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Mountain Gospel

Mountain Gospel

The four-disc, 100-track Mountain Gospel box set collects sacred music released on commercial 78s by Southern white performers in the 1920s, '30s, and '40s, and includes string bands, gospel quartets, and sacred harp singers all trying to sing their way to heaven while maybe making a dollar or two on the way. By turns exuberant, wise, humorous, forgiving,


The four-disc, 100-track Mountain Gospel box set collects sacred music released on commercial 78s by Southern white performers in the 1920s, '30s, and '40s, and includes string bands, gospel quartets, and sacred harp singers all trying to sing their way to heaven while maybe making a dollar or two on the way. By turns exuberant, wise, humorous, forgiving, unforgiving, ragged as a soup bone and occasionally dressed up fine as silk, these selections are reminders of how much the sacred and the secular were intermingled in the early days of the recording industry. Highlights include the bass string runs of Alfred Karnes on his double-necked Gibson guitar on the comforting and majestic "We Shall All Be Reunited," the odd waltzes of the Garland Brothers, who tackle "Beautiful" and "Just Over the River" with a lineup of fiddle, guitar, and violincello, the flowing "Going Down the Valley" by Ernest Stoneman (whose long career saw him record on acoustic cylinders, 78s, stereo LPs, and even videotape), and a chugging string band version of "Ain't Gonna Lay My Armor Down" by Ancil McVay and Roland N. Johnson. Ernest Phipps delivers energetic takes on "Do Lord Remember Me" and "Old Ship of Zion," while the Phil Crow Trio crack off a goofy and cartoonish "I'm a Gittin' Ready to Go." Other high points include J.E. Mainer's folksy "This World Is Not My Home" and his energetic "Just Over in the Gloryland" (featuring the three-finger banjo style of Snuffy Jenkins, who helped set the table for bluegrass), as well as younger brother Wade Mainer's gentle waltz version of "The Precious Jewel." The all-female string band the Coon Creek Girls blast through an impressive "Sowing on the Mountain" before the whole set comes to a close with the whimsical and joyous "What Kind of Shoes You Gwine to Wear" by William Rexroat's Cedar Crest Singers. There is a fair bit of fire and brimstone scattered throughout these songs, and a good deal of pining for homes on far, distant shores, but there is also the kind of ragged joy that comes with knowing that singing about a better life may actually -- however briefly -- deliver that better life.

Product Details

Release Date:
Jsp Records


Disc 1

  1. Called to the Foreign Field
  2. I Am Bound for the Promised Land
  3. Where We'll Never Grow Old
  4. When They Ring the Golden Bells
  5. To the Work
  6. Do Not Wait 'Till I'm Laid Beneath the Clay
  7. The Days of My Childhood Plays
  8. We Shall All Be Reunited
  9. Crossed Old Jordan's Stream
  10. I Am on My Way to Heaven
  11. Music in My Soul
  12. When the Gates of Glory Open
  13. On the Glory Road
  14. The Sailing Ship
  15. Just Inside the Pearly Gates
  16. Beautiful
  17. Just Over the River
  18. God's Getting Worried
  19. There's a Beautiful City Called Heaven
  20. Turn Away
  21. What a Change
  22. Rejoicing All the Way
  23. I Want to Go There Don't You
  24. Glory Is Rising in My Soul
  25. Odem

Disc 2

  1. Going Down the Valley
  2. The Sinless Summerland
  3. Hallelujah Side
  4. Tell Mother I Will Meet Her
  5. Sweeping Through the Gates
  6. I Know My Name Is There
  7. No More Goodbyes
  8. I Am Resolved
  9. Down to Jordan and Be Saved
  10. There's a Light Lit Up in Galilee
  11. I Remember Calvary
  12. He Is Coming After Me
  13. Everybody Will Be Happy Over There
  14. 'Twill Be Glory Over There
  15. Joy Among the Angels
  16. Jacob's Ladder
  17. Hallelujah to the Lamb
  18. Ain't Gonna Lay My Armor Down
  19. I'll Be Ready When the Bridegroom Comes
  20. Cuba
  21. I Belong to This Band
  22. Old Ship of Zion
  23. My Prayer
  24. Bringing in the Sheaves
  25. Coronation

Disc 3

  1. I Want to Go Where Jesus Is
  2. Do, Lord Remember Me
  3. Old Ship of Zion
  4. Jesus Getting Us Ready for That Great Day
  5. Happy in Prison
  6. Don't Grieve After Me
  7. If the Light Has Gone Out in Your Soul
  8. Went Up in the Clouds of Heaven
  9. I Know That Jesus Set Me Free
  10. Shine on Me
  11. Bright Tomorrow
  12. A Little Talk with Jesus
  13. Ring the Bells of Freedom
  14. I'll Lead a Christian Life
  15. My God the Spring of All My Joys
  16. When He Died He Got a Home in Hell
  17. I'm Glad I Counted the Cost
  18. Abraham
  19. I'm a Gittin' Ready to Go
  20. You'll Never Go to Heaven with Your Powder and Paint
  21. Though Your Sins Be Scarlet
  22. Dip Me in the Golden Sea
  23. No Hidin' Place Down There
  24. Sometimes
  25. Sunrise

Disc 4

  1. Lights in the Valley
  2. This World Is Not My Home
  3. In a Little Village Churchyard
  4. Just Over in the Gloryland
  5. Life's Ev'nin' Sun
  6. Home in the Sky
  7. Mansions in the Sky
  8. The Precious Jewel
  9. I Got a Home in the Beulah Land
  10. That Lonesome Valley
  11. Lonesome Valley, Pt. 2
  12. I Shall Not Be Moved
  13. Gabriel's Trumpet
  14. Sowing on the Mountain
  15. I Love My Saviour
  16. He Is My Friend and Guide
  17. The Heavenly Train
  18. He Will Be Your Savior Too
  19. Tribulation Days
  20. I Can't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
  21. I'm Redeemed
  22. In Steps of Light
  23. We'll Be at Home Again
  24. I'm Going Home to Die No More
  25. What Kind of Shoes You Gwine to Wear

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Carson Robison   Track Performer
Bill Carlisle   Guitar,Vocals
Clyde Moody   Guitar,Vocals
J.E. Mainer   Fiddle,Vocals
Wade Mainer   Banjo,Vocals
Ernest V. Stoneman   Guitar,Harmonica,Vocals
Snuffy Jenkins   Banjo
Cliff Carlisle   Steel Guitar,Vocals
P. Patterson   Steel Guitar
Homer "Pappy" Sherrill   Fiddle
Jack Anglin   Guitar,Vocals
Jim Anglin   Vocals
Evelyn "Daisy" Lange   String Bass
Lily May Ledford   Banjo
Rosie Ledford   Guitar
Odus Maggard   Banjo,Vocals
Frank Walker   Vocals
Emry Arthur   Guitar,Vocals
Uncle Eck Dunford   Fiddle,Vocals
Steve Ledford   Fiddle,Vocals
Zeke Morris   Guitar,Vocals
Clarence Todd   Guitar,Vocals
Jack Shelton   Guitar,Vocals
Leonard Stokes   Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals
Tom Leonard   Vocals
Elmer Bird   Guitar,Vocals
Bill Hill   Autoharp
Ernest Phipps   Fiddle,Vocals
George Morris   Guitar,Vocals
Hattie Stoneman   Fiddle,Vocals
Norman Woodlief   Guitar
Walter "Kid" Smith   Harmonica,Vocals,Soloist
Kahle Brewer   Fiddle,Vocals
Dan Hornsby   Vocals
Sherman Collins   Guitar,Vocals
Jay Hugh Hall   Guitar
Daddy John Love   Guitar,Vocals
Clyde Robbins   Guitar,Tenor (Vocal)
Odell Smith   Fiddle
Olfa Crowder   Guitar,Vocals
Ollie Bunn   Fiddle
Leroy Ridgel   Fiddle
Charles Ancil Ridgel   Mandolin,Vocals
Millard Whitehead   Guitar,Vocals
Eunice Ayers   Vocals
A.G. Baker   Vocals
Hillman Barnard   Tenor (Vocal)
Connie Bird   Guitar,Vocals
Edna Brewer   Vocals
Nora Byrley   Vocals
George Elmo Chumbler   Guitar,Vocals
Irene Chumbler   Vocals
Laura Chumbler   Vocals
William Archer Chumbler   Autoharp
Clovis Crowder   Fiddle
Lois Dexter   Tenor Banjo
Charles Dykes   Guitar
Jossie Ellers   Vocals
Bolen Frost   Banjo,Vocal Harmony
Golden P. Harris   Fiddle,Vocals
Dewey Hill   Guitar,Vocals
W.B. Hitch   Bass (Vocal)
Billie Holstein   Guitar,Vocals
Calbert Holstein   Guitar,Vocals
Dewey James   Baritone (Vocal)
Johnny Jernigan   Piano
Shirley Jones   Guitar
Alfred G. Karnes   Guitar,Vocals,Hand Clapping
George Ledford   Vocals
Taft Ledford   Fiddle,Guitar
Frank "Frank Crow" Luther   Jew's Harp,Vocals
Phil "Phil Crow" Luther   Vocals
Otis L. McCoy   Tenor (Vocal)
Frank McCravy   Vocals
James McCravy   Vocals
Lewis McDaniels   Guitar
Walter Mooney   Vocals
A.M. Pace   Bass (Vocal)
A.E. Parham   Bass (Vocal)
Clyde Parham   Tenor (Vocal)
J.W. Parham   Tenor (Vocal)
Minnie Phipps   Vocals
T.T. Pitts   Bass (Vocal)
William Rexroat   Guitar,Vocals
Woodrow Roberts   Guitar,Vocals
Audie Rodgers   Guitar,Vocals
Curley Shelton   Vocals
F.M. Tanton   Tenor (Vocal)
F.G. Tapley   Tenor (Vocal)
W.B. Walbert   Bass (Vocal)
J.L. Wells   Bass (Vocal)
Eugene Yates   Vocals
Ira Yates   Vocals
Irma Frost   Organ,Vocals

Technical Credits

Pat Harrison   Liner Notes
Whit Denson   Director

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