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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.

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