Posts tagged "religious music"
Lift Jesus Higher John 12:32
I can’t find out any information on this album, not even the year it was released - though I’m guessing late ’60s or early ’70s - but this is a fine, fun, cool country gospel number recording in Hampton, VA. The Swordsmen’s phone number, on the back of the album, is 804-723-5231. Wonder if it’s still in service 40 years later …
Reverend Ian Mitchell and his wife Caroline,
The American Folk Song Mass
Back in the day - 1967, by this record’s date - Reverend Ian Mitchell was probably one of those “cool” ministers that the young people could “relate to” while they “rapped” about God and stuff. I don’t know if that kind of minister still exists because I’m unsure that they are necessary - it seems that the Reverend Mitchells of the world pretty much won. It’s not hard to get young people all Christianed up anymore. Back in 1967, it apparently took folk music singalongs to keep them interested. That’s the Reverend Mrs. singing along - if you scour the liner notes enough, you will eventually discern her name is Caroline. Don’t want to overshadow her husband’s gigantic mission and ego by, you know, offering her first name up front anywhere. This is apparently the “Roman Catholic Version.” I have no idea what differentiates it from Reverend Mitchell’s other songs. Mitchell, by the way, is an Anglican priest, for those keeping score, and YES, he did appear in nightclubs.
New Life Singers,
Pass It On
Considering this chorale group is singing this song in praise of the supreme existence that brings order to the universe, you would think they’d want to reflect a little of that order within their music, or at the very least, synchronize their vocals with the band. Not these Christian sonic anarchists. I’ve presented the music of Vermont’s New Life Ministries before with this rapture lament from the New Life Trio. This album is definitely from the early 1970s.
Gospel's Alive and Well
If I were going to find religion, it would be because of this sort of jaunty and - strangely - Sandler and Young style song doing its magic on me. Important note: the photos on the cover were taken from the bands’ appearance on the Mike Douglas Show. When I was a kid, Mike Douglas was God, not God!
Colwell Brothers with Up With People,
Sing-out Musical with Up With People
God is apparently splotchy. This message comes to you from 1965 and is notable for its naive optimism, effected though it seems. I would suggest that it’s not so much that the races can’t get along as one race just can’t seem to play nice with all the others, but don’t let that thought get in the way of this bouncy number!
The Toronto Mass
Some groovy God-iness for you. Dig those horns. This comes to you straight from 1972, a mass written for St. Basil’s Church in Toronto. It’s a throwback to the era when churches were trying to meld ’60s culture with religious services in order to get that younger generation into the pews. Things like Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell resulted, as well as this. Dance and be saved.
Judy Smith and the Mercy High School Choir,
A Brand New Day
This selection from a 12-song 7 inch single from 1972 has an arrangement that reminds me of The Boy Least Likely To. All the songs on the record were written by Sister Roberta McGrath, no church name given other than “Office of Communications,” which is located in East Hartford, Connecticut.
Billy Jones and the Brighton Airs ,
A City Not Built By Hand
This is an awesome little slice of hillbilly hellfire - it’s a cover of a Louvin Brothers song that points out while you may be missing a lot of fun while choosing not to sin, you are also missing out on something more eternal, more hot, and more painful. I couldn’t find a date on the album - you judge from the fashions, and keep in mind the artists and label are in Michigan.
Richard Roberts, Patti Roberts, and the World Action Singers,
Hey, you non-Christians, especially the hippie ones, you might think you feel love, but you don’t! Let Richard and Patti and the wonderfully-named and attired World Action Singers explain why. If you didn’t know this song was about god, the refrain of surrender would be even more disturbing than it already is.
Weird Christian records are a dime a dozen in the bins of thrift stores everywhere, but weird Jewish records are worth their weight in gold. Here is part of a Sabbath ceremony written and performed by Moog wizard Gershon Kingsley, which made its premiere performance in 1970 at Temple Sharey Tefilo, East Orange, NJ. The very diplomatic Rabbi Louis Newman of Temple Rodeph Shalom in NYC says on the back cover “It is certain to take its place among the memorable compositions of our day.” Indeed. This is one of the funkier tunes on the record.
New Life Trio,
I Wish We'd All Been Ready
Have you ever seen a sexier trio of musicians? They’re hear to play a catchy but mournful tune about the End Times. Has the Apocalypse ever sounded so gentle? I can only picture the world ending with banjo accompaniment now. Like Deliverance, but with demons.
Dick Pillar and His Orchestra,
As a longtime atheist, I never found anything that could sway me to religious belief until I encountered the miraculous fusion of polka and gospel. If they played polkas in church, I could get behind it. And so could Jesus, I bet.