This 20-selection gospel special was mastered by no less than the Columbia Recording Studio, so I can't understand why they did such a bad job of it. It took some work to level out the track volumes, but this material is generally of such a high quality, it was well worth the effort. As ever, I had to remove some clicks "by hand" in my MAGIX program (after the file's trip through VinylStudio), but then I imagine the groove width on this vinyl was compressed a bit (assuming that's possible) to fit in all these numbers, which made the LP more susceptible to scratches. Don't ask me what I mean by that, as my brain isn't clocking normally right now. It's the high ragweed pollen count... My body is filled with allergy meds, and I'm still sneezing.
Florida Boys, Sego Brothers and Naomi, Carl Story--how can we go wrong? Answer: we can't. Be on the ready for the extremely down-home singing of the McCormick Gospel Singers (Walking on Holy Ground), the not-quite-on-key bass voice solo that starts the Crusaders' Noah Built an Ark (prior to the terrific, upbeat harmony section), and the must-have-been-dubbed-from-vinyl fidelity of Just a Rose Will Do and Faith Is the Key (weren't J.T. Adams and the Men of Texas WORD artists?). Today's label, Gospel Time Records, was a subsidiary of Spar Records, which explains the Spar look to the label (I love that sideways font!), and this thing has both a genuine culled-from-everywhere and sold-on-TV character to it, though there's no direct indication that this may have been a TV offer. My favorite line from the notes: "Gospel music is simply an extension of the stories and the messages given to each of us in the biggest best selling book of all times, the BIBLE." Okay.
Great Moments of Gospel was a series, I believe, and, in this case, the playlist is so delightful, I guess it doesn't matter from where Spar got its tracks. Some were likely originally recorded by Spar, and others leased from elsewhere. Who knows? Just always remember that gospel music "is easy to understand and accept, because it is tied to the happiness as well as the trials and tribulations of living day to day." This is a "Compatible" disc, which means it plays on both stereo and mono equipment, allegedly with equally excellent results. But there may be a catch there. The thing is, it's my understanding that monaural cartridges were bad news for stereo grooves, and because they were designed to "read" the horizontal groove plane only. Now, I vividly recall my dad buying a stereo cart for our home's monaural, single-speaker rig in order to make things safe for playing stereo issues (in mono). So, it may be that, Compatible or no, these Compatible records wouldn't have held up under a cartridge made for mono. Maybe the missing qualifier is that you needed a stereo cart if you had mono gear. Oh, well. I'm not going to buy a mono cartridge to test things--I'll just take Spar's word. That's the less expensive option. No need to conduct a test.
To the budget (but first-rate) gospel...
DOWNLOAD: Great Moments of Gospel Music (Gospel Time 1017)
There's a God in Heaven--Sego Brothers and Naomi
The Richest Poor Man on Earth--Dixie Echoes
Noah Built an Ark--The Crusaders
Battle Hymn of the Republic--Florida Boys
Just a Rose Will Do--John Daniel Quartet
Peace of Mind--Georgians Quartet
The Whole World in His Hands--Wendy Bagwell and Sunliters
How Great Thou Art--Wally Fowler and the Oak Ridge Quartet
Ashamed--Sons of Song
Faith Is the Key--J.T. Adams and the Men of Texas
Oh Yes I'm Saved--Foggy River Boys
Heavenly Highway--Sunshine Girls
Above the Storm--Pine Ridge Boys
In That Old Fashion (sic) Home--Travelers Quartet
Hallelujah Amen--Clyde Beavers
Jesus Is Mine--Melody Men Quartet
The Lights of Glory--The Crusaders
Walking on Holy Ground--McCormick Gospel Singers
Rock of Love--Morris Family
Great Moments of Gospel Music (Gospel Time Records 5017; Spar Recording Studios)