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Sacred soul veteran Elizabeth King shares a core conviction with her new single, "I Need the Lord"

courtesy of the artist

Elizabeth King took a while between the release of her first single and the realization of her debut solo album — nearly half a century. That first single, "I Heard the Voice," released on the D-Vine Spirituals label out of Memphis, highlighted Ms. King's rugged strengths as a sacred soul singer, along with her firm commitment to gospel truth.

But King's burgeoning musical career took a backseat to some life events — most importantly, the 15 children that she raised in Memphis. It was only with the 2019 reissue of Elizabeth King & The Gospel Souls: The D-Vine Spirituals Recordings that the spotlight turned back in her direction. Then came her full-length debut, Living in the Last Days, released on Bible & Tire Recording Co. (an imprint of Fat Possum) last fall.

Bible & Tire will release King's follow-up, I Got a Love, on June 24. Produced by label founder Bruce Watson and featuring the Sacred Soul Sound Section, spearheaded by guitarist Will Sexton, it's a soulfully unvarnished showcase for a singer still in full command of her message and instrument, at 78. A video for the title track was released last month, and now WBGO is proud to premiere a second single, "I Need the Lord."

Last week, King connected over Zoom with Lezlie Harrison, host of Come Sunday on WBGO. Speaking from Delta-Sonic Studio in Memphis, where she has been working on some new material, she discussed her Christian faith, her commitment to family, and her surprise at being given another chance to reach a listening public.

Watch the full interview below, and hear excerpts in an Art of the Story segment produced by Doug Doyle for WBGO News.

Elizabeth King with Lezlie Harrison

I Got a Love will be released on Bible & Tire Recording Co. on June 24; preorder here.

Lezlie Harrison is her own personal renaissance. Her constant state of evolution and growth brings with it, gifts for those those paying attention.
A veteran jazz critic and award-winning author, and a regular contributor to NPR Music.
Doug Doyle has been News Director at WBGO since 1998 and has taken his department to new heights in coverage and recognition. Doug and his staff have received more than 250 awards from organizations like PRNDI (now PMJA), AP, New York Association of Black Journalists, Garden State Association of Black Journalists and the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists.