Bro. Claude Ely
Jewel Recording Studio - Mt. Healthy, Ohio
LP NO. 109
This album turned out to be a great and rare find. There isn't much hint from the preprinted stock cover that record contains many outstanding country/rockabilly gospel tracks. Note from back cover of this early Jewel pressing indicates that this was Ely's first record (for Jewel). I google the title and couldn't find the record.
Ely made his home in Florence, Kentucky which is just down the road from me. In fact, I found the album in the Florence, KY Goodwill record bin.
It has been my experience that most local artists of this vintage, recording on Cincinnati area labels like Jewel or Rite are obscure at best or lost to history. But not Ely. He wrote and recorded There Ain't No Grave (Gonna Hold My Body Down), which Johnny Cash recorded. Elvis Presley also records an Ely song and Robet Duvall used Ely's music on the soundtrack of his movie, The Apostle. See Claude Ely's wikipage.
You can find his biography, written by Ely's great nephew for sale on this claudeely.net or enjoy a brief summary of Ely's life. A paragraph mentions the recording of this album, but mentions something about the recording being released on his (Ely's) own label, Gold Star. Gold Star isn't to be found on the jacket or label of the pressing I found. This record looks like a Jewel release.
Musicians listed on the back cover include: Phil Miles - Electric Guitar, Denny Rice - Piano, J.D. Jarvis - Tamborine, Rev. Harley Hensley - Rhythm Guitar, Ray Wilson - Steel Guitar, Orangie Ray Hubbard - Bass and Hershell Lively - Drums.
Also from the back cover: He (Ely) appeared and worked on many radio stations including WCPM, Cumberland, Kentucky; WHLN, Harlan, Kentucky; WTCW, Whitesburg, Kentucky; WKIC, Hazard, Kentucky; WPFBm Middletown, Ohio; WNVA, Norton, Virgina; WCLU, Covington, Kentucky, and many others.
The ever present and multi-talented Rusty York wrote the liner notes and did the engineering chores.
Apparently a British label release a CD of some of Ely's work in 1993. From the cover, it appears like all the tracks are from his work on King Records.
Ely passed away in 1978.