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Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Dennis Condon Family-It's a Good Life

One of the most infamous praise and worship leaders in the United Pentecostal Church is Mark Condon. His music has not only reached souls within the UPCI, but also through his work with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Bellvue Baptist Choir, Saddleback Choir, World Harvest Church, Tokyo Baptist, and so many more. His music has been recorded by a virtual who's who of CCM.

But before there was the amazing ministry of Mark Condon's music, there were his humble beginnings here with his family.

I haven't been able to find much information about Dennis and Sue Condon, Mark's parents. Mark is the youngest son here and clearly not writing or producing music at this point. But it's a fascinating look into his roots in Pentecostal music and the rich heritage he shares with his father.

All I could find on Dennis Condon online are a couple of videos of him playing piano. So this record has three things that make me want to share music here: It's a private press record, the recording artists have fallen into such obscurity that nary a mention of them exists today on the Internet, and the talent involved had a huge impact on the course of Pentecostal music as a whole.  In that regard, this album is quite an oddity. Rarely does an album with such historical significance fall through the cracks of the wealth of information on the web.

So it is my pleasure to preserve and archive this wonderful title into this blog and share it with you. As usual, you can stream or download.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Barbara Keller-Holy Place

Barbara Keller is among the better known names in Pentecostal music, peaking in the 80s. I believe this album comes from 1989 or so. That is simply based on the fact that the title track here was included in the "Silver Anniversary" collection from Harvestime music ministry.

I do not know how many albums she released. So far, this is the only one I've found. That does not mean there are more, of course.

Since 1994, Sister Keller and her husband, Gary, have ministered at the New Life Christian Center in Lancaster, Ohio.

This is a great collection, and also notable because it's produced by Kevin McManus (though spelled incorrectly on the album notes as "Kevin McManis) and Carroll McGruder. No doubt they are the ones responsible for the "Southern expressions" on this recording!

One final note, the good news and bad news of this blog becoming more popular is that I have run out of free downloads on bandcamp. When that happens, and I am not aware of it, bandcamp instantly sets the default price of all my downloads at $7.00 per album.

That is not what I want. I clearly want you to get this music for free, if possible. But at this time, since this blog is getting more traffic than can bear for the free downloads bandcamp allows per month, I have gone in and set the default price for each album at a dollar donation per download.

So what will happen to that donation money? It will go right back into this site and we can pay for free downloads in the future. If I can get $20.00 we can buy 1000  free downloads.

And that's how I would prefer things to be-free and not charge. After 1/20 I think bandcamp will give me a default 200 free downloads.  But if you choose to donate to the downloads until then, rest assured, that this is entirely non-profit. This is not for personal gain!

You can stream or download this great album!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Apostolic Voices-I'll Give You All My Heart

First up, some changes for the new year. It's a mixture of some good news and not so good news depending on your POV.

The good news is I am extremely surprised at how popular this blog is becoming. I have seen a record number of downloads on my bandcamp site!

The not so good news it appears that I ran out of free downloads at one point, didn't realize it, and Bandcamp raised prices on several previously free albums to the default $7.00.

 My goal has been and will continue to be to bring you this treasure of great music for free. I do not own it, it's for archival purposes, and copyright owners are free to contact me at any time and request I remove their music.

That said, the choice up to now has been 200 free downloads per month or Bandcamp will raise prices on the downloads to $7.00 automatically. To avoid that, I have set all records to be purchased at a "name your price."

I want to stress: YOU CAN STILL DOWNLOAD ALL THE ALBUMS FOR FREE! In fact, I want you to download them for free.

If you choose to pay, it will be considered a donation to the site. For now. Seeing this is new territory, we will see...I refuse to make money off of this site. This is a labor of love, and I will not monetize it for personal gain. If the donations exceed the cost of the albums purchased for the site, then we can look at options to donate that money elsewhere at another time.

OK, that out of the way! It's a new year and for my first post this year what better way to start than to revisit a previously shared beloved band?

One would be hard pressed to find anybody in the church who does not know about the Upper Room Experience. But before they were known by that name, they released a record as the Apostolic Voices! A full two years before their debut as the Upper Room Experience!

(Fun fact, there is another band called Apostolic Voices that came before them. I can't help but wonder if they changed their name to avoid confusion. The two do not share any members, so I think they are two separate bands.)

There are some tracks that appear here that also appeared on their freshman release under their new moniker. ("The Sounds of Home," "Jesus Knows Your Hurt," "If You Ain't Livin' For Jesus," "Lead Me On Home, Precious Jesus," "When You've Tried Everything," "Whisper Jesus," "I'll Give You All My Heart," and "Rise Again.")  So eight out of the ten tracks here appear on their release a mere two years later, and they appear to be the exact same recordings. However, I would say I find the sound of the music here warmer, fuller, and richer.

The two songs not re-released later on are "Here We Are" and "Help Me," both cover songs. Not exactly impressive readings of each. Those two are classic gospel songs and as much as I love the Upper Room Experience, their readings of these songs do not surpass the originals.

So maybe because of that sharing this is a little redundant. But if you're a collector, you will also appreciate the historical place this record has.

You can enjoy this early classic by streaming or downloading (and free downloading is welcome and encouraged! Name your price $0.00!)

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Time To Get Together CFC '72

It's that time of year again for another Christmas For Christ collection!

As I have previously pointed out, these are not Christmas records (though I've seen record sellers file them under "holiday" or "Christmas" sections.) They are annual compilations released to help raise money for the Home Missions Division of the United Pentecostal Church.

Also, from what I've been able to determine, they all feature original tracks, not songs already released on other records by the artists involved.

This features music by many of the same musicians and singers who were involved in the 1973 CFC release, "An Unction From the Holy One."

Next to the Harvestime collections, these are, in my humble opinion, the best collections of Pentecostal music to be found. And it's my pleasure to share this with you for the Christmas season!