Brother Elray Johnson
Courier/CEI label owner Robert “Bob” Brown worked out of Fremont, OH for most of his life, and although he recorded all sorts of music there were a few soul releases such as Ike Perry and the Lyrics, the Soulations and Brother Elray Johnson. Listening to his excellent deep ballad Why Did You Take Her Away it’s quite clear that Elray was a gospel man – quite apart from his “Brother” tag. Just check out the instrumental setting, especially the great "swirling" organ, the trio of righteous ladies behind him, and the way he delivers this “sermon”. A great “little label” release. Since Johnson’s first 45 was a version of Dave Baby Cortez’s “Rinky Dink” its quite possible that the wonderful organ playing here is by Johnson himself.
UPDATE ~ Mike Cassidy has kindly written with a link to the obituary of this fine artist. You can find it here. Thanks Mike.
Ebb tide / Rinky dink ~ CEI 110123 (1971)
Why did you take her away / I’m gonna hold on ~ CEI 402514 (1974)