This I Believe is Bobby Bare's only gospel album, a Top 20 entry from 1967 conceived purely as an album effort -- RCA Victor released no singles from it. Bare performs gospel standards, pop hits with religious themes, and newly composed songs, which makes for a more interesting program than the typical country gospel platter of well-known hymns. One eyebrow-raiser is "Steal Away," an adaptation of a turn-of-the-century black dialect poem that was a hit for Red Foley in 1950; the version Bare performs is cleaned up, but traces of the original's racial stereotypes remain. Tom T. Hall's "Chicken Every Sunday" is a new song from the pen of one of Bare's favorite songwriters, and "When I've Learned" is also known as "When I've Learned Enough to Live I'll Be Old Enough to Die," first heard on Faron Young's 1959 gospel album My Garden of Prayer. Bare's moving performances, the tasteful production work of Chet Atkins and Felton Jarvis, and the uncommon repertoire make This I Believe a particularly inspired inspirational album.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Adams