The budget-priced 1997 MCA Special Products release My Favorite Hymns is a reissue of the 1951 Decca Records ten-inch LP Beloved Hymns (DL-5351). With the introduction of the long-playing record in 1948, Bing Crosby began to record thematic collections of songs for the new medium. On May 6, 1949, he entered Decca's Los Angeles recording studio with his frequent backup singing group the Ken Darby Singers, re-christened the Ken Darby Choir for the occasion, and an organist whose name has been lost to history. They cut eight hymns, including such well-known ones as "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" and "Rock of Ages." Crosby's resonant baritone and unaffected sincerity carried the session; the singer clearly believed what he was singing and found the material engaging. The only wonder here is that a devout Roman Catholic should have such a feel for the Protestant hymn book!
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann