The Fascinating History of an Improbable Band That Recorded a Gorgeous Soulful Album in Prison

The short documentary “Edge of Daybreak” by Alix Lambert is a short, beautiful documentary featured in the online video series “The Atlantic Selects”, which tells the fascinating history about a group of men incarcerated at the Powhatan Correctional Center in Virginia during the 1970s. These men formed a band, called themselves “Edge of Daybreak” and recorded a gorgeously rich, harmonic and soulful album in just the five hours that the guards gave them to do so. Lambert caught up James Carrington, the original founder of the band, who owns a music store and plays piano for his church, and plans on continuing to do so despite overtures by music executive Jon Kirby.

I don’t know how he found out about the Edge of Daybreak, but once he did he constantly tried to get me to sign a deal with his company. Really I wanted to just leave all that behind me I wasn’t really interested in promoting it. Gospel music has always been a big part of my life and when I came home I decided to pursue gospel music. I was raised in a musical family. We all had to go to church when we was little on through. It never leaves you. They never leave you. That you were in prison or incarcerated, that’s not something to be proud of to talk about, I’m just proud of the music.