Gospel is often the forgotten musical bridge between then and now, and its continued influence on todays sounds should not be overlooked. Sister Wynona Carr’s 1952 hit ‘The Ball Game’, a warm, innocent lesson on life played through by biblical figures on a Baseball Pitch, is a perfect example of this.
Arriving two full years before ‘Rock Around The Clock’ gave birth to rock ‘n’ roll, ‘The Ball Game’ was Carr’s first and only hit. Whilst the rest of the gospel pack simply lent their sweet, smooth voices to pre-written tunes, Carr stood out with her sultry, gravelly vocals and ambitious, self-penned songs. Carr joined the ranks of many other rising stars to record for Art Rupe’s Speciality Records, an L.A based independent famed for it’s cutting edge R&B and gospel. Though her companions Sam Cooke, Lloyd Price, John Lee Hooker and Little Richard all went on to greater things, Carr would never follow in their footsteps. Her later ventures into rock ‘n’ roll were commercially unsuccessful, and her obvious influence on the worlds first pop genre remains criminally overlooked.
You can listen to The Ball Game on the Words About Music playlists, or below.