Saturday, March 18, 2017

Lance Appleton-I'm A One God, Apostolic

Now here is a solo male Pentecostal artist that should be a name you know if you don't already. If there was a United Pentecostal Music Hall of Fame, Lance Appleton would be among the first added.

There are only a few songs that stand the test of time for Pentecostal signature songs. CA Nelson's "It's Real" is arguably a gold standard.

I've written before about Bill Gray Family's song "Buttermilk Bend Baptism." The Christian Life Center Mass Choir's song "I'm Pentecostal" is a more up-to-date example of this.

But perhaps the gold standard of gold standards is "I'm A One God Apostolic" by Lance Appleton. It is undeniably his greatest hit.

Bro. Appleton lived in Columbia, MO, not too far from me. Sadly, he passed away Feb. 18, 2015 at the age of 62. Far too young, for sure. I am sorry to say I never got to meet him.

While he recorded a total of eight albums, this album remains what he's best known for.

He attended the Gateway College of Evangelism, where he met and married Merna Hochstrasser. After graduation, they moved to Columbia and started a campus ministry that led to a 30 year long full time international ministry.

You can download this classic album HERE.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Zane Isaacson-Rapture Ready

Continuing a look at solo male artists in the United Pentecostal Church, I am trying to choose men who, as far as I know, never performed with a group. (I realize the previous entry didn't meet that goal as Hal Kennedy did perform and release records with The Dixie Echoes.)

From Rock Springs, WY, Zane Isaacson brought his unique blend of ministry and music to the United Pentecostal Church after he was saved in early 1982. He answered the call to ministry in 1983 and became licensed in 1984. He's not exactly a household name among UPC musicians. I am only aware of two albums by him (this one and I'm A Fanatic, but my copy of that is long lost.)

He currently pastors in White Hall, AR.

This album came out in 1992. Zane plays all the instruments on this release. He also sings on all the tracks except for "Cast All My Cares." His daughter, Katrina, takes vocal lead on that song.

He also wrote all the songs except "Cast All My Cares" (written by Kelly Willard) and "I've Been Delivered" (written by Carman). However, he did add verses to both songs.

You can download this classic album (hard to believe it's already 25 years old! How do these records get older and I stay the same age? Hee hee!) HERE!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Hal Kennedy-Shoutin' On the Hills

This month I am going to feature albums by male solo artists. I have already done two months worth of female solo artists and realized I hadn't yet focused attention on the men who brought their music ministry to many.

Not that there is any shortage of men in Christian and Gospel music. The contrary, in fact. But it seems most of the records I have that feature men as the lead singers are group collaborations, quartets, trios, or family records, as I featured last month.

I do not know if there are fewer male solo records in Pentecostal music compared to the former mentioned releases or if it's just that I haven't found many of them yet. Most of the former records are found by general online searches, not for specific names. That is how I come across the wonderful lesser known records I share. And unless a solo record features one of those general search terms, I may have overlooked many of them. It's also easier to spot a Pentecostal record on sight by the women and their PhD's! It's harder to spot Pentecostal men on a record cover on first glance.

So if you know of any solo male artists I have not listed in the labels list, let me know! I would appreciate it! Leave a comment or drop me an email!

On to the first selection this month...

There are a few United Pentecostal musicians who achieved moderate fame beyond the walls of their church, the camp meetings, and took their music ministry into "mainstream" to appeal to listeners across many denominations.

Lanny Wolfe and Dottie Rambo are two that immediately come to mind.

While not as a big of a name as those two, there is also Hal Kennedy, who is still celebrated to this day among fans of Southern Gospel music. He is well known for performing with The Dixie Echoes. As far as I know, the other members of The Dixie Echoes were not United Pentecostal, but his involvement with the group certainly spread his ministry to many ears across the nation.

This is Hal's third record. I chose to make it the first to share with you because, as with the records by the Jellisons and the McCools, this record also fell prey to using public domain artwork that appeared on several other releases.

Not this particular pressing, that is. This record was re-released several years later as "He's Life To Me."

This is interesting to me for a few reasons:

1) "He's Life to Me" isn't even a track on the album. So where does the title come from?

2) The record label on the re-release is exactly the same as the original release. So when people bought this reissue, they were buying "He's Life to Me" but opened the record and saw an album with the title "Shoutin' On the Hills." What kind of quality control was there over this release?

3) The return of the public domain album artwork, this time a stock photo of a church. This stock photo has appeared on many other records, none of which (as far as I know) released by Pentecostal records. Really, is there any other genre guilty for doing this? How was this even allowed? Even if it was a small record label, wouldn't they want their records to stand out from others in a store? This phenomenon continues to amaze me.

I am glad to share this wonderful record with you. You can download it HERE!

Also, to add a note: For now I have free downloads available. But it has been decided that if the blog becomes more popular and I exhaust the standard 200 free downloads Bandcamp gives each month, then we will go with a "pay what you want" option. From what I understand, people will still have an option to not pay and download for free. But if you decide to make a small donation, then all the proceeds will just go back in to this blog. I toyed with the idea of donating the money to a charity, but that would get sticky legally. I wouldn't be able to provide tax receipts for donations, and I don't view the blog as a charity. I view this more as a public service. And if/when we go with a pay what you want option, then whatever money is collected may go back to purchasing new records for the site or upgrading my Bandcamp page to Bandcamp pro. So any money generated from this will benefit others. Any money generated would not go back into my pocket. But, for now, the downloads remain free.

Also, a reader reported problems posting a comment. I did not realize that the settings were only allowing registered users to post comments. I changed the settings to where anybody can post comments. But the comments will wait for moderation before they post. That's just to prevent spam replies. I hope it's now easier for people to comment on my posts.

Thank you for reading and listening!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Erwins-One More Night With the Frogs

Rounding up "family month," I bring the second album by The Erwins.

Rev. Dennis Erwin's music and preaching ministry has spanned forty plus years. Today, his kids carry on the family music ministry and currently have CDs available at the Pentecostal Publishing House.

This record was released in 1980 on the indelible Rainbow Records label. It's not exclusively Pentecostal, but they did release a number of records for UPC musicians.

Dennis recorded this album with his step mother. This is some thrilling bluegrass folk music!

You can download the album HERE!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Pilant Family-Presenting the Pilant Family

Most often, the records I choose for this blog have strong ties with the United Pentecostal Church.

Sometimes not so much.

Part of it may be due to lack of substantial information found online to give detailed information about how the record and the recording artist connected with the United Pentecostal Church. Another part of it is because maybe only one or two of the musicians involved in the project had a connection with the United Pentecostal church. I already have featured both.

This record is a bit of both.

Verle Pilant is the lead force of creativity on this project. There is more found online about his music projects than his denominational church connections. I suspect the main reason for that is the groups he has been involved in are typically marketed towards the broad market of the church, not one denomination. Best to leave messy things like doctrine out of the music message when trying to appeal across denominations. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

It was actually his wife, Marjorie, that has connections with the United Pentecostal Church. A memory shared on her obituary page online stated that she started out playing piano in a United Pentecostal Church in Memphis, TN (located on Parkway and Dunlap.)

By the time this record came out, there is no mention of any church denomination on the back cover. While her hair certainly still has that "PhD" style to it, it is unknown if she was still attending a Pentecostal church at this time. From what I can find, her and her husband left the UPC and went on to a Baptist church later in their ministry.

Still, she has roots in the UPC, so that is enough reason to share this record here.

But it doesn't stop there.

Looking at the rest of the names on the back cover is a virtual who's who of early names that were instrumental (no pun intended) in bringing the sound of the United Pentecostal Church to vinyl. James Goss, along with his brothers Lari and Roni, worked with countless Pentecostal musicians in both producing and releasing their records. Same with Maurice LeFevre and his label LeFevre Sound.

James and Doyle Blackwood's family has roots back to the beginning of the Pentecostal movement in this country. In 1918, the Blackwood String Band played at a brush arbor meeting. It was the first time the Pentecostal message had been brought to the impoverished sharecropping community in Choctaw County. Carrie Blackwood, James' and Doyle's mother, received the baptism of the Holy Ghost that night. Within a year, the rest of her family was saved as well.

So there is some rich Pentecostal heritage involved with this record. And it is a very well produced and beautiful recording. The copy I had is clean and one of the clearest of vintage recordings I may have brought to you so far.

Perhaps Marjorie Pilant and her family were not major names in the United Pentecostal Church, but as anybody knows, this blog isn't about only sharing the major names. Sometimes even the small contributions, even if they didn't stick with the church for their entire life, are worth while to look back upon.

You can download this great record HERE!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Two exciting updates!

I am happy to announce I've updated two prior posts with new material!

First up, when I originally posted The Apostolic Bible Institute's album "Come Holy Spirit," I didn't have the original album art, just the record. Since then, I found the record for sale online and now am able to give you the original album art, front and back!

So if you are the type who likes to save the album art with the music files (or likes to use it to create your own CD jackets) then follow the link above to get the correct art! I left my custom made cover up for kicks and giggles.

Also, I am delighted to bring to you a new digital transfer of Calvary Four's "Sing the Gospel."
The prior transfer was comprised of two copies I had, neither of which were in fantastic shape. I picked the best quality of the tracks from between the two records. Both were rather scratched and less than desirable. For the time, it was better than nothing. But at last I found a SEALED COPY! I think this is the best transfer ever of this record! Follow the link above to replace your previous digital files!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Spears Family-My Thanks to Him

Continuing "family" month...

This is a private press album put out by the family's own custom record label. Featured here are Rev. Doyle Spear, his wife Faith, and their two children Steven and Judi.

The Spears are not among the best known names in Pentecostal music or ministry. There are few websites that reference them online. Given their name, I come up with a lot of matches for a certain Britney more than I do for this family.

All the same, this is great music. "Ten Thousand Years" and "He is Lord" are particularly amazing tracks.

You can download this great gem HERE!