Little Richard, 'The King of the Gospel Singers' (1962)
Alternately known as It's Real, Little Richard's 1962 album The King of the Gospel Singers sits in the middle of his early-Sixties departure from the earthy sounds of rock & roll in favor of the spiritual uplift of gospel. At a time when many African-American musicians were switching from sacred to secular, Richard went in the opposite direction – a fan-confounding move that was only compounded by the fact that his gospel records weren't always that great. Salvation came in the form of Jones. As the producer said in the album's liner notes, "It was truly a joy working with Little Richard in New York; though he was still very religious I noticed that he never lost his feeling for Rock 'n' Soul." Indeed, Jones helped bring out the fiery Richard of old on tracks like "Joy Joy Joy," not to mention the atmospheric soulfulness of "(There Will Be) Peace in the Valley (For Me)."