Gospel and sacred music has been an integral part of bluegrass music’s repertoire for as long as the music has been played and as new bands were introduced each has added to an increasingly wonderful catalogue. It remains as popular now as it ever has been.
For Memories of That Old Country Church Rebel Records has searched its rich archives and assembled 16 tracks with contributions from 12 bands.
From the very early days are two songs, Little Community Church and I’ll Meet You in Church Sunday Morning, written by Bill Monroe. In this instance the recordings are by The Boys from Indiana and Larry Richardson respectively.
Among the three contributions from Ralph Stanley is the mournful The Little Old Church by the Road, the opening track Old Country Church and the a cappella Turn Back, Turn Back.
Other veterans among the assembled are Mac Wiseman (with Little White Church), Jim & Jesse McReynolds (You Go to Your Church), The Lilly Brothers & Don Stover (In a Little Village Churchyard), Jim Eanes (Little House of Prayer) and Larry Sparks (The Old Church Yard).
Among the more recent recordings are two songs from Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers, one showcasing the voice of Rhonda Vincent (with We Missed You In Church Last Sunday) and the other featuring Larry Sparks (That Little Old Country Church House).
These days there doesn’t seem to be a new release without a song from Tom T. and/or Dixie Hall. The former provided the wonderful They Called it a Church, as performed beautifully by Rock County, a group that included Don Rigsby, Glen Duncan and Scott Vestal, and There’s Always a Light in the Church, sung and played by Paul Williams & The Victory Trio—one of the most popular of today’s Gospel groups.
The package is, as it were, complete with the classic The Model Church from J.D. Crowe and The Kentucky Mountain Boys.
The full track listing is as follows …………
- Old Country Church (Ralph Stanley)
- Little White Church (Mac Wiseman)
- That Little Old Country Church House (Joe Mullins & Larry Sparks)
- The Church Bells Are Ringing Again (The Wildwood Valley Boys)
- The Model Church (J.D. Crowe)
- They Called it a Church (Rock County)
- There’s Always a Light (in the Church) (Paul Williams)
- The Little Old Church by the Road (Ralph Stanley)
- The Old Church Yard (Larry Sparks)
- You Go to Your Church (Jim & Jesse McReynolds)
- In a Little Village Churchyard (The Lilly Brothers & Don Stover)
- Turn Back, Turn Back (Ralph Stanley)
- Little Community Church (The Boys from Indiana)
- I’ll Meet You in Church Sunday Morning (Larry Richardson)
- Little House of Prayer (Jim Eanes)
- We Missed You In Church Last Sunday (Joe Mullins & Rhonda Vincent)
Category: Bluegrass recording news
About the Author (Author Profile)
Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics.
A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe.
He wrote the annotated series I’m On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.
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