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Monday, September 21, 2015

Carroll McGruder Passes Away
Rev. Carroll McGruder passed away 9-15-2015.

I just found out about this today. 

Of course, he was the driving force in the Harvestime record I posted yesterday and a huge influence in a lot of music over his life time.

Please keep this page bookmarked or subscribe to posts.  I will be sharing some early music from him very soon in the near future.

My heart goes out to his family and all those who loved him.  We are of course very grateful he shared so much of himself with us.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Harvestime Songfest "1984"

I am a collector like my grandfather before me.  He had many record albums dating back from the World War II era and through the birth of rock and roll and more.  He owned first pressings of Elvis Presley and so much more.  I learned after he died he had so many records that he had to put a lot of them in a shed in the back yard.

After he died, his family threw most of those records away.  They now take up space in a landfill somewhere, left to rot in piles of trash.  This was the late 1980’s, mind you, an era where CDs rose in popularity and vinyl pronounced dead.  To many vinyl was just another dead format like 8-track tapes.  Yes, die hard collectors continued, but many shed their vinyl collections for CDs instead.

A small handful of records from my grandfather’s collection survived the purge.  My mom gave them to me years later.  None of them are in pristine shape, unfortunately.  They are all well worn, but I can tell he wore them out with love.

Most of this music I am going to share on this blog is from the vinyl era that society tried to forget existed. They are also from my collection.  I will not live forever and I hope that my records end up in the hands of loving collectors after I die.  They should not be left to warp or rot in a landfill.  Until then, I want to share this music with others and bring it out of the dustbins to the modern age.

 In Christian music, the phenomenon of forgetting about older music is even worse.  Most music has a three to five year life span before newer music replaces the old. You cannot go into a new Christian bookstore and find classic albums by artists of the 70s and 80s.  I can walk into Target and find classic rock by secular artists.  Old stuff in secular music stays in print.  In Christian music, old music falls away and flows away like water under a bridge.

This is even worse in denominational music.  For this blog, the focus is on music of the United Pentecostal Church and their fellow sister Oneness organizations.  Why that denomination?  Well, for one, I am familiar with a lot of this music.  Second, a lot of this music is historically important.  There are musicians and songwriters here that had an influence outside of their congregations.  More on that in later blogs.

In preparation for this blog, I have attempted to track down rare vinyl as much as possible. The quest will always continue.  I contacted  some musicians and asked if they had copies of their records for sale or digitally.  One musician participated in 30 plus records.  He responded to me he did not have any of his records in his personal collection.

I hear this response often.  I contacted one church and they had their pastor’s vinyl records in a shed behind the church.  They replied that all the records in the shed had become warped.  They became landfill.

This is my motivation.  This is the reason for this blog.  Most musicians or churches rarely cared enough to preserve their own history.  Their records were a means to an end to raise money for a fundraiser.  This is a slice of American music that should be preserved, not left in a shed to warp and become trash.

This blog may be a trip down a nostalgic road for some.  To others, I hope it is the first time you are discovering this music.  I hope you find something here you can treasure and cherish.  I am dedicated to archiving and preserving these records.  Vinyl is not dead.  It is alive on this blog.

First up: Harvestime Songfest “1984”

The Harvestime song fest was an annual event for a number of years.  Most were just recorded on cassette live at the service and of very poor quality.  This is one of two professional recordings that I know of.  I will share the second on a later blog post.  If you, dear reader, know of any others, please let me know.  The intent of this blog is not only to share but for others to share if they have rare and long forgotten recordings.

From the back cover:


“is the only term that seems to even begin to describe this magnificent two record album set that will become a familiar sound to your home before you know it.

“Pastor Carroll McGruder of Kennett, Missouri, presented the concept of a live recording to our Harvestime Commission in November of 1983 and even though we very much liked the idea, it really seemed like the “Impossible Dream.”  Thank God, Brother McGruder is a driving force and his enthusiastic encouragement, his professional know-how, and his tremendous help with details turned the ‘Impossible Dream’ into a marvelous reality.  Reality that will bring glorious blessing, excitement, and inspiration to you and yours.

“Thank you for inviting this inspired group of Pentecostal singers and musicians into your home.  We assure you that we will do our very best to be everything you need us to be.  If some of us don’t happen to sing the style of music that you like best, just keep listening because one of the beautiful features of this two record album set will sing right to you (even the very first time you listen) and you will be greatly uplifted.  Every song and every singer has a very sincere message, so the more you hear each song and message, the more these recorded messages of praise, devotion, inspiration, and even a hint of nostalgia at times will become a part of your life and will be to you.


“Prayerfully, J. Hugh Rose, Harvestime coordinator/narrator”

Geron Davis-Piano, Organ, Yamaha DX7
Mickey Mangun-Piano, Organ
Melanie Brady-Korg Poly 6, Poly 61, Yamaha DX7
Lanny Wolfe-Piano, with Lanny Wolfe Trio
Nila Rose-Organ, “The Holy City”
James Owens-Bass
Kenny Brady-Drums
Mac and Norma Luna-Guitar, Mandolin
Bruce Watkins-Violins, Guitar

Master of Ceremonies-Carroll McGruder

Executive Producer-Carroll McGruder
Producer-Geron Davis
Engineer-Kevin McMannis
Mobile Recording Unit-The Record Plant-Los Angeles, CA
Mix-down-Hilltop Studios, Nashville, TN
Photography-Buchner and Young Photography, Inc.
Cover Photo and Design-Tim Pedigo

The download is free, as always.  Or just stream it.  I just ask that you LIKE and SHARE this on social media.  Leave a comment if you so feel compelled.   Thank you for your consideration.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Welcome to the blog

Hello, and welcome to my blog.  The intent of this blog is to share out of print and very rare, hard to find vinyl, audio cassettes, and any other format I can find and digitize of music solely put out by musicians from the United Pentecostal Church International.

Why the limited focus to just that style of music?  For one, I feel there are other music blogs out there that cover many other genres of Christian music.  I have not seen any that cover this style of music.  The few sites I have stumbled upon are relics from the 90s and very poor quality, both in design and audio quality for the downloads.

The plan is to share at least one album a month.  Perhaps more if time allows.

This website is not a music ministry.  All the music shared comes from my own personal collection.  The downloads are free.  If you want to donate, that's fine, but donation money will go to charity.  This blog supports both Wayside Waifs animal shelter and also Habitat for Humanity, both non-denominational and non-profit organizations.   In lieu of donations, I ask that you LIKE and SHARE these posts with your friends in social media.  Get the word out about the blog.  I also invite readers to share their stories and experiences with the music in the comments section.  If there is something you want me to share, ask.  If you have a rarity you'd like me to transfer to a digital file, let me know.

During the our time together, I will share what I know about the records I share.  Perhaps some personal stories about the music, etc.  The main focus is on the music, however.  Much of this music is very hard to come by.  Some records took me 20 some odd years to find even one copy.  I contacted some musicians to ask them if they had personal copies I could buy from them or if they would be willing to provide a copy to me and I was shocked to learn that there are musicians out there who do not even have a copy of their own records in their collection.

Thank you for reading.  The first record is coming soon...

Rev. Norman Burns.