Johnnie Frierson - Have You Been Good To Yourself LP - 33RPM

Johnnie Frierson

Have You Been Good To Yourself LP


Knitting Factory

Genre: Gospel
EAN: 0826853012713
Regular price €28,00
The name Frierson may sound familiar to some. It was the last name of Wendy Rene, whose work was collected in 2012 by Light In The Attic for the compilation "After Laughter Comes Tears". And in fact Johnnie Frierson is her brother, another member of the mid-sixties Stax quartet The Drapels

But "Have You Been Good To Yourself" will come as a surprise to anyone expecting the more driving R&B of Johnnie and his siblings. The ultra-rare Home Recordings is a mix of spoken word, folk and gospel recorded straight to tape and influenced by Frierson's religious childhood and career in the music business, which was abruptly interrupted in 1970 when he was sent to Vietnam as a soldier

Treasure hunter Jameson Sweiger found "Have You Been Good To Yourself" on a compilation titled "Real Education" and under the name Khafele Ojore Ajanaku in a Memphis thrift store, but apparently the recording came from Frierson. The tapes didn't travel far: they were originally sold at corner stores and music festivals around Memphis, where Frierson continued to perform and host a gospel radio show while working full-time as a mechanic, laborer and teacher

The seven songs on Have You Been Good To Yourself are overtly religious; some, like "Out Here On Our World," are piercing and haunting; others, like the self-critical "Have You Been Good To Yourself," are more meditative. They reflect the difficult situation Frierson was in at the time of recording, distraught by his time in the military and deeply grieving the untimely death of his son. "He was really searching for an answer for himself," Frierson's daughter Keesha recalls in Andria Lisle's liner notes. "And composing and playing music were his solution."