Sunday, July 28, 2019
Hymntime Sing-Along w. Jerry Barnes and the Kurt Kaiser Singers (1962)
Some folks would find this 1962 LP cover funny, or even hilarious. I find it refreshing--it shows ordinary-looking people in an ordinary setting (for the time). And, to my eyes, the shot is superbly composed. The liner notes on the reverse don't have much to say--you can read them in the download, which also includes the song sheets for this LP.
Like Mitch Miller's Sing Along Gang, the Kurt Kaiser Singers are an all-male affair--strong, clear voices, with Jerry Barnes providing excellent lead. Toss in an organ, and you have the perfect sacred LP. This has been one of my favorites since I thrifted it back in, oh, 1990 or so. It was one of Bev's favorites, too. The LP's title may seem to promise something novel or even campy, but this is first-rate choral singing without a gimmick in earshot.
The mono sound is great, and the light scratches were no challenge to VinylStudio--it cleared out nearly all of them. I manually fixed the four or five remaining light pops. Light pops? Wait a minute--now we're talking Arthur Fiedler. How did we get from Mitch Miller to Arthur?
A better song lineup wouldn't be possible. In addition to two Fanny Crosby masterpieces (she did the words, of course), we get Charles H. Gabriel's very famous My Savior's Love, the marvelous 3/4 Ira Sankey gem, Faith Is the Victory, and the best version of Lily of the Valley I've ever found on vinyl. Though the label says "English Melody," a phrase which usually means a folk tune, Valley's music is from 1881, composed by one William Shakespeare Hays. The title of the tune itself, in case you're interested, is Salvation. At one time in gospel music, tunes had their own names.
DOWNLOAD: Hymntime Sing-Along, w. Jerry Barnes, Kurt Kaiser Singers
Medley 1: Lily of the Valley--Trust and Obey
Medley 2: Shall We Gather at the River?--Come, Thou Fount--I Will Sing the Wondrous Story
Medley 3: More About Jesus--Wonderful Words of Life
Medley 4: The Great Physician--Faith Is the Victory
Medley 5: My Savior's Love (Gabriel)--Jesus Loves Even Me
Track 6: Near the Cross (Crosby-Doane)
Medley 6: Glory to His Name--When We All Get to Heaven--No, Not One!
Medley 7: He Hideth My Soul (Crosby-Kirkpatrick)--Blessed Assurance (Crosby-Knapp)--Hiding in Thee--refrain
Hymntime Sing-Along with Jerry Barnes and the Kurt Kaiser Singers (Word W-3176; 1962)