The Angelic Gospel Singers were an American gospel group from Philadelphia founded and led by Margaret Wells Allison. The group continued through Allison's death in 2008; the group was called "the longest consistently selling female gospel group in African American history" by the Encyclopedia of American Gospel Music.
Allison and her sister, Josephine McDowell, formed the group in 1944 along with two friends, Ella Mae Norris and Lucille Shird, who had sung with Allison in the group Spiritual Echoes of Philadelphia. The group toured extensively on the East Coast and central United States in the 1940s and 1950s and signed a recording contract with Philadelphia-based Gotham Records in 1947. Their recording "Touch Me, Lord Jesus" was a hit on R&B stations in 1949 and sold over a million records. They recorded several songs with the Dixie Hummingbirds and toured with them as well. In 1955 Gotham Records shut down due to an impending tax evasion charge; the group signed with Chess Records and recorded an album, but their contract was soon after bought out by Nashboro Records, the label which released the Angelic's output until 1982.
In 1961 the group added its first male member, Thomas Mobley, and released several albums through the late 1960s, increasing their output on Nashboro in the late 1970s with an album a year. In the following decade they moved to Malaco Records, who issued their albums through the 1990s. During this time the group began crediting themselves as Margaret Allison & the Angelic Gospel Singers. They returned to the Billboard charts in the late 1980s, when their albums I've Got Victory reached #26 on the Gospel Albums chart in 1986 and Out of the Depths reached #28 in 1987.
The Angelic Gospel Singers continued performing and touring through the mid-2000s. Margaret Allison's death on July 30, 2008 marked the end of the group's run. Bernice Cole died in 2006 at the age of 85.
Margaret Wells Allison (1944-2008),
Josephine Wells McDowell (1944-2008),
Ella Mae Norris (1944-1955),
Lucille Shird (1944-1953),
Bernice Cole (1951-1956, 1975-2006),
Thomas Mobley (1961-1973),
Geraldine Morris (1973-1974),
Pauline Turner (1982-),
Darryl Richmond (bass guitar, 1984-),
John Richmond (guitar, 1984-),