Sunday, September 16, 2012
Sunday morning gospel: George Zinn, Lyric Tenor (1923-2012)
Possibly my favorite gospel LP ever, George Zinn's private, no-label Sermons in Song collection is superb in every way, and I can think of few commercial gospel efforts that match it in terms of pure musicality, entertainment, and inspiration. If believing every word you sing is the mark of an honest gospel artist, then George was the most honest of all. Combine that honesty with technical magnificence, and you have one of the most exceptionably distinguished self-produced pieces of vinyl ever to grace a used record store shelf. (In this case, Colleen's Collectables of Columbus, Ohio.) Did I mention that I love this?
I was saddened to learn (from an on-line obituary) that George had passed away in Greenwood, IN on July 2 of this year, but thrilled to learn he'd enjoyed a long life and joyous career as singer and minister (35 years), and--as these liner notes tell us--vocal instructor and WWII Army Air Force veteran.
I bought this LP many moons ago because it contains Charles Gabriel's Just When I Need Him Most, and thank goodness it does, as I likely would have passed on this and never known what I missed. Some records have the power to change one's perspective on a genre, on the art of music itself, on the degree to which sound recording technology is, all said, a great blessing--for this listener, Sermons in Song has accomplished all three.
Rest in peace, George, and what thanks can suffice for the magnificent performances--each one of them inspired to the uttermost--you've left us here?
To George's music: Sermons in Song--George Zinn, Lyric Tenor
Our Great Savior
Just When I Need Him Most
A Heart Like Thine
The Holy City
It Is Well with My Soul
Saved to the Uttermost
O My Soul, Bless Thou Jehovah
No Name Has Ever Meant So Much to Me
A Shelter in the Time of Storm
Oh, To Be Like Thee
Room at the Cross for You
When They Ring Those Golden Bells
(George Zinn--Sermons in Song, No label 16954)