Various Artists

Preachers and Congregations, Vol. 4: 1924-1931

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Vol. 4 in Document's Preachers and Congregations series brings together no less than nine different sources of religious instruction, or rather eight with one sendup of the form. The earliest recordings in this set, the comedic "Brother Low Down's Prayer" and "Brother Low Down's Sermon," were made in February 1924 by Eugene and Anna Hooten (billed as Hooten & Hooten) backed by organist R.H. Bowers. Four Paramount recordings from 1926 preserved unaccompanied sermons by Cora Hopson, a convincing orator, and Bishop Grace from the Holy Land, who is perhaps less engaging. Reverend H.C. Gatewood's records were cut in Kansas City in 1927 with assistance by "the Faithful Worshippers." Also in 1927, Evangelist R.H. Harris of the Pentecostal Mission of Pentecostal Sisters (identified on Black Patti records as "the Lady Preacher") recorded "Jesus Is Coming Soon" and "Judgement Day" with guitar accompaniment. "The Ten Commandments" and "The Twenty-Third Psalm" were recorded one month later by Sister O.F. Franklin, an emphatic and impassioned orator. "The Beaver" and "The Live Cat on the Line" were presented by Reverend M.H. Holt and his congregation at a Victor recording session at Memphis in May 1930. Tracks 13-16 date from late 1930 and early 1931, and are sermons delivered by Reverend J.L. Hendrix with singing by his congregation, who give way to group wailing on "Have Mercy, Oh Lord." Here Document has provided just the issued Vocalions; this collection does not include two initially issued sides Hendrix cut for Brunswick in October 1930. The latest recordings on Preachers and Congregations, Vol. 4 were made at a Paramount facility in Grafton, Wisconsin in April 1931 by an expressive individual appropriately identified as Brother Fullbosom.

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