Founded in 1951 by independent record shop owner and radio show promoter Ernie Young, Nashville, TN’s Nashboro Records recorded some of the most potent and forceful gospel music of the time period. Although initially begun in response to overwhelming demand for gospel locally, Nashboro quickly became nationally applauded for its curatorial prowess (under the guidance of Rev. Dr. Morgan Babb of the Radio Four) and signature production style. The lightly-reverbed, clear sound of a Nashboro record is unmistakable.
Give Me My Flowers is a compilation of some of the finest cuts released by Nashboro Records, many of which have not been previously reissued. It kicks off with a total banger, The Hightower Brothers’ “Until He Comes,” which would have made an amazing cover song for Spacemen 3. Iola and Sullivan Pugh, also known as The Consolers, top off the A-side of the compilation with the intensely potent namesake track, “Give Me My Flowers”. A final highlight is “Almighty God” from Sister Pope and the Pearly Gates; dare you to get it out of your head after you hear the chorus even once.
Not only are the featured artists endlessly skilled at their craft, their songs are absolutely explosive. This is the opposite of indifference or irony; there is a mission here, steeped in a full-heartedness that can only be derived from selfless devotion.
Additionally, the songs featured on Give Me My Flowers are representative of a far too overlooked and important chapter in Nashville’s music history. These musicians, store employees and businesspeople played a critical role in building the infrastructure for independent music to flourish in their city. Naturally, it is a cornerstone in Third Man’s long-term mission to support and highlight the complete music histories of Tennessee and Michigan, from the most rightfully revered to the most critically under-represented.
All of these tracks were assembled with producer and journalist Mike McGonigal (Detroit Gospel Reissue Project, Temperature’s Rising: An Oral History of Galaxie 500) and transferred directly from the 45 collection of Kevin Nutt (Case Quarter Records, Sinner’s Crossroads radio program).