Jo Stafford / Gordon MacRae / Jo Stafford & Gordon MacRae

The Old Rugged Cross

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The EMI Gold issue The Old Rugged Cross collects the original LPs Whispering Hope and Peace in the Valley, a pair of spiritual sets recorded during 1962-1963 by Jo Stafford and Gordon McCrae. McCrae's tenor blends well with Stafford, and the material reflects a good range of selections: "You'll Never Walk Alone," "It Is No Secret," "Abide with Me," and "Now the Day Is Over" (with a violin solo by Mischa Russell). The arrangements, however, are tame and uninventive; beautiful and inspiring, but never quite artistic.

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