Rare single-sided test pressing (10" 78rpm) of the sermon "Scat to the Cat and Suie to the Hog" recorded in 1930 by Rev. J. M. Gates (1885-1941), Master test pressing of Okeh matrix 480014-A, which is a transfer of matrix 403932-B. It was issued on Okeh 8844. Why did the curiously titled "Scat to the Cat and Suie to the Hog" get such a limited release? Perhaps it was too much comedy and charm to match Okeh's idea of even a rustic sermon? The main message of the sermon was simply that people ought not to snap, nark, and claw at one another.
BIO: The Baptist preacher J. M. Gates was one of the most prolifically recorded black artists of the early century, with over 200 sides on wax between the mid-'20s and his death in 1940 (he once recorded 23 titles in a week, at just two sessions). His sermons and musical numbers appeared on a variety of labels (Victor, Bluebird, Okeh, Gennett), though Gates often re-recorded his most popular sermons — "Death's Black Train Is Coming," "Oh Death Where Is Thy Sting," "Goin' to Die with the Staff in My Hands" — for multiple labels. Gates ministered at Atlanta's Calvary Church and first recorded in 1926. Beginning in April, he recorded almost 100 sides by the end of the year. Understandably, his output slowed slightly during the rest of the late '20s, and the advent of the Great Depression resulted in a four-year period off records. He returned in 1934, and recorded about 20 more sides until his death in 1941. Experts estimate that Gates recorded at least a quarter of all the sermons that appeared before 1943. Gates is credited with introducing the gospel music of former blues artist, Thomas A. Dorsey, into the black gospel market via his crusades. His funeral drew the largest crowd of any memorial service in the city before Martin Luther King, Jr.