Andy Griffith

I Love to Tell the Story: 25 Timeless Hymns

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An expensive, big orchestra with some of the top session players in music provided the backdrop for Griffith's 1996 return to the recording studio for the first time in more than two decades. He recorded comedy and vocals sporadically for Capitol and other labels in the 1950s and 1960s. The set boasts 25 of the best-known gospels and hymns of all time. Griffith and label owner Billy Ray Hearn narrowed the tracks down from a pool of 150 songs they had considered. These arrangements are dulcet, pretty and on the symphonic side. Griffith's distinctive voice fluctuates between a low tenor and a soft baritone. It sounds best on ballads such as "Whispering Hope," "Wayfaring Stranger" and "How Great Thou Art." Initially sold via a television telemarketing campaign, the album has sold a half million copies and become the best-selling recording of Griffith's career.

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