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King James Version


Originally from Indianapolis, King Solomon (Vance Dalton) and Moses (James Weeden) turned up in Cleveland in 1971 after a stint in California with an electrifying and innovative Christian-themed club funk show backed by the Ebony Rhythm Band. Their performances featured bizarre Old Testament garb, complete with white wigs and canes—enough to earn this borderline-novelty act five years of steady bookings at the Ner-Raw, Pin Wheel, and Triple T lounges. King James Version never classified easily as gospel, especially after the Ebony Rhythm Band split town, leaving Solomon and Moses to link up with soul-psych heavyweights the Stone Creations. As Boddie was the epicenter of gospel in Cleveland, it’s no surprise that Dalton and Weeden ended up cutting their only single for Thomas and Louise’s humble operation. Why it ended up on Soul Kitchen instead of Bounty has yet to be explained. To capture the energy of King James' live show, Thomas brought his mobile rig to the Pin Wheel Lounge and just let the tape roll. “He’s Coming” reworks Sam & Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Comin’,” as a frantic testimonial, the sort of gospel sleight-of-hand that would be employed on scores of Bounty records. But "He's Forever" captured the real magic. With John Barry’s “Midnight Cowboy Theme” as foundation, King James Version sets off on a stirring ecclesiastical journey, whispering and screaming, building and falling, laughing and moaning … just generally testifying. But the record never made it out of the Boddie plant. The duo broke up in the mid-1970s, with Moses going solo for a few years before returning to his native Indianapolis.


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