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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.

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!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Jellisons-Family Favorites

Last month, I ended the look at female singers in the United Pentecostal Church by cheating a tad and sharing a "solo" record by Gayla Bibb that was actually a Bible Singing Bibb Family record.

Picking up on that cue, this month I am featuring some of my favorite "family" records! First up is the exceptional music ministry of The Jellisons.

Before I knew what Southern Gospel music was, I was listening to the to this family's incredible music.

Under the leadership of Rev. Wendell Jellison, their music ministry spans three decades and planted seeds of many music minsters in the church. It is untold how many albums they have released or influenced. I found two, plus a compilation put out by their church.

I know there are more because I know this album is a "greatest hits" record. Two tracks on this album come from the aforementioned compilation and I know one comes from "Shoutin' Sounds." I do not have the latter, but somebody posted a video of "Already Been to the Water" on You Tube and they show their vinyl copy.

So the search continues for more of their records!


One more thing to mention: Like the McCools and the Pentecostal Elders records I shared in the past, I found many records that had the same cover art as this one, with some variations. I even found another Pentecostal record with the same cover art, which I will share later.

It always amuses me a bit when I find records like this. I guess these were royalty free images record labels could use, and given the lack of money going into these productions it was easier to pick a public domain image than pay an artist/photographer to create new album art.

Is there any other genre where this happened? That's not a rhetorical question... I genuinely wonder.

Here is a sample of the other records I found with similar covers:

In the meantime, here's the album that thrilled me when I was younger.  You can download the spirit-filled goodness HERE!