How Can I Keep from Singing, Vol. 1

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Nathan Bush
Another of Yazoo Records' wonderful themed compilations, How Can I Keep From Singing is a collection of sacred music from the 1920s and 1930s. It provides an indispensable series of portraits that sheds light on how people from the period celebrated their religion in song. Beyond historical significance, every performance here is an enjoyable listening experience, and there are many highlights. Jay Bird Coleman delivers a fantastic harmonica duet with Ollis Martin on "I'm Gonna Cross the River of Jordan." Their performance is raw and seems to lie outside of the confines of the church, much closer to the earth. The music seems to jump out of the recording. "He's Got Better ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Nathan Bush
Another of Yazoo Records' wonderful themed compilations, How Can I Keep From Singing is a collection of sacred music from the 1920s and 1930s. It provides an indispensable series of portraits that sheds light on how people from the period celebrated their religion in song. Beyond historical significance, every performance here is an enjoyable listening experience, and there are many highlights. Jay Bird Coleman delivers a fantastic harmonica duet with Ollis Martin on "I'm Gonna Cross the River of Jordan." Their performance is raw and seems to lie outside of the confines of the church, much closer to the earth. The music seems to jump out of the recording. "He's Got Better Things for You" by the Memphis Sanctified Singers is equally exciting and is sung so beautifully that it could win the church new converts. "He's got the holy ghost and the fire," the singer advertises. This is religious music, but she isn't above making the song a showcase for her unique style as she growls her way through the chorus. On "Woke Up This Morning," Roosevelt Graves & Brother create a joyful syncopation with two voices, guitar, and some basic percussion. Typically, Yazoo gives no thought to musical or racial segregation. Thus, the heavily stylized voice of Rev. H.B. Jackson is backed by the authentic gospel sounds of Rev. E.D. Campbell & Congregation. Uncle Dave Macon a white, vaudeville-influenced performer, who delivers a humorous, spoken introduction on "Walking in Sunlight," is followed by the unique tradition of sacred harp singing on a performance by the Middle Georgia Singing Convention. Slim Ducket & Pig Norwood's wonderful, subdued reading of "I Want to Go Where Jesus Is," which seems to bear the mark of a blues secular performer, is up against Rev. J.O. Hanes. The group's "The Great Transaction's Done," with its inclusion of a sermon, attempts to recreate the environment of a church meeting on record. By making faith the only requirement, Yazoo has brought together a range of performers, styles, and voices to gather and congregate, resulting in a blend that's all too rare.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/4/1996
  • Label: Yazoo
  • UPC: 016351202024
  • Catalog Number: 2020
  • Sales rank: 200,872

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 My Heart Keeps Singing - Elder J.E. Burch (3:09)
  2. 2 Woke Up This Morning (2:51)
  3. 3 Standing on the Promises - Taskiana Four (2:41)
  4. 4 I Can Tell the World About This - Laura Henton (2:44)
  5. 5 Walking in Sunlight - Uncle Dave Macon (3:04)
  6. 6 This Song of Love - Middle Georgia Singing Convention (2:58)
  7. 7 It Won't Be Long Till My Grave Is Made - Walter Smith (3:06)
  8. 8 I'm Gonna Cross the River of Jordan Some O'These Days (3:05)
  9. 9 My Loved Ones Are Waiting - Carolina Ladies Quartette (2:41)
  10. 10 True Friendship - Rev. J.C. Burnett (2:55)
  11. 11 Weeping Pilgrim (2:34)
  12. 12 Sleep On, Mother Sleep On (3:13)
  13. 13 My Christian Friends in Bonds of Love - Elder Golden Harris (3:12)
  14. 14 He's Got Better Things For You (2:57)
  15. 15 God Leads His Dear Children Along - Rev Joseph Callender (2:55)
  16. 16 Coronation - Daniels-Deason Sacred Harp Singers (2:59)
  17. 17 I Want to Go Where Jesus Is - Pig Norwood (3:13)
  18. 18 The Great Transaction's Done - Rev. J.O. Hanes & Choir (2:49)
  19. 19 Every Time I Feel the Spirit - Rev. H.B Jackson (2:58)
  20. 20 Come Let Us Eat Together - Rev. E.D Campbell & Congregation (4:44)
  21. 21 Bringing in the Sheaves - The Mountain Singers Male Quartette (3:25)
  22. 22 Will David Play His Harp for Me (3:00)
  23. 23 Who'll Join This Union? - Nazarene Congregational Church Choir Of Brooklyn (2:32)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jaybird Coleman Track Performer
Roosevelt Graves and Brother Track Performer
Lonnie McIntorsh Track Performer
Walter Smith Track Performer
Norman Woodlieff Track Performer
Allison's Sacred Harp Singers Track Performer
Memphis Sanctified Singers Track Performer
Daniels-Deason Sacred Harp Singers Track Performer
Technical Credits
B.B. King Composer
Don Kent Liner Notes
Richard Nevins Producer, Liner Notes, Remastering
William Levi Dawson Composer
Joan Pelosi Art Direction
Jules Taub Composer
Public Domain Composer
Traditional Composer
George A. Minor Composer
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