The sound of Reverend D.C. Rice is one part fiery preaching and two parts scratchy-but-sanctified singing. It is also heavily influenced by the 78s of Reverend J. M. Gates and most especially by those of Rev. F.W. McGee. Born and raised a Baptist's son in Barbour County, Alabama, Rice left his rural home in the late teens and moved to Chicago. There he joined Bishop Hill's Pentecostal congregation at the Church of the Living God. Around 1920, following the death of Bishop Hill, Rice became the leader of a tiny Church of the Living God congregation; he was a strong preacher and soon found himself attracting a following. After hearing the recordings of the aforementioned preachers, he was inspired to make his own records and so went to Vocalion to meet with Jack Kapp. Kapp sent some folks to Rice's next Sunday gathering, but was unimpressed and refused to record Rice. But a few days later, Kapp had a sudden, inexplicable change of heart and called Rice in to record in exchange for $75 a side, but no royalties. On these sung sermons, Rice was typically accompanied by percussion, a trombone, piano, and bass. The ensuing discs, of which "I'm on the Battlefield of the Lord" (1929) is his best known, were distributed liberally throughout Chicago; by August 1928, he had ten singles out and was giving Sunday services on the radio. He continued recording for Vocalion through 1930. He then twice tried to sign to Paramount, but got no contract and so moved to lead a church in Jackson, Alabama, for two years. He then began preaching at the Oak Street Holiness Church in Montgomery. Rice was appointed Bishop of the Apostolistic [sic] Overcoming Holy Church of God, for Alabama, Florida and Georgia in 1941. Although he made other recordings after Vocalion, they have been lost.
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