The Mighty Clouds of Joy were formed in 1960 and started out in a tradition-based style. Eventually they added soul, R&B, and rock flourishes into their musical mix (one of their early hits was produced by Philadelphia soul czars Gamble and Huff) without diluting the essential religious essence of their material. The long-lived group flourished throughout the rest of the 20th century, scoring numerous Grammy awards and nominations, as well as several hit albums along the way.
Based in Los Angeles, California, the original group members include Joe Ligon, Johnny Martin (d. 1987), Ermant Franklin Jr., Artis Turnbough (d. 1999), Elmo Franklin (d. 2008), Richard Wallace, Rodney Hamilton, Leon Polk and David Walker (who also recorded several tracks with Link Wray under the name “Bunker Hill”). Tony Jeter original member in 1989 left the group later that year because of money disputes.