Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Precious Lord: Songs of Thomas a Dorsey
Genres: Blues, Pop, Christian, Gospel
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5 Stars, dispite the missing track
T. A. Shepherd | Palmdale, Ca. 93550 | 10/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Back in 1973, I bought the double LP set and was able to fit the whole set on one CD, so why this had to be abbreviated, I'll never know. The whole two-record set clocks at just over 77 minutes and the one track left off was a bit over two and a half minutes. The track in question is "Let Us Go Back To God" by the great Sallie Martin. At the time of the recording, Ms. Martin and Willie Mae Ford Smith were considered the living legends of Gospel Music and both starred in the film, "Say Amen, Somebody!". Sallie's voice is dry and husky, but carries a great deal of conviction and heart. "I'll Tell It" showcases her in a slight swinging style of the late thirties. She was certainly one of a kind and her presence is greatly missed. In fact, the vast majority of these artists are no longer with us, but these recordings each bear a testimony of significance in these troublesome times. Marion Williams is truly the best voice here as she sings the title cut with so much fire, the listener is first amazed and then running for cover. As she sings, "Please, Sir, Please, Sir...oh, Lordy!!, one can scarcely contain himself until the hushed ending of the performance, asking himself, "What did I just hear?!" Williams goes on to sing four more tracks, sometimes pulling up southern delta blues phrasing and handling one in particular, "If We Ever Needed The Lord Before" with breakneck tempo as if being self propelled into the stratosphere. Professor Alex Bradford, of whom Chuck Jackson has paid homage to in many of his recordings for both Wand and Motown, is heard on no less than three tracks. "How Many Times" is his definitive track, displaying his soul-stirring shake-the-rafters swing during the first half of the song. The performance then gives way to a dizzying display of joy that is undeniable. Rebert Harris, who Sam Cooke replaced in the Soul Stirrers, is a welcome voice here as well. In the tradition of his former group, he is joined by a crack team of singers who support his vocals tremendously. "Thy Servant's Prayer" unveils unimaginable terror as he pleads with his Judge, "If I falter, don't be angry...let me stay". In "Peace In The Valley", his focus is completely on the end when all is well, the lion shall lie down with the lamb. And then there's the Hummingbirds. I believe Paul Simon produced these recordings. Simon always had a deep respect for Gospel music and if you don't have his "Live Rhymin' disc, get it now. "Hide Me In Thy Bosom" is a strong case for the Hummingbirds' harmony. I still maintain that the greatest bass singer is none other than Willie Bobo. "When The Gates Swing Open" is another absolute gem. (The Temptations were faithful students of these pioneeers--just listen to the tight harmonies in their recording of "Talkin' About Nobody But My Baby", which can be found on "Emperors of Soul" and "The Complete Motown Singles, Volume 4".) This leaves the magnificent Bessie Griffin and Delois Barrett-Campbell. Griffin's treatment of "Old Ship of Zion" is nothing short of mesmerizing, while "Search Me Lord" and "I Don't Know Why" are both ends of the rock and blues spectrum of Gospel. "My Desire" is handled by one of the most gorgeous of all singers. Ms. Campbell is too seldom heard these days. Her work with both the Roberta Martin Singers and The Barrett Sisters should not be overlooked. The person who finds these precious recordings will certainly find something far better than gold. I'm putting Sony Legacy on notice right now and urge everyone else to do the same: This disc should be re-issued in its entirety. Each and every track is essential to the making of this fine album. Honorable mention, at last, should go to the fantastic organist, Jessie Dixon, who played on "Old Ship Of Zion", among others. Paul Griffin (Highway 61 Revisited) played organ on Marion Williams' tracks. I hope this review proves noteworthy to those out there who are searching for the last of the classic Gospel singers."
Lady T | Georgia | 04/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is truly a classic of that old time spiritual gospel we all grew up on. Every time I hear anything by Dr. Thomas Dorsey, it takes me back to my childhood and going to church with my grandmama in Alabama... a MUST have CD!"
Robert Brown | 02/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard of Thomas Dorsey on a PBS program. I was very impressed
then,and this album has just increased my love of his music. A very good
CD which has to be heard to be appreciated. Highly recommended!"