The second volume in Document's unprecedented survey covering the Golden Gate Quartet's first 15 years of record production opens with the remaining five selections from this amazing unit's second recording date, when on January 24, 1938 they cut 14 titles in two hours. As was the case with the nine tracks that closed the previous volume, secular fare crops up among religious entries like "Sampson" and "Take Your Burdens to God." Barbershop standard "Sweet Adeline" (its melody dating from 1896) was published in 1903, and "Ol' Man River" is the best-known song introduced in the 1927 Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein II musical Showboat. The Gates' third and fourth recording sessions took place in New York City in August and November 1938. The yield from these two dates added up to 14 religious titles, including "My Lord Is Writing All the Time," "Saints Go Marching In," and "Packing Up -- Getting Ready to Go." The Gates first performed on NBC radio's Magic Key variety show in December 1937, and were invited back in April and August of the following year. This excellent volume closes with four sides waxed at the Andrew Jackson Hotel in Rock Hill, South Carolina in February 1939. Following the noble tendency of spiritually inspired musicians to reference the conscience shared by all of humanity, the Gates were operating in top form when they sang "Everything Moves by the Grace of God" and "This World Is in a Bad Condition."
AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf