The #1’s – “The Healer”

This series honors the #1 songs in Southern Gospel music as reported by Singing News magazine.

The Talley Trio had a strong run between October 2002 and November 2004 picking up five #1 songs in a row, including all three singles from the recording, Hope For Tomorrow.  The first of the five to go to the top of the charts was the Gerald Crabb penned, “The Healer”.

The song spent the months of October and November 2002 at #1.  Of all the songs the Talley Trio (Talleys) have recorded during their career, this songs ranks near the top of the list as one of their all time best.

*Video Credit (hollywood02)

Meeting In Heaven: Chuck Wagon Gang

61jtDUQCwcL._SY355_GRADE:  B

  • Album – Meeting In Heaven
  • Artist – Chuck Wagon Gang
  • Label – New Haven Records
  • Style – Traditional
  • Release Date – 10/21/14
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (iTunes/Spotify)

SYNOPSIS:

An 80 year history that continues today, the Chuck Wagon Gang has spanned several generations providing their traditional/acoustical/western themed music.  Current member, Shaye Smith, is the granddaughter of original Chuck Wagon Gang member Anna Carter Davis.

The group’s 2014 release, Meeting In Heaven: Sings The Songs Of Marty Stuart, can stand alongside any album the group released early in their career.  The Chuck Wagon Gang’s signature one chord guitar introduction to every song is found on Meeting In Heaven.

All eleven songs found on Meeting In Heaven are from the pen of country artist, Marty Stuart.  The harmony is impeccable from current group members Shaye Smith (alto), Julie Hudson (soprano), Stan Hill (tenor) and Jeremy Stephens (bass), who also plays acoustic guitar.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • I am absolutely amazed at the sound the Chuck Wagon Gang captures with just their voices/blended harmony and an acoustic guitar.  Many other groups who feel it doesn’t work without their canned band and stacked vocals, need to give this album a listen.
  • Shaye Smith’s rich alto vocal is eerily reminiscent to that of her grandmother, Anna Davis.  She excels on her performance of the group’s latest radio single, “His Love Will Lead Us On”.  I can’t tell you how many times I hit repeat on this song before moving on to the rest of the album.
  • Bass vocalist, Jeremy Stephens, gets a chance to shine on “Gloryland”.  This song hearkens the listener back to the Southern Gospel quartet standards of the 1950’s. A definite must listen!
  • Soprano, Julie Hudson, has several features including the opening up-tempo number, “Shout It From The Rock Of Ages”.  She also adds a bit of soul to her performance of “A Friend In Need”.
  • Tenor, Stan Hill, closes out Meeting In Heaven with a feature on “Jesus”.  This slower acoustical number is a nice reflective close to an enjoyable album.  More top-notch vocal harmony found here.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “His Love Will Lead Us On”, “Gloryland”, “Jesus”, “Shout It From The Rock Of Ages”, “A Friend In Need”, “Rest A Little While” and “Meeting In Heaven”.
CRITIQUE:
  • Some listeners may find a lack of variety with the Chuck Wagon Gang’s music, with the one chord intro on every song.  The songs could start running together toward the end of the album with the lack of variety.
  • One song that literally drags to conclusion is “Lord Lead Me On”.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “Lord Lead Me On” and “Someday”.

WRAP UP:

There has been a discussion floating around about whether Southern Gospel music should be considered an art form; open for critique.  I am a firm believer that music, in any form, is an art form and open for discussion.  A listener only need to listen to the Chuck Wagon Gang to prove that statement.  They take the listener on a musical journey that results in a better understanding of the music by the time your’re done.  Art?  Absolutely!

SONG/Featured Vocalist - All Songs Written by Marty Stuart:  1. “Shout It From The Rock Of Ages”/Ensemble; Julie  2. “Rest A Little While“/Ensemble; Julie  3. “Gloryland”/Ensemble; Jeremy  4. “His Love Will Lead Us On”/Shaye  5. “Meeting In Heaven”/Julie  6. “Pray The Power Down”/Ensemble; Stan  7. “Lord Lean Me On”/Ensemble; Shaye  8. “A Friend In Need”/Ensemble; Julie  9. “Someday”/Ensemble; Julie  10. “The Gospel Plow”/Ensemble  11. “Jesus”/Ensemble; Stan

*Video Credit (newhavenvideos)

Voting Rounds: Search For Southern Gospel’s Greatest Song – 1990’s

Today concludes the voting rounds for the decade of the 1990’s.  There were a total of 120 songs nominated to represent the 1990’s.  Here’s the final set of 40.  Rules are as follows:

  1. All readers of this blog can participate.
  2. Please vote in each poll.
  3. You get three choices in each poll.  Be sure to select three choices in each of the polls.
  4. The top five songs in each poll by vote tally will advance to round two.

1990’s – Poll 9

  1. I Call It Home
  2. I Can See Heaven
  3. “I Go To The Rock Of Ages”
  4. “I Have A Father Who Can”
  5. “I Must Tell Somebody”
  6. “Old Ship Of Zion”
  7. “On The Road To Emmaus”
  8. “Once Was Enough”
  9. “One Scarred Hand”
  10. “Out Of His Great Love”

1990’s – Poll 10

  1. “I Need You More Today”
  2. I Still Trust You
  3. “I Will Rise Up From The Grave”
  4. “I Wonder If He Ever Cries”
  5. “If Anybody Knows”
  6. “Most Of All”
  7. “My Name Is Lazarus”
  8. “Not Even A Stone”
  9. “Oasis”
  10. “Oh What A Mighty God”

1990’s – Poll 11

  1. “If God Be For Us”
  2. “I’ll Never Be Over The Hill”
  3. “I’m Glad I Know Who Jesus Is”
  4. “I’m Not Giving Up”
  5. “In The Twinkling Of An Eye”
  6. “Joy On The Other Side Of Jordan”
  7. “Just One More Soul”
  8. “Meanwhile In The Garden”
  9. “Mention My Name”
  10. “Milk And Honey”

1990’s – Poll 12

  1. “In Time, On Time, Every Time”
  2. “Is Anything Too Hard For God”
  3. “It Came To Pass”
  4. “It’ll Be Worth It After All”
  5. “It’s Still The Cross”
  6. “I’ve Come To Take You Home”
  7. “Jesus Built A Bridge”
  8. “Jesus Has Risen”
  9. “Jesus’ Rocking Chair”
  10. “Jesus Saves”

Southern Gospel Tidbits

hoppers1975burythehatchetmaxDID YOU KNOW?:  Southern Gospel album titles have always been fairly generic, either titled after a particular song on the album or a nice phrase.  Then there are instances where you look and wonder, what were they thinking?  Sure you have a title like the Booth Brothers, The Blind Man Saw It All (2005), that Southern Gospel listeners are familiar with because they know it is a song title as well.  But, think about it from someone who may not be familiar with Southern Gospel music and they came across that album title.  A few other interesting titles through the years have been 1686 Pounds Of Gospel (1974, Kingsmen), A Flight Without An Airplane (1983, Primitive Quartet), Bubblin’ (1981, Hinsons), Crazy ‘Bout You (1995, Del Way), Heavenly High (1993, Bruce Haynes), On Fire (1990, Dixie Melody Boys); if you were reading that literally, On The War Path (2000, Jody Brown Indian Family) and Sending Up Some Boards (1978, Dixie Melody Boys).  But if there was an award for most awkward Southern Gospel album title ever it would have to go to the Hopper Brothers & Connie for their 1975 recording, Lord Help Me Bury The Hatchet.

The song: “Lord Help Me Bury The Hatchet“.

Enter To Win: Friday Fun Giveaway

kingsmen1991wishyouwereheremaxWelcome to another weekend.  The NCAA basketball tournament is in full swing.  Thanks to those who decided to participate.  With the start of the weekend, it is time to go into the prize bag and give away another CD.

This week’s selection is the Kingsmen’s 1991, RiverSong Records, release; Wish You Were Here.

Song list of Wish You Were Here:  (1) “Wish You Were Here”  (2) “Bought By The Blood”  (3) “Ring Out The Welcome”  (4) “Prodigal Son”  (5) “We Represent The King”  (6) “I Just Stopped By (On My Way Home)”  (7) “God’s In Command”  (8) “Anthony’s Salute To The Troops”  (9) “I’ll Be Satisfied”  (10) “Child Of The King”.

Remember all CDs being given away are used (but I have been the only owner).  The first person to email me (swea215@yahoo.com) the correct answer will win.  Please identify the following five Kingsmen songs of the past.  I will need actual titles.  Good luck.

Honoring Southern Gospel’s Greatest Albums – 1950’s (#3)

statesmen1957hovielistermaxThis week I want to continue a series honoring the best Southern Gospel albums in the history of the genre.

We were looking at the top five albums released during the decade of the 1950’s.  This week I will look at the album ranked third among votes for the best Southern Gospel album released during the 1950’s.

The Statesmen not only had an album at #4, but they also have the album ranked 3rd.  The album landing at #3 is the 1957 RCA Victor recording, The Statesmen Quartet With Hovie Lister.

The vocal line-up on this recording was Denver Crumpler (tenor), Jake Hess (lead), Doy Ott (baritone), James Wetherington (bass) and Hovie Lister (pianist).  The album included favorites; “Everybody Will Be Happy Over There”, “Glory, Glory Clear The Road”, “Hide Me Rock Of Ages”, “I Know It Was The Lord”, “Led Out Of Bondage”, “My God Is Real” and “One Of These Mornings”.

Here is a musical montage of the Statesmen’s 1957 album, The Statesmen Quartet With Hovie Lister, #3 among the best Southern Gospel music recordings released in the 1950’s.

Christ For Me: Northern Ireland’s Revelation

RevelationGRADE:  C+

  • Album – Christ For Me
  • Artist – Northern Ireland’s Revelation
  • Label – Skyland Records
  • Style – Progressive, Slight Celtic Overtones
  • Release Date – 11/18/14
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (iTunes/Spotify)

SYNOPSIS:

As we celebrate St Patrick’s Day 2015, I thought it fitting to take a look at Northern Ireland’s Revelation and their latest album, Christ For Me.

To my recollection, Revelation is the only group from outside the USA to record for a major Southern Gospel record label.  The group is also based in what seems to be the hotbed for Southern Gospel artists when performing in Europe; Northern Ireland.

Christ For Me is the third album to be recorded with Crossroads music.  It seemed the group wanted to sound a bit more Southern Gospel mainstream on Christ For Me than the debut effort, Across The Lands (2010).  The group is composed of David Strange, Thomas McCalmont and Andrew Calderwood.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • I enjoyed the group’s first effort, Across The Lands, because of the Celtic overtones heard on several songs on the recording.  I wish they would have stuck with that style on Christ For Me.  It is what sets them apart from any run-of-the-mill Southern Gospel regional artist that comes in abundance in the USA.
  • As a result, the one song on Christ For Me that gives the listener that traditional Celtic musical style, “What A Friend We Have”, is the stand out track.  The beautiful harmony intertwined with the traditional Irish music made me want more of that.
  • The trio also turns in a nice performance on the album’s closing number, “He’s Been Faithful”.  The tenor vocal on this particular song will have Southern Gospel enthusiasts wanting more.  This song would do well on Southern Gospel radio.
  • Two other big ballads that are worth a listen are the title track, “Christ For Me” and the opening song, “King Forever”.  Both songs capture Revelation’s style and sound that separate them from other artists.
  • Northern Ireland’s Revelation has really strong harmony.  It is also endearing hearing their accents in various spots on the recording.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “What A Friend We Have”, “He’s Been Faithful”, “Christ For Me”, “King Forever” and “Take Up Your Cross”.
CRITIQUE:
  • The weaker moments on Christ For Me happen to be the instances where the group covers several Southern Gospel up-tempo songs.
  • As mentioned earlier, covering the Gaither Vocal Band’s, “God Is Good” and the Perrys “I Wish I Could Have Been There” didn’t sound much different from the countless regional artists in the USA covering these songs every weekend.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “I Wish I Could Have Been There” and “God Is Good”.

WRAP UP:

I don’t know how you’re spending your St Patrick’s Day, but I tend to do what I do every day; listen to a little Southern Gospel music during my work day.  Why don’t you take this particular day and give Northern Ireland’s Revelation a listen.  There might just be some gold at the end of that rainbow!

SONG - Songwriter:  1. “King Forever” - Rebecca Peck  2. “God Is Good” - Tina Sadler  3. “Higher Ground” - Charles Gabriel, Johnson Oatman Jr  4. “Take Up Your Cross” - Steve Cheney, Phil Cross  5. “I Wish I Could Have Been There” - Wayne Haun, Joel Lindsey  6. “What A Friend We Have” - Daryl K Willliams  7. “Christ For Me” - Edwin Brown  8. “One Way” - Tony R Powell  9. “Come Unto Me” - Shane Dunlap, Rebecca Peck  10. “He’s Been Faithful” - Randall Garland, Scott Lucas

Voting Rounds: Search For Southern Gospel’s Greatest Song – 1990’s

Today continues the voting rounds for the decade of the 1990’s.  There were a total of 120 songs nominated to represent the 1990’s.  Here’s the second set of 40.  Rules are as follows:

  1. All readers of this blog can participate.
  2. Please vote in each poll.
  3. You get three choices in each poll.  Be sure to select three choices in each of the polls.
  4. The top five songs in each poll by vote tally will advance to round two.

1990’s – Poll 5

  1. “God’s Building A Church”
  2. “God’s Promised Land”
  3. “Going Back”
  4. “Grace”
  5. “He Is Here”
  6. Someone To Talk To
  7. “Still Holding On”
  8. “That’s Enough”
  9. “That’s Him”
  10. “The Love Of Jesus”

1990’s – Poll 6

  1. “From Disgrace To His Grace”
  2. “He Is Mine”
  3. “He Made A Change”
  4. “Healing”
  5. Heaven Can’t Be Far Away
  6. “Heavenly Sunrise”
  7. “See Those Clouds”
  8. “Serenaded By Angels”
  9. “Show Me The Cross”
  10. “Somebody Touched The Lord”

1990’s – Poll 7

  1. “He’d Still Been God”
  2. “Hello In Heaven”
  3. “Here I Am”
  4. “He’s In The Midst”
  5. “He’s My Hiding Place”
  6. “Right On Time”
  7. “Roll Away The Stone”
  8. “Roses Will Bloom Again”
  9. “Royal Descendant”
  10. “Second Time Around”

1990’s – Poll 8

  1. How Many More Miracles
  2. “I Am”
  3. “I Am A Christian”
  4. “I Am Redeemed”
  5. I Believe It All
  6. “Outside The Gate”
  7. “Please Forgive Me”
  8. “Praise God, It’s Settled, I’m Saved”
  9. “Praise His Name”
  10. “Resting Place”
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