The little known Jessie Glover had a couple of 45s in the 70s on Gospel Master, a tiny Chicago label owned by Ty Daniels, as well as an LP I’ve never seen. As you might expect from its name, the label dealt with religious music almost exclusively. Hard Times, which was more concerned with Glover’s own life, was an exception, a theme much more common in the blues than any other black music genre. But the repetitive chords are pure gospel, and his vocal is impeccable, tough and uncompromising and straight from the church of course in his phrasing and tone. The accompaniment couldn’t be more simple, just a guitar, bass and drums – it could even be a demo so spare is the sound. So the onus is almost totally on Glover to deliver – which he does really well. This track was also issued on Ba-zar, which seems to have been more orientated towards secular music.
Fascinating to hear that music this down home was still being made in the 70s in Chicago.
UPDATE ~ Ray Meyers has been in touch with a lot more info on Jessie Glover. He writes "Gospel Master 5001 (Lp) - Jessie Glover "Stop And Think" issued in 1977 (songs are: Side 1 Try Jesus; Leave You In The Hands; Why Am I Treated So Bad; If I Had A Hammer; Hard Times;
Side 2 Sit Down Servant; Save A Seat For Me; Willing To Run; Stop And Think; Walk Around Heaven. ). Here's the brief info i know about Jessie Glover: He was born in Selma, Alabama, where he grew up singing gospel. He formed his own singing group in his teens and moved to Chicago hoping to also become a recording artist. In 1972 he joined Daniels 8 Record Co (which is the company that Ty Daniels had, one of its labels included Gospel Master) and since then has become one of gospel's "best". Jessie wrote Try Jesus, Hard Times and Stop And Think, from the lp. The lp "Stop And Think" is his first lp. I am aware that Jessie also recorded 2 45's on the Ba-Zar label (Ba-Zar 1003 and Ba-Zar 1005, out of Chicago), both of which you have mentioned in your listing for him. Based on my information, i would assume that the Gospel Master 45 was the original release of Hard Times and the Ba-Zar release was a later pressing for a wider market. There is a possibility that the Ba-Zar 1005 45 "I'm Willing To Run/Why Am I Treated So Bad" is actually a later pressing on Ba-Zar of Gospel Master 203, which is the "missing" 45 that has as yet not been identified.
Here's the label and song details i have for Jessie's 2 confirmed Gospel Master 45's, they are:
Gospel Master 202 Hard Times/If I Had A Hammer (released in 1973)
Gospel Master 208 Save A Seat For Me/Stop And Think, (released in 1975)
On the Gospel Master 208 45, it states that the songs were taken from the lp titled "Try Jesus"; however, on the back of my lp which was issued in 1977, the following is stated "listen and enjoy this, his first album" , which means the "Try Jesus" lp was never issued. My lp, was issued in 1977 and all of the songs listed on Jessie's 2 Gospel Master 45's are on this lp; as is the song titled "Try Jesus" which was to have been the name of the lp that the Gospel Master 208 45, was to have been taken from as well as the two songs from the Ba-Zar 1005 45.
I'mm very grateful to Ray for getting in touch with this excellent info. He also kindly supplied the image of Jessie's LP.
Hard times / If I had a hammer ~ GOSPEL MASTER 202 (1973)
Hard times / Stop and think ~ BA-ZAR 1003 (1973)
I’m willing to run / Why am I treated so bad ~ BAZAR 1005 (1973/4?)
Save a seat for me/ Stop and think ~ GOSPEL MASTER 208 (1975)
Note ~ Only Glover’s more secular releases included.
Thanks to Naoya Yamauchi for the suggestion and to Dante Carfagna as always for his discographical info.