The Sweet Inspirations were formed by Emily "Cissy" Drinkard (later taking the surname Houston after marriage). In the fifties, Cissy, her sister Lee (mother to Dee Dee & Dionne Warwick), along with Judy Guions (who later became Judy Clay), Marie Epps, Larry Drinkard, Nicholas Drinkard, Ann Moss were members of The Drinkard Singers, a family-based group that marked history in 1958 by having the first gospel album to appear on a major label.
In the early sixties, a collection of female vocalists consisting of Doris Troy, Dee Dee & Dionne Warwick found themselves in great demand by producers and songwriters throughout the industry. Around 1963, Doris and Dionne dropped out of the outfit to pursure solo careers and Sylvia Shemwell (sister to Judy Clay) and Cissy Houston stepped in to fill the gap with Cissy as leader of the troupe. When Dee Dee bowed out of the group in 1965 to nurture her own recording carreer, Myrna Smith served as her replacement. Shortly after, Soon after, Estelle Brown joined the group to complete the line-up.
The ladies ventured into Philly's Sigma Sound Studio where they hooked up with Gamble & Huff staff producer, Ugene Dozier to begin laying groundwork for their next LP. Cissy's last recording date with the quartet was in October 1969, since left the group to pursue a solo career and put more focus on raising a family (I didn't bother to mention eaerlier that Cissy is the mother of Whitney Houston, I figured it was common knowledge already). The session produced the girls' next R&B hit, "Gotta Find Me A Brand New Lover" penned by Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff. With Cissy's departure, Ann Williams signed on to finish the rest of the recordings that would make up the group's fifth and final album for Atlantic; Sweet Sweet Soul, released in 1970.
If CDs aren't for you and you just gotta have that flat black plastic, then you can get it right here.
Featured cut: "At Last I've Found A Love"
For the full album, listen