Various Artists

Spreading the Word: Early Gospel Recordings

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

AllMusic Review by

Yet another of JSP's exhaustive budget-priced box sets of public domain recordings, Spreading the Word: Early Gospel Recordings provides just what the title promises, 105 tracks' worth of traditional African-American gospel recordings from 1926 to 1950. Listeners who know their history will already be familiar with some of the material here, such as the complete 16-song oeuvre of the Dallas-based blind mestiza singer/pianist Arizona Dranes that opens the first of these four discs, but much of this material will be new to all but the most devoted collectors of the style. Rarities like Luther Magby's strangely jaunty organ showcase "Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit," the Holy Ghost Sanctified Singers' "Jesus Throwed Up a Highway for Me" (a song that '70s AM radio enthusiasts will note sounds startlingly similar to Mungo Jerry's "In the Summertime"), and Sister Mary M. Nelson's scarifying "The Royal Telephone" sound great next to more familiar songs like Washington Phillips' idiosyncratic country blues-derived two-part single "Denomination Blues." The liner notes are sketchy, understandably so given the casual circumstances under which many of these songs were no doubt recorded, and it must be said that even a decent remastering job can't do much when your source material is coming from rapidly deteriorating 78s, but Spreading the Word: Early Gospel Recordings is of interest to musical and spiritual historians alike.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:54 Spotify
2 3:11 Spotify
3 2:40 Spotify
4
3:27 Spotify
5 3:04 Spotify
6 2:36 Spotify
7 3:03 Spotify
8
3:05 Spotify
9
2:51 Spotify
10 3:16 Spotify
11
2:59 Spotify
12
3:06 Spotify
13 2:51 Spotify
14 2:47 Spotify
15 2:59 Spotify
16
3:03 Spotify
17
3:07 Spotify
18
3:01 Spotify
19
3:14 Spotify
20
3:00 Spotify
21
2:50 Spotify
22 2:58 Spotify
23
2:47 Spotify
24
2:42 Spotify
25
2:55 Spotify
26
2:59 Spotify

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
3:15
2
3:03
3
3:05
4
3:05
5
3:05
6
2:49
7
3:29
8
3:39
9
3:29
10
3:21
11 3:08
12
3:06
13 3:16
14 3:07
15 3:20
16
3:26
17
2:59
18
3:09
19
2:28
20 2:50
21 2:16
22
2:10
23
2:41
24
2:41
25
3:01
26
2:59

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
2:56
2
3:17
3
3:11
4
3:15
5
3:12
6
3:02
7
3:14
8
3:02
9
2:47
10
2:50
11
2:57
12 2:46
13
2:56
14
2:49
15
2:12
16
2:50
17
2:50
18
2:34
19
2:32
20
2:58 Spotify
21
3:17
22
3:03
23
2:44
24
2:46
25
2:59
26
2:56
27
2:48
blue highlight denotes track pick