Also known as Ollie & The Nightingales and The Nightingales, The Dixie Nightingales were an African-American male vocal group who specialised in all things soul, R&B, and gospel. Founded as The Gospel Writer Juniors in the late 1950’s, the band was founded by Ollie Hoskins, Willie Neal, Nelson Lesure, Bill Davis and Rochester Neal. After Ollie left, the band’s name changed again so, with its various band member/name changes along the way, you’ll do well to keep up!
With Hoskins as lead singer, The Dixie Nightingales became one of the most prominent and successful southern gospel groups of the 1950s and 1960s, issuing their early releases through Pepper Records in 1958. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, one member that joined up was a teen-aged David Ruffin, who would later go on to find fame as lead singer of The Temptations!!
As the years went on and some members came and went, the band eventually turned to soul, not deviating as much from this path – which I find a great shame!! This early stuff is raw!! Today’s song is a perfect example of this and was released in 1966 when the band were known as the Dixie Nightingales. Backed with the gutsy wonder of Keep On Trying on the B-side, I Don’t Know is a little belter defined by mighty vocal layers and a glorious spirited piano melody…. Check it out above and listen to it’s flip-side below! Enjoy!!