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Monday, October 31, 2016

Mickey & Madelyn Shields and the Gospel Tabernacle Choir Sing

This is another record I found by chance. A seller on Ebay had a record I wanted and I found this in their list of other items. I figured since they had one record I wanted, they may have more! And what a great find it was!

As with most records from the past, there's no year on here to even guess when this was made. The church only has a Facebook page, and I cannot find the year their building was constructed (the record appears to have been produced to fund the building of the Gospel Tabernacle according to the back cover.)  We know that Rev. James Lumpkin served as District Superintendent for the Arkansas District from 1974-1996, but that is as far down as I can place this. Guessing? I would say the mid 1980's or so. I know the opening track is also covered by the Church of Pentecost Choir from 1986-1987.  I don't know what year Rev. Anderson wrote that song, but my experience tells me that these songs typically are covered more frequently when they are new.

(If you want to hear more of Mike Anderson's work, here's a great song to keep your feet tapping and your hands clapping! Now I have to find the full album!)
I also love records like this because it's just not cover material. There's some original tracks here and they are wonderful!

I wish I had more to say about the record, but it is what it is! I am just grateful to God I was in the right place at the right time to find this on Ebay. I won't disclose how much I spent on this record...I just prefer to think about all the cheap deals I got to offset it! But I am delighted to bring this to your home and ears!

By the way, look forward to more choir music in November!

Download and enjoy HERE!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Carouthers & Co.-Urgent Message

Today's selection comes from 1984. Back then, Carouthers and Company was one of the best known music ministries in the United Pentecostal Church. They are the first group I remember listening to. Their albums "Let it Continue" and "Songs We Heard From Under the Pew" continue to be personal favorites of mine.

I realize they left the UPC some  years ago, and maybe some would choose to not listen to them anymore. I think the music can still minister, and it was a huge part of the musical portfolio for the church in the 80s and 90s. So I think their music still matters.

I don't know their complete discography. I believe I have all the CDs they released in the 90s. This is the only album I've found from the 80s so far. I know there has to be more out there because they have other songs included on the Harvestime compilations I shared back in May. You know me: I will keep looking for other albums by them. If you have any leads where I might find more, or titles you want to share or let me know about, just let me know in the comments section or drop me an email.

Also noteworthy on this album is they collaborated with Dan Dean. Since this album comes from a cassette copy, and not an LP with liner notes or back cover art, I don't know if he contributed to other songs on this album. I know he collaborated with Mark and Lori on "He Won't Give Up Easy." Of course, we all know Dan Dean of Phillips, Craig, and Dean fame. This particular song has been covered a number of times by other acts. Curiously, online records indicate the song was written in 1986, but here we have a recording from 1984 that shows otherwise.

As I mentioned, this comes from a cassette copy. Personally, I prefer LPs for sharing because of the hiss present in some of the tracks on a cassette. Then again, there are no pops and clicks to worry about on a tape, so there's always that! But if I ever get a better sounding copy on LP, I will upload the new transfer and let you, the dear reader, know.

Download or stream and enjoy HERE!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Steve Richardson-Piano Peace

Steve Richardson was born October 9th, 1947. If he had lived, we would be celebrating his 69th birthday. Instead, we are taking a moment of reflection with a twinge of sadness to remember this man's life and all that he contributed while he traveled through this pilgrim land.

He passed away January 7th, 2012. He was not a prolific song writer, but the few songs he contributed to gospel music are beloved by many. Of course, there's "Daystar," one of his most often recorded songs, but he's also remembered for "Just To Walk With Him," "Mercy Seat," and more.  His songs have been recorded by far too many than I could recount here, but some of the biggest are The Bill Gaither Vocal Band and The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.

I have a handful of his albums, but for today, I would like to bring you this rarity from 1992. This record comes from my father's collection. As far as I can recall, and know, Bro. Richardson released this album himself, not on any label, and I do not recall it ever being sold in the Pentecostal Publishing House catalog. I may be wrong, but I never saw it available in there.

What I recall, Bro. Richardson personally sold copies of this album at conferences he performed at. What I remember of him, he was approachable, kind, generous in spirit and in action, and a humble man. I feel of all the music in the Pentecostal church, Bro. Richardson's songs are closest to the psalms of David that were after God's own heart. These are not just songs of praise, they are songs of the heart.

He was a fantastic singer/songwriter. This project is instrumental. While I will share his vocal projects in blog posts to come, I decided to start with this record because it may be one of his lesser known, and it's incredible praise and worship music. It's a perfect soundtrack for your prayer room or prayer closet.

You can download and enjoy HERE.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Calvary Four-Sing the Gospel

Back in the late 1960s and into the 1970s, Lefevre Sound was a wonderful record label that featured some incredible acts. A good number of those musicians they signed were from the United Pentecostal Church.

It is hard to find the true origins of this group on the Internet today. There is even a group called "Calvary Four" with Henry Thiessen as a member. His book, "Lectures in Systematic Theology" is anti-Pentecostal. (Side note: Thiessen's Calvary Four group released an album called "Sing Praises" with the Pentecostal hymn "Down From His Glory" included in the track listing. Oh, irony...)

So for what we know: This group is from Indiana. Search "Indiana" in any gospel music archive and you will find a treasure trove (and then some) of gospel music. So much of the best American gospel music has come out of Indiana. Also, Robert McFarland was the district superintendent for Indiana at the time of this release.

Rev. McFarland was born in Akron, Ohio on September 23, 1923 (he passed away in 2002), went to Apostolic Bible Institute in St. Paul, Minnesota, was a pastor in Baronett and Spooner, WI, and moved to Richmond, IN in 1944 after marrying Marjorie Guinn. He became the district superintendent in 1975.

I know that Calvary Four released two other albums: "Climbing Higher and Higher" and "Walking in the Light." I personally do not have vinyl copies of either record, but I continue to search for them. I know that Bro. Steve Richardson (whom I will write more about later on in this blog) sang with the group on "Walking in the Light." Delton Smith, Mike Jordan, and Don Cunningham made up the quartet on that recording.

I have audio recordings of both of those records that I got from Apostolic Archives International, Inc. I am grateful for the recordings, but they did not include album art or track listings. Furthermore, the digital transfers are horrible. I mean horrible. It took hours to repair the audio in Audacity and even then there are songs on the albums that skip very bad. So I probably won't be sharing those records until I come across better copies.

I do not know who makes up the quartet on this recording. It's is clear Don Cunningham is involved since his name is on the back cover. However, I do not hear Bro. Richardson's wonderful baritone on this recording.

You can download this historic goodness HERE.