I don't quite understand the title of this LP, Smooth Spiritual, but it's first-rank Southern quartet gospel from South Carolina--another thrift gift from Diane. The back jacket gives a complete personnel rundown, and the label names the recording site--Mark V Studios. Anyway, lead: Charles Hewitt, baritone: Clint Marsh, tenor and pianist: Travis Carter, and bass: Jay Phillips. Phillips does a "talking" rendition of What Heaven Means to Me (a Bill Gaither number, far as I know), and he does superbly. I'm normally not a fan of narrated numbers, but this track is the exception.
Beautiful singing and playing throughout, with a mostly excellent playlist, including the set-closing 1870 standard Pass Me Not, which boasts typically brilliant verses by Fanny (Frances Jane) Crosby. And I pretty much knew this was going to be a winner when I beheld E.M. Bartlett's Shoutin' on the Hills of Glory (actual title, There'll Be Shouting) in the song roster. This 1925 classic is a Southern and bluegrass gospel mega-standard, and fully deserves to be. The Sabers do it proud.
Google searching reveals that pianist Otis Forrest (a studio guy who must have stood/sat in for Travis Carter) also played for the Blue Ridge Quartet, and that lead guitarist Joe Huffman has had quite a career. Another studio musician with quite a resume is drummer Buster Phillips. No wonder this LP sounds so superbly professional.
No credits for tunes or lyrics on the jacket or label, and I didn't feel like tracking these down, save for the two numbers I was certain about. But I'm sure they're easily ascertained. If you're in the mood for classic quartet gospel, it's waiting right here for you. No idea on the year, though the jacket has a 1968 sort of vibe.
DOWNLOAD: Smooth Spiritual--The Sabers Quartet (Pee Dee 4433)
Crossing Over Jordan
Many Joys and Thrills Ago
Till I Know
Now I Have Everything
Lord, I Want to Go to Heaven
When I Move
Had It Not Been
How Many Times
What Heaven Means to Me
Shoutin' on the the Hills of Glory (E.M. Barlett)
Pass Me Not (Crosby-Doane)
Smooth Spiritual--The Sabers Quartet (Pee Dee 4433; Recorded at Mark Five)