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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Apostolic Bible Institute-Celebration

As we celebrate the 80th anniversary of the school we love, I would like to take a moment and look back at the celebration for the 50th anniversary!

And what a celebration it was! The result was not only a special Harvestime episode recorded at the school campus church, but this keepsake record!

Taking duties on music direction here is Rev. David Graham.

This is an exceptionally recorded album and I believe it holds up very well!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

ABI Chorale & Brass-God Said It! I Believe It!

They wealth of the Apostolic Bible Institute's musical output seems to have come in the 70s and into the early/mid 80s. This appears to have been released in the late 70s/early 80s because of the comment on the back cover that the school had existed "over 40 years" at this point.

By the time of this record, it appears that Rev. Wendell Gleason moved on. Taking over musical direction are Rev. Robert Sabin for the orchestra and Rev. Don Martin for the chorale.

And who in the United Pentecostal Church isn't acquainted with Rev. Robert Sabin in someway or another. There have been few scholars like him who helped defend the Oneness theology against the critics of the church. He's written and spoken more on the topic than any other minister I can think of.

He also famously split away from the UPC in 1992. His infamous "Letter from Robert A. Sabin, Saint Paul, Minnesota November 1, 1992" ripples through the organization to this day. While others who left the church made ripples in the water, Sabin's departure was like a catastrophic earthquake. However, when he passed away on October 15, 2014, The First United Pentecostal Church on the ABI campus held the funeral service.

Rev. Don Martin became pastor of the Metro Pentecostal Church (formerly Berryhill United Pentecostal Church) on July 1st, 2000.  He has history not only with ABI but also taught at Gateway College of Evangelism in St. Louis and Indiana Bible College in Indianapolis, IN. He (and his wife) attended Western Apostolic Bible College in Stockton, CA.

I hope you enjoy this selection as much as I did! This is an interesting little fun record!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

ABI Quartet-Something Within

This month it is my pleasure to bring to you a month of music from the Apostolic Bible Institute in St. Paul, MN! This is to celebrate their 80th anniversary!

Rev. S.G. Norris founded the school and opened it on October 1st, 1937. Since then, countless ministers, musicians, evangelists, missionaries, and more walked through those doors and went out to take the Whole Gospel to the Whole World that they learned from the school we love! (ABI is the school we love!)

The first school was on 464 Pierce Street in St. Paul. Because God blessed them with growth, they moved to 745 Grand Avenue. Today, the campus spans 40 acres at 6944 Hudson Blvd. (Interestingly enough, the back cover of this album has their address listed as 3175 Hudson Blvd! There is no sign online they ever had a building at that address. Today, that address is the home of a Cub Foods grocery store!)

In Bible college music, they are nonpareil. Under the direction of Rev. Wendell Gleason, ABI was the first Bible college to produce a full length record in 1955. They were the pioneers! (It does not seem to be this record. The school was founded in 1937 and, at the time of this recording, it's said to have been "a quarter-of-a-century." That would put this record in 1962. However, upon closer attention, the text on the back cover states the quartet toured in 1966. So there you go! Just a little over "a quarter-of-a-century!")

Rev. Gleason is joined by his oldest son, Gary Gleason, Ken Scirley (I am getting the feeling that was supposed to be Shirley? Not sure, but there sure are no "Scirley"s on Google or Facebook!), and Dan Bolle.

We also get the ABI Trio with Ruth Eikamp, Mary Russell, and Linda Kepler!

The music here isn't revolutionary. It's fairly standard piano and vocal tracks. But it is a true piece of Pentecostal music history that needs to be shared! And with this year being the 80th anniversary of this great institution for Biblical learning, what better time than now to share it?


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

KCC Choir-To The Lord

Finishing off Bible college month, I go from the extreme of the vintage recording I shared on my first post of the month to something more new...well, 23 years old. Newer than most stuff I share here!

It's hard to find a true discography of their albums online. As far as I know, this may be their final recording, but I am not sure.

We have the familiar talents contributing to this record: Doug Davis and Tammy Trout. They are joined by Geron Davis and feature songs written by Shawn Craig (of Phillips, Craig, and Dean fame), Nancy Grandquist, and Nate Sabin. Some real solid UPC talent here! Some of the best of the mid 90s!

Like most of the albums I share here, this is a private press release and long out of print.


Friday, August 25, 2017

Conquerors Bible College​-​Selah II

And Bible college month continues!

Here is a wonderful gem brought to you courtesy of blog reader Al Dee Sollinger!

Last year, I shared Ship Ahoy!, which included the work of Donald and Donna Fisher.

Their names are not included on the back cover, so I do not know if they ministered there during the time this record was recorded.  And Walter Nigh is not one of the names that many in Pentecostal music circles know at the tip of their tongue.

However, this is a unique treasure clearly cemented in the time it was created. The dreamy synths anchor this album in the late 70's through 1980 when they were most likely composed. I am not sure of another Bible college (or choir) record with a sound quite like this one. It's fascinatingly unique. Like the music in the college, there are no trumpets, no thumping bass, no black gospel influences. It's like a mellow jazzy pop album. And that's not a bad thing, IMHO. I, for one, embrace variety in music.

Sadly, and perhaps notably, the references to this college I can find online today are on spiritual abuse websites. Let that be what it is, I guess.

But I believe music that's anointed is always anointed, even if the vessels God uses to make it are flawed.


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Christian Life College-Abundant Life

When one often thinks of the Christian Life College from Stockton, CA, they usually think of the Christian Life Center as well. And many reading this may already be familiar with the CLC Youth and CLC Mass Choir CDs, most of which were released under the amazing production of Glen Woodward.

Glen went to CLC in 1986. During his second year in college, he became involved in the music ministry department. There is no doubt that his impact was amazing on the church's and college's music ministry.

But before the incomparable Glen Woodward blessed us with his music ministry, we had this album released five years before he attended the school.

The music minister responsible for this record was Kevin Ward. Information about him and how long he served as music minister for the church is hard to find. Jeff Switzer also contributed his talents to this record. His name is not immediately recognizable, but he was involved in several National Music Ministry Conference recordings under the direction of Lanny Wolfe. And when I "Google" his name with the word "Pentecostal," the first link is actually back to my own page! He was also involved in the Labourers Together project I shared last month!

So before the Christian Life College choir was rebranded as the CLC Youth Choir and CLC Mass Choir, we have this humble record. I am personally not sure how many records were released before Glen got involved with the church and college, but I hope if you know more about past records you take a moment and drop me a note in the comments section! I was lucky to get this record for a very low price from a retired minister who sold his collection to me!

Alas, from 1981, we have this great classic...

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

P​.​B​.​I. Sings​-​Joy Bells

For the month of August, I am going to feature music from United Pentecostal Bible colleges!

First up, the Pentecostal Bible Institute, or PBI. They opened in the fall semester of 1945 in Tupelo, MS. (Fun fact: Brother CM Becton was one of 28 freshmen students in that first semester class!)

In the early 1960s they started releasing record albums. One thing of note is that the condition of this record is very good. Not mint, but it has held up well over the years. Unfortunately, the quality of the music is not great. There are some solos that are barely audible on some tracks and some solos that are nearly distorting the microphone on other tracks. While a historic recording, it was clear this was during a time that figuring out how to record a live choir was a challenge.

The choir is composed of students from the Pentecostal Bible Institute. Rev. M.D. Padfield Jr is the choir director here. He also served as president of the school.

While this particular record leaves a lot to be desired in terms of technical issues with the recording, it's a great and historic piece all the same. It is my pleasure to bring it to you today!

You can download this record HERE!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Sounds of Pentecost

In addition to the annual Harvestime Songfests, the Jackson College of Ministries held the annual National Music Ministry Conference. The first of these took place the week of February 9-13, 1976. Dubbed "a week to remember," it is a week to remember quite indeed! And it's been preserved on vinyl for me to share with you today.

The talents involved are a virtual who's who of United Pentecostal Music. This was a meeting of church choir directors and musicians. This first meeting had 250 participants representing the UPCI from 28 states.

There were seminars, sermons, and workshops through the first days of the conference. On Thursday, February 12, featured "The Sounds of Pentecost-A Tribute to Pentecostal Musicians", featuring a concert of the twelve musicians represented here.

You can download the great historic event HERE!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Pentecostal Conquerors-Labourers Together

The full title of this record is "Labourers Together"-United Pentecostal Church International Illinois District - Pentecostal Conquerors.

That's quite a mouthful!

For the sake of this archival listing, I have posted it as simply "Pentecostal Conquerors" but make no mistake: this LP is not by a group of that name. This is a special compilation of music recorded by talented ministers and singers from the Illinois District to raise money for the state's Sheaves For Christ fund.

At the time this record was released, Rev. Stanley Chambers was the General Superintendent of the church and Rev. M.J. Wolff led the state district.

Some of the names of the groups here are rather generic or feature last names so, unfortunately, not a lot is know about all the people involved in this record. But I do see it was produced by Doug Davis, who has been involved in many Pentecostal albums, including a few of his own and with the Doug Davis Trio.

You can download this great compilation HERE!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Gospel Key Spotlights Bakersfield

Here is a rare compilation from the Gospel Key Records label out of Bakersfield, CA!

Unlike most compilations released by a record label, this collection does not feature works by every artist in their stable of recording artists. Instead, they focus on the work of three acts that spotlights the talent coming from the Bakersfield United Pentecostal Church.

The Parker Sisters, The Choralettes, and The Wilsons.

Of the acts included here, I found some information on the Parker Sisters. (They also performed and recorded with their brother as "The Singing Parkers.") 

Kathy married Mike Hayes and currently minister at the Covenant Church in Carrollton, TX. Sally married Tim Ayers and served as music ministers at the Covenant Church. She passed away Dec 23, 2004.

Sadly, looking at their website, it appears the Covenant Church strayed away from the Oneness of God and Jesus name baptism. But they were ministers in music for many years, and beloved by many through the 70s. The Parkers also performed at churches with the Gateway Choir. Sally contributed her vocal talents to the early Gateway Sounds albums under the direction of Lanny Wolfe.

Gospel Key Records is an amazing treasure trove of Pentecostal treasures of the past, without a doubt!

You can download this great compilation HERE!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Pentecostals Sing

I promised compilations, I am going to bring you compilations!

For this blog, I end up doing more than preserving rare and classic records of Pentecostal music. Not by intent, but by necessity. Some records I come across are dirty, scratchy, skip, and otherwise horrible sounding.

As a result, to bring to you the best quality of these records I can, I end up doing a bit of restoration work on these albums.

To clean records, I recommend the "Vinyl Vac." Next to expensive sonic professional cleaning machines, I think this may be the best in restoring records. I know recent records I have shared in the past sounded much better after using the "Vinyl Vac" on them than they did before.

Unfortunately, cleaning wasn't enough for this record. Side one ends up sounding pretty good, with some minor scratches here that do not affect playback.

Side two, however, was a different story. And when more restoration needs to be done to the record, it can delay posting it. One track that suffers from damage to the vinyl is "How Great Thou Art." Another was Murrell Ewing's "More Than A Friend." Thankfully, for the latter, I have the original vinyl record that featured that song, so the copy of the song here actually comes from that album. (Trust me, it's the same version.) There is a scratch on the record that really affected "How Great Thou Art" that could not be avoided. Though I am happy to say that I managed to fix the serious skip in the record by holding my finger in front of the stylus so it didn't jump ahead when it hit the spot. Oh, the things I do to bring these records to you!

But that just makes the blog and transferring these albums all the more a labor of love. And surely, this is restoration. The final product that ends up digitally uploaded sounds better than the vinyl copy played by itself.

And this is a great record worthy of the extra time and labor to restore it. It appears to be a compilation of albums already available at the time. I personally only have the full record by one artist represented here (Murrell Ewing.) I have heard the Trimbles before (but sadly over the years lost their CD and or tapes I had by them.) I was thrilled to hear the Trimble Brothers here! Some great work! I will certainly add them to the saved searches on websites I shop at!

Also, this is a Harvestime Record, which puts it into the series of Harvestime compilations I shared in the past.

You can download this great treasure of the past HERE!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Nate Sabin-Wide Awake

OK, I know I teased compilations this month on my Facebook page, but for now here is a "bonus post!"

Nate Sabin was one of the artists I contacted to see if he'd mind me sharing his music on my blog. He respectfully asked me hold off as he was remastering the album himself.

And, WOW! I am thrilled to say the remaster sounds AMAZING!

Nate Sabin comes from Minnesota. His father, Robert Sabin, was among the leaders of the Oneness Pentecostal movement, and many may know that name. Nate is much more well known for his contributions to music and ministry, however. His name shows up on several releases through the late 80s and through the 90s. (In fact, he was a musician on the Tupelo Children's Mansion album "Be Somebody" I shared recently.)

I've listened to his music since his humble debut "Here I Am." (Now, if that ever gets remastered, I will be delighted!)

While he was and is known more for his contributions to the work of so many others, Nate took time out to release this amazing solo album.

You can stream it and/or download it (and support Nate directly!) HERE!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Lance & Merna Appleton-So Happy!

Wrapping up the second annual Vacation Bible School month with another rare Pentecostal children's classic! From 1977, not only a record from Lance Appleton, but a record from Lance and his wife Merna!

You can download this great treasure HERE!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Tupelo Children's Mansion Part Four

There's no year on this one, but if I were to take a stab at a guess, I would say this must be from around 1990-1992. Just a hunch. The graphics and the music are quite dated, for example. Also, I know that Nate Sabin, who plays several instruments on this album, was quite prolific in United Pentecostal Music during this period, and appeared on a number of projects.

I do not have much more to add about the ministry, as I've written three blog posts about them before! But this is certainly one of the more rare releases from them. "Jesus, I Heard You Had a Big House" may be their most well known recording, and it seems this one had a lower circulation. So it's a pleasure to bring it to you and make sure this doesn't fall into obscurity.

Also, how could I have a second annual Vacation Bible School Month and not include this ministry's music? They are the shining examples of children's music in the United Pentecostal Church!

You can download the full album HERE!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Songs for Pentecostal Children

The second annual Vacation Bible School Month ramps it up for a wonderful rarity from the history of Pentecostal music!

As with most records I share here, there is no year printed on the jacket or album label. My best guesstimate from the cover photo thinks this looks like it came from 1978 or so. Anybody know for sure?

Children's records in Pentecostal music seem to be rather rare. To find one as clean and sharp as this copy was sure a gift from God! I have no doubt He helped me find this to share with you!

The talent here is credited to Ruth Munsey, who wrote "most" of the songs according to the liner notes. The musical staff of the Evangelical Temple United Pentecostal Church in Hammond, IN contributed to the music as well.

Unfortunately, I did not score the accompanying book with this record, as pictured on the back cover. But this record is unique as it is the only record I know of officially released on the WAP (Word Aflame Press) label. Obviously, they were a publishing wing of the United Pentecostal Church. They may have released other records, but this is the first and only one I've found so far.

As you all know, I continue to look for more, and if I do, you can find the records here!

You can download this marvelous piece of history HERE!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Ann Grant & The Little Lights-Bananas for the Lord

Much to my surprise, last year's "Vacation Bible School Month" was a resounding success! It amazed me to see that two of my all time most popular posts were from that one month! So that tells me that parents and more are digging these great kids' records with a great message!

So I bring to you Vacation Bible School Month 2!

First up is another great title from Ann Grant and the Little Lights. As best as I can tell, this is Ann's last album before her untimely and unfortunate demise from cancer. This is a fun album and she brings out some fun stories for this release that her grandmother, Jesse Norris, made infamous on her albums many years ago.

The joy Ann brought to the lives of those she touched was boundless and genuine. Surely, her "little light" was a brilliant light on a hill. She let her light shine for many to see. There really hasn't been anything like her since her passing.

This album was released on tape only in 1990. From the liner notes, here are those who contributed their talents to this record:

"Top Bannanas"
Grand piano-Cindy Wurch
Drums-Joe Bomn
Bass-Ann Grant, Joe Casolari
Orchestrations & engineer-Joe Casolari
Photography-Ann Grant, Greg Hanson
Graphics-Amy Bayles
Recorded and mixed-Crusade Studios, Flora IL 1990

Cover Photo (L-R)
Elizabeth Hanson (age 6)
Joe Bomn (age 13)
Amanda Hanson (age 13)
Ann Marie Ragon (age 9)
Andrew Baldridge (age 4)
Melissa Baldridge (age 10)

Back Photo (L-R)
Cindy Wurch
Connie Hanson
Ann Grant
Brad Bomn
Cheryl Page
Leticia Espana

Bunches of Bananas For:
Drew & Heather Baldride, Laurie Boivin, Greg & Connie Hanson, John & Sharon Ragon for a super weekend with your talented, energetic, & exciting children!
Renee Reed for bows for cover picture!
Sullivan, IL U.P.C. for your genuine hospitality all the time!
Kenneth, Becky, & Jennifer Belew for your creative writing and time given.
Cheryl Page for a home away from home, ingenious sound effects, & lighting!
Mom & Dad for all your support, love, encouragement, and believing in my "banana" ideas.

Truly, Ann was a treasure to many.

You can enjoy a piece of the treasure HERE!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Nathaniel & Jean Urshan-Sunshine in the Shadows

Could I possibly feature the first look at couples in Pentecostal music and not included the Urshans? If I was to submit a picture to a dictionary to illustrate "Pentecostal music," it would have to be of Nathaniel and Jean Urshan. Together, their music was probably heard by more Pentecostals than any other musical act I know. From their ministry through Harvestime radio and participating in the many Harvestime music compilations to releasing full length records, they were quite prolific. Their sound not only entertained and ministered, I believe it defined the "Pentecostal sound" for decades to come from when they first started ministering in song.

This record was first released on the Lefevre Sound label in the late 1960s. (The record notes say it came after their 25th wedding anniversary, and the Urshans were married in 1941.) It was re-released in the 1980s as part of the "Harvestime Reflection Series."

This appears to be their second full length album. Now that's a guess but the liner notes indicate there was a record before this. (I think I may have it in my collection, too! Not 100% sure because dates are missing on a lot of the records I share here.) I am not sure how many came before it. We do know that there were 78s released of singles, which were compiled on Harvestime Reflections Series 3.  As far as I know, that collection is the example of their earliest work.

But this is a remarkable and historic album all the same. This is mandatory listening for any fan of Pentecostal music. You can download it HERE!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Terry & Julia Gunn-Peace of Mind

Terry Gunn has been in music ministry for nearly fifty years. He started playing in gospel groups in 1968 in St. Louis, MO.

In 1970, he married Julia and began to tour and perform with Lanny and Marietta Wolfe. In 1972 he became a music minister in Phoenix, AZ. Now, this is where trying to fill in some of these details gets a little fuzzy in the Internet age. From what I can tell on this record, he was associated with Rev. G.E. Wesson, otherwise known as Garland Edward Wesson. He was the pastor of what is claimed to be the first United Pentecostal Church in the country: Apostolic Heritage Church. They are known today as the "Phoenix Revival Center." Yet it is indicated by Lanny Wolfe that Terry served as assistant pastor at the West Phoenix United Pentecostal Church. Are these two different churches? Was the latter a different name for the former? If you have any additional info about this, please drop a comment below and help a brother out!

Terry Gunn ministered in that church for four years. During that time, his daughter Christy was born and he recorded this record with his wife.

He went on to become music director of the Christian Life Center in Stockton, CA. More on that in a future post (which is a nice tease of records to come!)

For now, you can download this record HERE!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Leon & Velma West-It's Gonna Rain

From the beginning of this blog, I've enjoyed bringing Pentecostal music to you well known and obscure.

Obviously, not every artist I share here is going to be as big of a name as Murrell Ewing or Vesta Mangun. Some, as we have learned, have vanished through the mists of time, their only presence found in the digital Internet age being the record they left behind as evidence they trod this soil on their journey to shed their mortal coil. (I wax poetic, or something like that...)

This is one of those records, I am afraid. I can find nothing about either of these two on the Internet. Zip, nada, zilch. There's not even a United Pentecostal Church listed in Goshen, CA, where the Wests lived. I am not sure if there ever was a church there, or if they attended church in another town.

So how did I come across this record, you all may ask. Well, that's an ancient Chinese secret. I can't give away all my secrets of how I find albums to share here. But this I know: about 75 miles away from Goshen, CA there was Bakersfield, CA. And there are actually a number of UPCI churches in Bakersfield.

Back in the 1960s, a record label devoted to featuring Pentecostal artists was formed. Gospel Key Records released a number of albums and every one of them featured UPC music under the parent name "Bakersfield Music Enterprises."

Today, this is what is at that address where these records came from:

Of course, I am not sure if that is the original building or what. I may have to do further research on this, however.

So all we know of Leon and Velma West at this time is what is printed on the back of this record. Basically, their names, where they lived, and when they were married.

But some interesting things to note:

This record was produced by Jerry Scheff. Not sure if that is THE Jerry Scheff who has played with such acts as The Doors, Elvis, and Elvis Costello. But Jerry is from California, knocked dirt around this part of the state for a while, and it's not out of the question this was early session work in his career. I am not declaring this IS that Jerry Scheff, but I can confidently say there is not any indication of another Jerry Scheff in the United Pentecostal Church on the Internet.

I am leaning towards that the producers of this record shared the same fate as Leon and Velma West-whatever record of their lives were recorded on paper has not made it to the Internet age. However, I intend to do more research on this humble record label from Bakersfield, and those involved, and will do more homework outside the Internet on this. Needless to say, I have more Gospel Key Records to share, and these are important parts of Pentecostal music history, and I need more material to share on those upcoming posts! I feel these records are so important, I even tagged "Gospel Key Records" separately on this post.

So, as is with most of the records I share here, I open up the comments section to any information you, the dear reader/listener, may know that I do not. While I write this blog, I do not profess to be an expert on every thing I share. In many cases, I am learning about this music as I discover it and go along.

You can download this lost piece of history HERE!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Tony & Martha Carson-Thank God I'm Free

I'm back! And I have a stack of albums to share with you in the coming weeks!

Okay, we've featured solo female artists around here and then solo male artists. This month I am going to focus on couples!

First up is the record I mentioned in my only April post-Tony and Martha Carson.

I was fortunate enough to come across this one in one of my many generic searches on Ebay. (And to say I've searched through tens of thousands of records combing through piles and piles to look for one gem is not an exaggeration. One time I had over 20,000 matches for records and found out that Ebay will max out a search on 10,000 records!)  I could not find much about Tony and Martha Carson to know if they were UPC at the time. But there was an image of the back cover and Raymond Bishop's name came up with several results.

He is currently listed on the Mississippi District website as a minister at the Victory Church of the Lord Jesus Christ in New Albany. He is also listed as superintendent of the Mississippi district.

As we already know, Rev. Tony Carson and his wife came from Memphis, TN. They were associated with the Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ (corrected from a previous edit of this post, see the comments section for the credit!) with Rev. Carroll McGruder and more. We know Rev. McGruder became United Pentecostal. From what I know, Tony was affiliated with the ALJC but I also know he ministered at the Bethlehem Church of the Lord Jesus Christ in Potts Camp, MS. They are a Oneness Pentecostal organization, and their work with Rev. McGruder makes me happy to share their work here. It is unknown if he's recorded other records. If he has, I have been unable to find them on the usual used record sites. But that doesn't mean I won't keep my eye out for more!

This is some fairly straight forward country/southern gospel music. Most of the music is capable and enjoyable. A couple tracks really stand out to me, however. I am enthralled with "His Hand In Mine" and "The Eyes of Jesus." If I were ever to hand select tracks for a best of Pentecostal music box set, I would highly recommend these two for inclusion.

This is a great record, whether if it's their only one they released or one among more. You can download the album HERE!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Apostolic Jubilee

First off, I just wanted to let you know this has been a crazy busy month for me. I probably will not be posting as much as I have this month as I usually do. I hope to get another album up on here by the end of the month. If time constrains me from doing so, I wanted to put out a strong choice if this is the only one I can share for April.

This is an incredible rarity I found by chance online (another search for a general term instead of anything specific on Ebay.)  Like the "Pioneers for Christ" album before it, this is a remarkable recording because it features the works of Rev. Carroll McGruder while he was with the Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ Church, a Oneness Pentecostal organization that shares their faith with the UPCI.

Rev. Carroll McGruder recorded these songs with his first wife, Linda Coffey. Many know and love his musical work with The McGruders where he recorded album after album with his wife, Priscilla McDonald. It's wonderful to find these early recordings and wonder how Linda's influence would have affected the eventual work The McGruders put out.

Also included on this album are "Evangelist and Mrs. Tony Carson." They are Tony and Martha Carson of Memphis, TN. They later on went to minister in South Carolina and also at the Bethlehem Church of the Lord Jesus Christ in Potts Camp, MS. I actually have full length LP of them in my collection I will be sure to share in the near future!

And, of course, included in the mix is the indelible group The Wilson Brothers Quartet. Bishop Steve Wilson is the lead in this group and still ministers to this day at the Bethlehem Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, where Bro. Tony Carson also ministered in the past. While not UPCI, they share the faith of Oneness truth and follow the Biblical plan for salvation!

Little is known about Rev. M.L. and Ruby Walls. From what I can find, they still minister at the Medora Pentecostal Church in Medora, IN.

I do not know about the members of the Hot Springs Trio and the Apostolic Messengers Quartet, however. Rev. McGruder lists Nedra Fry as a member of the trio but little is known about her from what I found online.

It's also worth noting that Rev. McGruder covers a song written by Rev. Spencer McCool, who performed with his wife as The McCools.

So, in this crazy month, if this is the only record I can give you, I think this is a fantastic selection. The condition of the vinyl was in amazing shape, as well. I really feel God led me to look it up on the day it was up for sale on Ebay! Praise Jesus! He knew this was a little light that needed to shine, not be hid "under a bushel" in a stored collection somewhere!

You can download this amazing piece of Pentecostal history HERE!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Steve Richardson-You Gave My Life a Song

If there was an United Pentecostal Music Hall of Fame, another inaugural songwriter added to such an honor would have to be Steve Richardson.

I do not recall the first Pentecostal record I listened to, but I do know it wasn't until the album "Wings" by the Gaither Vocal Band that I heard the song "Daystar (Shine Down On Me)." It was four years later I got to meet Steve and hear him perform that signature song and more in church. He always struck me as a humble, warm, and loving person. Never pretentious, and as approachable as the least of these.

For many years, it was those poorly recorded church tapes that kept me connected to the majority of his music. When I found this record for sale (and still sealed!) in a used record store one day, I was shocked. I had no idea he ever released this record.

If there was an United Pentecostal Music Hall of Fame, Steve Richardson would naturally be nominated for inclusion. I get the feeling, however, if the honor came during his life time, he would have laid it down at Christ's feet and given the glory back to God.

A man as humble as he would never have boasted of this accomplishment, that is for sure. And he shares credits on this record with well known names such as Bill Gaither and Rick Powell. But when you met Steve Richardson, you were meeting him, not an ego that rubbed elbows with some of the biggest names in Christian music. I got the feeling that he treated everybody the same when he met them, and surely he let God's love shine through him in the night.

So, no, I don't recall the first Pentecostal music I listened to. Or even the first Pentecostal CD or tape I purchased. But I do remember the first Pentecostal vinyl record I purchased. From that humble beginning to this blog...

You can download this classic record HERE.

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.