Now that we have crowned the best Southern Gospel album of the 1980’s, its time to get back to some regularly scheduled programming. At the beginning of the year, I started a series counting down the best Southern Gospel radio songs of the 1980’s. We have made it to #35.
The Inspirations had many hit radio singles in the 1980s but one stood out to land at #35. From the album of the same name, “The Wonder Of Wonders”, became a top five hit for the group in 1984.
The song was penned by Southern Gospel songwriting legend, Charles B Wycuff, who happened to also write the classic, “What A Lovely Name”.
This week we take a look at the latest album from the Inspirations, The One In The Water.
The transition of Martin Cook exiting and Archie Watkins returning has taken place with this newest album. The One In The Water is a return to classic Inspiration sounds from the 1970s.
The 2017 vocal line-up of the Inspirations is Archie Watkins (tenor), Matt Dibler (lead), Eddie Deitz (baritone) and Marlin Shubert (bass).
Long time bass singer, Marlin Shubert is allowed to show off on the stand out track, “I Shall Not Be Moved”. This traditional Southern Gospel quartet standard is classic Inspirations at its finest.
The classic sounds of Archie Watkins is a winner with the title track and first single from the album, “The One In The Water”.
Roland is featured on a strong up-tempo song, “When Jesus Turns My Prison Into My Shouting Ground”. This may go down as the longest song title of the year.
Speaking of classics, the Inspirations turn in a nice cover of the Jimmy Jones song, “I Want To Be Like My Lord”.
I don’t want to leave the review without mentioning Eddie Deitz performance of “I Know Him”. A strong cover of this Singing Echoes original.
Strongest songs included in order: “I Shall Not Be Moved”, “The One In The Water”, “When Jesus Turns My Prison Into My Shouting Ground”, “I Want To Be Like My Lord”, “I Know Him” and “I Am So Blessed”.
The last half of the album is hands down weaker than the first half of the album.
The album closes with a song that has the untrue meme that you can no longer say Merry Christmas.
Weakest songs included in order: “Jesus They’re Offended At Your Name” and “We Are Christians”.
Long time Inspirations fans will enjoy this return to classic sounds.
SONG/Featured Vocalist – Songwriter:1. “The One In The Water”/Archie – Kyla Rowland 2. “I Want To Be Like My Lord“/Ensemble – Jimmy Jones3. “I Know Him“/Eddie – Gary Epperson 4. “When Jesus Turns My Prison Into My Shouting Ground”/Matt – Leonard Fletcher 5. “I Shall Not Be Moved”/Ensemble; Marlin – Traditional 6. “Teaching Me To Fly”/Archie – Karen Dyess 7. “I Am So Blessed”/Matt – Matthew Browder, Tommy Browder 8. “We Are Christians”/Archie – Tracy Jones 9. “Thank God For Preachers”/Eddie – Larry Whitehead 10. “Jesus They’re Offended At Your Name”/Matt – James M Jones
Sorry for my absence, but the busyness of life keeps you from your hobbies at times. So, today I thought I would offer another page from my Southern Gospel notebook. As a kid, into my teen years, I wrote down my twenty favorite songs every month.
I started this in July 1982 and continued until December 1994. Today’s post took my notebook entry from August 1983. These were my twenty favorite songs. Enjoy!