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Ollie Nightingale

Call him a blues singer if you prefer, but Ollie Nightingale will likely always be recalled most readily for the emotionally charged Memphis soul he cut from 1968 to 1970 as front man for Ollie & the Nightingales.

Like most great soul singers, Ollie Hoskins came straight out of church musically. He was the lead singer of the Dixie Nightingales, a Memphis spiritual aggregation, by 1958, when they made their vinyl debut on tiny Pepper Records. Influenced by gospel greats Kylo Turner and Ira Tucker, Hoskins hung in with the group as they moved to Nashboro in 1962 before signing with Stax's short-lived Chalice gospel logo.

Stax exec Al Bell convinced the group to go pop in 1968, though that sanctified spirit rings through melismatically on their R&B hits "I Got a Sure Thing," "You're Leaving Me," and "I've Got a Feeling." Hoskins went solo at the turn of the decade, billing himself as Ollie Nightingale and scoring a couple of R&B chart items ("It's a Sad Thing" and "May the Best Man Win") in 1971-72. The Nightingales soldiered on, recruiting singer Tommy Tate to replace him in the studio.

Nightingale remained a popular blues and soul singer around Memphis. In 1993, he had a performing cameo in The Firm, a movie thriller starring Tom Cruise. Not long after, Nightingale began regularly releasing albums on Ecko Records. He made four in all for Ecko. The last, Ollie Style, was released after his death of complications resulting from untreated pneumonia. ~ Bill Dahl
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Nuggets Of The Golden Age Of Gospel 1945-1958

Disc 1

5. He Knows My Heart

8. Each Day

11. Mother's Song

13. Same Train

16. One Day

19. Lord's Gospel Train

20. Bedside Of A Neighbor

21. There Is Rest For The Weary

26. Walking In Jesus Name

Disc 2

1. Let Us Run

2. Come Over Here

5. No Matter How You Pray

7. Ship Of Zion

8. Jesus Bears The Cross

9. My God Is Real

11. Another Soldier Gone

13. Toll The Bells

14. I Need Thee

16. One Day When I Was Walking (I'm In His Care)

19. Lord Have Mercy

26. Old Time Religion

Disc 3

2. Our Prayer

6. Yes It's Me Lord, That Came To Thee

10. He's Alright With Me

11. I Was So Happy

14. I Want To Go To Heaven

15. Burying Ground

Disc 4

1. I Can See So Much

3. Didn't It Rain

6. Glad To Be In The Number

7. Walk With Me

15. Didn't It Rain

19. Hard To Get Along

20. Mother Bowed

23. When I Lay This Body Down

25. I Never Knew

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