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Swanee Nightingales


Founded as an unaccompanied quintet, the Swanee Nightingales were lead by Carey Mitchell and included his brother James Mitchell, Tommy White, Sylvester Marks, and Willie Drake. They were mainstays at Peace Baptist on 63rd & Beaver, Little Rock on 76th & Central, and Second New Hope, their "home" court, on 79th & Holton. Thirteen years after coming together and with an almost entirely overturned lineup, Thomas Boddie agreed to issue their first record in 1973. The 1970s Nightingales featured vocalists Carey Mitchell, Joe Campbell, Dave Hopson, and Ted Forest, backed by James Mitchell on bass, Jerome Mitchell on guitar, and Danny White on drums. In ’77, the septet returned for two more sessions, the second of which produced the eerie "I Know The Lord Will Make A Way." Jerome Mitchell’s blues guitar elevates the song out of the gospel valley, so no one was surprised when he defected to a proper R&B band. The Swanee Nightingales would morph into the Chosen Few in the early ‘80s, re-tracking "I Know The Lord Will Make A Way" in 1986 for Bounty.


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