Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Alabama Singers...are actually the Pilgrim Travelers!

So it turns out the Alabama Singers I mentioned in a previous post aren't a real group after all. I don't mean that in a Milli Vanilli way, but the record I have is an Italian bootleg of a record from a 50's gospel group known as the Pilgrim Travelers. That would explain why it doesn't sound like the late 60's, it was recorded ten years before then. It would also explain why I like it so much, the 50's is one of my favourite decades for music. Plus, the doo-wop, walking bass lines and skiffle drums are all 50's hallmarks. Of course, I say that now, but for the last 5 months, I thought it was a 60's record ha ha Anyway, this is part of the note Alex sent me....

"The real revelation is that the "Alabama Singers" do not exist! In fact these recordings are by the Pilgrim Travelers, a black gospel group from the 50's! They weren't even from Alabama! They recorded almost exclusively for Specialty Records, but they also recorded 14 sides for Andex, a small record label owned by Bob Keane. These sides were released as 45's in 1958, but it seems that they were first released on the 1957 LP Look Up! which is now out of print and very rare.

The bottom line is that the recordings are truly superb, and they have inspired me to really check out the Pilgrim Travelers and listen to many of their other recorded sides from th 50s, which are almost categorically terrific. I highly recommend them, especially if you have any doubt as to whether the Alabama Singers and the Pilgrim Travelers are one and the same."

The Pilgrim Travelers are easily found on youtube and as he mentioned, they are indeed one and the same and terrific! Thanks again for all the internet sleuthing Alex! Now the search is on for the Pilgrim Travelers, one door closes and another opens. The picture above is a 1988 re-issue that I found on ebay for 20 bucks. I haven't clicked the 'place bid' button on it...yet.

I've also relabelled the folder and here are The Pilgrim Travelers 


  1. Is your Italian record on the Signal label (LPS 26)? I picked up a copy today. "Spirituals" by The Alabama Singers. Justlooking into its history and delighted to find your info.

  2. Me too! got the alabama singers disc on Joker in italy long ago and tried to figure out who it was for years after ! just got my copy of the above repress and i'm hearing it without loads of crackle for the first time in years!

  3. Than You so much! I grew up with this record in Italy and now I now who are the real players :)