A new week, a new top 10 list. This week, as part of the ten on ten series, is legendary artist the Happy Goodmans. This new feature allows me to look at all the big names in Southern Gospel music, both past and present and offer insight on the group’s 10 best recordings. This Happy Goodman feature will include all music from their debut Sims recording in 1963 through the couple Goodman albums in the early ’80′s through the trio recordings of Howard, Vestal and Johnny Minnick in the late ’90s.
The Happy Goodmans top 10 albums are:
- Chosen (1982)
- This Happy House (1969)
- Portrait Of Excitement (1968)
- Leave Your Sorrows And Come Along With (1972)
- What A Happy Time (1966)
- Good Times (1970)
- The Legendary Goodmans (1973)
- Bigger ‘N’ Better (1967)
- I’m Too Near Home (1963)
- Wanted Live (1971)
- Of all the albums in the group’s nearly 20 year recording career, it was the 1982 album Chosen that featured the vocal line-up of Rusty, Sam, Tanya and Michael English to come out on top as the group’s best recording.
- Chosen had one of the best song selections of any Goodman recording. Songs like “The Cloud He’s Coming Back On”, “Home”, “Look For Me”, “I Bowed On My Knees And Cried Holy” and “Sail On Over”. Hard to beat.
- Outside of that, all of the Happy Goodmans best recordings fell between their debut recording in 1963 to The Legendary Goodmans album in 1973.
- Every album after that just didn’t quite measure up to the music released prior to 1973.
- The best Happy Goodman line-up (Howard, Vestal, Rusty, Sam) recording was the 1969 album This Happy House. This album also had one of the most memorable album covers of any Happy Goodman album.
- The classic line-up did two live recordings during their career. Wanted Live was the only one of the two to land among the group’s 10 best.
- Some of the group’s best known songs were part of the 10 recordings listed. “Thank God I’m Free”, “I’m Living In Canaan Now”, “God Walks The Dark Hills”, “I’m Too Near Home”, “He Pilots My Ship”, “What A Lovely Name” and “Had It Not Been” to name a few.
- The group’s first album I’m Too Near Home was a great start to their recording career. Too good not to make the 10 best recordings.
- All those trio recordings released in the late ’90′s with Howard, Vestal and Johnny Minnick, while great for history’s sake, just doesn’t match the caliber to be considered among the best of the group’s career.
- If you don’t have any classic Goodman albums in your collection, pick up Chosen from 1982. To hear the classic line-up at their best, go for This Happy House from 1969.
***NEXT UP ON TEN ON TEN: BOOTH BROTHERS***