Manning Family Band / Bishop Manning

Converted Mind: The Early Recordings

  • AllMusic Rating
    7
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Bishop Manning started out as a hard-drinking blues singer, but after a mysterious illness in 1962 that baffled doctors, Manning was convinced that his recovery was due to the prayers of his neighbors -- he had what he terms “a converted mind” and began to devote himself to gospel music. Along with his wife Marie and their five children, he began playing non-secular numbers in church, many of which he wrote himself, and he has never looked back. But even though he left his Saturday night ways behind him, firm traces of the blues are still very much present in his version of gospel, particularly in his guitar and harmonica playing, and a case could well be made that he represents one of the last of the blues-influenced black evangelists. This set collects several of the Manning Family's 1970s recordings -- 28 tracks in all -- and it shows Manning to be resolute and joyous in his “converted mind.” Highlights include a country blues take on the traditional “I Am a Pilgrim,” a galloping “Don’t Let Satan Ride” that chugs along like a musical train on Manning's Little Walter-like harmonica blasts, thoughtful pleas for sanity on sides like “The People Don’t Pray Like They Used to Pray” and “Back in Slavery Days,” and a wonderfully romping “I Believe I’ll Run On,” which features a spirited lead vocal from Marie Manning. It’s a fun collection and while it is definitely gospel, there’s enough of Manning's old Saturday night blues mixed in to make it feel like a Sunday morning synthesis.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
1:26
2
2:27
3
3:00
4
3:46
5
2:49
6
0:52
7
2:52
8
2:22
9
2:11
10
2:59
11 2:49
12
3:37
13
3:09
14 2:18
15
3:17
16
2:38
17
3:31
18
3:26
19
2:14
20
3:24
21 3:19
22 2:29
23
2:22
24
2:20
25
3:16
26
5:11
27
2:43
28 2:27
blue highlight denotes track pick