This week’s smack down has three versions of the same song recorded over the course of the last 13 years. As the title implies, let’s take a look at the Kyla Rowland tune, “This Old Sinner Testifies”. The first version of the song was recorded by Gold City on their 1997 recording, What A Great Lifestyle. This was a strong Gold City recording even though it really only sparked one hit in “God’s Building A Church”. The group sings as a unit on the first verse of the song. Jay Parrack, tenor at the time, took the lead on the second verse and the song actually closes without much flare. This is the kind of song that deserves a turn around, but Gold City decides to leave that off their version. Gold City’s clip is the first verse and chorus.
Next up on the list is a 2001 version by the Anchormen. Found on their Unsinkable recording, their version is nearly the same arrangement used by Gold City. The group, as a unit, sings the first verse while tenor Steve Ladd (yes, the same Steve Ladd that would later sing tenor for Gold City) takes the second verse. Their 2:24 version nearly matches that of Gold City’s 2:45 version. No variation in the arrangement definitely leaves the Anchormen’s version simply as a cover song. The Anchormen clip picks up on the second verse and chorus.
The third and final version is the whole reason I thought of this entire thread idea. Considering it is the group’s current radio single, I have been hearing quite a bit of the song lately and it caused me to remember the other versions I had. The Perrys currently have this song out at radio. Found on their highly acclaimed 2009 recording, Almost Morning, the song starts in nearly the same arrangement as the previous two versions. The group as a whole sings the first verse. The Perrys change the second verse by allowing bass singer Tracy Stuffle to take the lead. Off the top of my head I can’t remember the last radio single that featured Tracy. The Perrys also do what the first two versions needed and that was a turn around. The Perry’s clip picks up at the turn around.
Version 1 vs. Version 2 vs. Version 3
Which “This Old Sinner Testifies” wins this edition of smack down. Y’all decide.