Divinity

(“The gospel one”)

**This is a discography for Divinity Records – other Motown labels are listed here. If you’re looking for a full list of every Motown single, try the Master Index instead!**

Berry Gordy Jr. formed a number of Motown subsidiary labels during 1962. Divinity, one of the least-known labels in the Motown stable, was conceived as a dedicated imprint for spiritual and gospel music. A couple of gospel sides had come out on Motown and Tamla during the first few years of Motown’s existence (the Golden Harmoneers’ I Am Bound, the Gospel Stars’ He Lifted Me, Rev. Columbus Mann’s They Shall Be Mine), and so Gordy decided it was high time that music of a religious bent had its own specialist label.

Motown writer, producer and organist George Fowler was given the task of running the new gospel imprint, and the first release on Divinity was That’s What He Is To Me by the Wright Specials, whose pianist happened to be Fowler’s brother.

Gospel was meant to be useful for picking up sales from hitherto-neglected audiences at minimal cost; however, Divinity Records was given little attention, and Gordy eventually folded the label in late 1963. Only four singles were ever released on Divinity; a fifth, Liz Lands’ We Shall Overcome, was cut that September but never saw release. (The song itself eventually appeared on Gordy Records as a double A-side with a speech by none other than Martin Luther King, but legal wrangles prevented it from coming out until 1968.) The Gospel Stars’ Give God A Chance was the last actual Divinity release, in July 1963.

All the singles ever released on Divinity Records have now been covered on Motown Junkies. Here’s a complete list.

DIVINITY RECORDS: COMPLETE 45 DISCOGRAPHY


(Click a song title to read a full review of that side. NB: The coloured numbers after each title indicate the highly subjective mark out of ten I gave that song on the day I happened to write about it. They weren’t intended to be taken too seriously.)

6 thoughts on “Divinity”

  1. Robb Klein said:

    A lot of great Motown-recorded Gospel music was left in the can (Pronouns, Sons of Zion, Gospel Stars, etc.). It’s a shame. It should be released.

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  2. Tom K White said:

    Pleased to say there is an unreleased 1962 Motown Gospel comp coming out in a couple of weeks time… sadly it’s digital only but still: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Motown-Unreleased-1962-Gospel/dp/B00AJR085G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355521116&sr=8-1

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    • Nice to see that 2 cuts by The Pronouns are on the list, but there were several more that I taped from The Motown Vaults. I wonder why they aren’t available? Also, why are none of The Sons of Zion’s cuts available. They were one of Detroit’s best gospel group (and included Wilson Pickett (previous to their time with Motown).

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      • Of the six Unreleased 1962 sets, I’m pleasantly surprised to note the Gospel one is definitely my favourite. Some excellent stuff on there – the biggest surprise for me has to be the Burnadettes, who I’d written off entirely on the basis of their two (awful) tracks here on Motown Junkies.

        There are six “new” Burnadettes tracks on that compilation, and each and every one of them is better than their Divinity single. All of them are worth at least 5, and the best of them – “Don’t Give Up” and the spine-tingling “Lord, I’ll Never Turn Back” – would likely get big green numbers here. So, er, well done, Burnadettes.

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  3. bob mottor said:

    Found a Wright Specials 45 on Divinity 99005 today. Any one know a value,cannot find it on popsike or any of my price guides. Thanks

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