ‘Serving the Lord’,’Lord Thank You Sir » and many others that I wrote and recorded.

In 1960 I got married. The twenty-seventh of June 1960, in Memphis. My wife [Jane] is from Metcalfe, Mississippi, twelve miles out of Greenville. In 1962, we moved back to Cleveland, Ohio, and that’s where I accepted my calling into the ministry, in 1970. I started pastoring in 1972 in Fairmont, West Virginia. Morning Star Baptist Church. And I stayed there until 1975 and I moved back here. To Bell Grove. That’s where I’ve been ever since.

I Can't See Why

On the same label, also see : The Missionary Gospel Singers of Cleveland Ohio.

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