When Sam Passamano acquired Rural Rhythm in 1987, one of his chief interests was the wealth of material the label had from the 1950s forward. Since the launch of the Heritage Collection, they have been reissuing a few at a time, on both CD and by digital download.
Newly released are a trio of such projects, one each from Jim & Jesse, Mac Wiseman, and Raymond Fairchild.
From 1990 comes I’m Gonna Sing Sing, Sing, the fifth all-Gospel release from the McReynolds brothers. It contains 12 tracks of their stellar duet harmony on favorites like A Beautiful Life, I’m Using My Bible For A Roadmap, Gone Home, Who Will Sing For Me, and the title cut among them.
The Virginia Boys at that time included Tom Ewing on guitar and harmony vocal, Raymond McLain on banjo, Glen Duncan on fiddle, and Roy Husky and Mike Drudge on bass.
Mac Wiseman Sings Old Time Favorites from 1966 is just as the title describes. 21 tracks of the smooth-voiced wonder, pulling from the catalogs of familiar folk, old time, country, mountain and popular music.
It’s an impressive track listing that can’t fail to have a couple of your favorites.
Raymond Fairchild’s Gospel banjo album, King Of The 5-String Banjo was originally released in 1976 during the time he had the Crowe Brothers working with him. The songs are all drawn from the list of top Gospel numbers of the day, and you can see the track listing by clicking on the cover image to the left.
Though Raymond’s banjo playing is super solid, the album is produced with a country/pop sound, featuring piano (Fender Rhodes), drums, and harmonica. That may deter some from considering this record, but it’s a fine representation of its time, recorded just a few years after the original Will The Circle Be Unbroken album was such a sensation for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and their multiple guests.
Again, kudos to Rural Rhythm for keeping these albums available through their Heritage Collection. Radio programmers can find all three new reissues in Airplay Direct.