Elder Roma Wilson !
Elder Roma Wilson was born December 22, 1910, in Tupelo, Mississippi, one of 10 children raised on his parents' cotton farm. When Wilson was 15, he taught himself to play the harmonica, using an instrument that his older brothers had discarded. He was ordained when he was only 17 years old and became an evangelist, preaching at different churches until he was appointed pastor of his own congregation.
When his children were still young, he and three of his sons, whom he had taught to play harmonica, often performed their unique style of religious music on the streets of Detroit. Joe Van Battle, owner of Joe's Record Shop, covertly recorded their street playing in 1948 and sold his recordings of "Lily of the Valley" and "Better Get Ready" to the Gotham label. These now legendary 78 rpm releases introduced the music of Wilson to audiences in Europe and the United States. It wasn't until the 1980s that Wilson learned of these records, and eager gospel music listeners learned the life story of the "unknown" musician identified on the recordings as "this charismatic preacher who blew harp" !
Elder Roma Wilson :
* Better Get Ready *
* Lily Of The Valley (Stand By Me) *
* Gonna Wait Till A Change Come *
* Have You Tried Jesus-He's Alright *
(Photography by Bill Steber)
Go Jesus Go !