Brothers And Sisters Of Los Angeles - Dylan's Gospel
In the summer of 1969, producer Lou Adler gathered 27 of the best backup singers in Los Angeles to cover the music of Bob Dylan during a marathon two-day session. "Sometimes there were more than 27 voices," Adler told Rolling Stone in 1969, "because on several occasions real brothers and sisters stopped by and grabbed a part. It sounds corny, but that was the spirit of the thing. The tape stopped, but they were still singing."
Adler called his gospel-chorus The Brothers and Sisters of Los Angeles, and they made songs like "Lady Lady Lay," "I Shall Be Released" and "The Mighty Quinn" sound like they were written to be sung in church. "You can find something spiritual about almost all of his music," Adler says today. "It's something that goes beyond just being a pop song, there's always something deeper than that in a Dylan song."
The project was titled Dylan's Gospel and Ode Records released it in 1969, but its been out-of-print for decades and extremely difficult to find (source).
Text from “The Gospel According To Dylan”
The top background singers in Los Angeles are the finest in the world. They usually sing in groups of 3, 4 or 5, but for this album, they are all here together (except for a few who were in Las Vegas, but they will be here next time the Brothers and Sisters meet).
This album happened not only because of the smiles, laughs and hand-clapping of everyone during the playbacks, not only because of the party atmosphere that prevailed (the food sent in, the drinks sent in. etc...) not only because the people did not leave after the session but stayed to hear and discuss the things already recorded. Not only because Armin Steiner, the Engineer, spent a week thinking about the studio setup, placement of singers and microphones, etc... not only because there were more people singing than had been contracted (cousins, mothers, boy-friends, etc...). These were just some of the reasons, the others were...
Gene Page arranged. His brother helped, his sister contracted the fine musicians. Gene's mother and father came to hear; Carole King came to hear; Peggy Lipton came to hear and be near; John Phillips came to hear (and no one hears like John Phillips hears); Spirit came to hear; Tom Wilkes who did the cover with Barry Feinstein was there to listen and watch. So, they were all there, engineers, arrangers, conductors, watchers, listeners and singers and it happened. But what made it all happen? The songs of Bob Dylan. But he has made a lot of things happen, hasn't he!
The album was produced and directed by Lou Adler at Sound Recorders in Hollywood, California.