Sunday, September 18, 2022

Sunday morning gospel--The Singtime Trio: More About Jesus (Salem 1065; 1969)


(Don't forget to check out my previous posting of 25 78 rpm rips!)

This morning (or afternoon, or whenever), some truly excellent gospel by the Singtime Trio of the Church of God in Oak Hill WV.  Not a mediocre selection in the bunch, and the only annoying part of this rip was the online unavailability of author/composer credits for some oft-recorded numbers.  I ran into the usual dumb online title/performer listings--entries which carelessly imply that a given group  or singer penned a given song.  Is it simply that gospel author/composer credit is given low regard, or are there actually people who don't understand the concept of songwriting?

Sorry.  Had to rant.  So, there are four song credits I couldn't locate for the mp3 ID tags, including I've Got It, which I strongly suspect is a black spiritual.  It's only by sheer luck that I traced the credit for I Need Jesus (not the once-famous Charles Gabriel number), and that was courtesy of the following sheet music scan.  I did follow-up searching to confirm the writers.  Along the way, I encountered a bogus attribution, but at least the website in question was trying.

Of course, the great 1836 John Matthias hymn on Side 1, track 3 is not Palmes of Victory, but Palms of Victory (aka, Deliverance Will Come).  I'm just now noticing the jacket typo.  On this number, the Singtime Trio delivers a delightful and lively rendition worthy of the Oak Ridge Boys and the Speer Family.  In fact, "lively" is the key adjective throughout--the Singtime Trio performs with irresistible energy and enthusiasm.  The former, in contrast to my feeling of never quite having woken up today after eight-plus hours of shuteye.  I blame the pollen count.  Anyway, I needed this jolt of high-energy gospel.  Thank you, Singtime Trio and Salem Records.

So, a trio, but five people on the cover?  This sort of thing troubles some folks, I know, but I'm sure the extra three people consist of the guitarist, pianist, and organist.  The "musicians," as the term goes.  Never understood that convention--I mean, singers are musicians, aren't they?

By the way, if any gospel scholars can give me the missing author/composer credits from my mp3 ID tags, please check in.  My thanks to the Gloryland Jubilee website for providing the release year for this LP (1969) and for identifying Precision Record Pressing as the Pressing Plant.  (That explains the "PRP" in the dead wax.)  PRP was located in Nashville TN.  The label, Salem, was based in Salem, Virgina and owned by George McDonald McGraw of the McGraw Music and Publishing Company.  These vintage low-budget gospel vinyls (to use the modern slang) sure followed a complicated path to completion.

When this one showed up at the St. Vincent de Paul thrift, and I saw the group photo, song titles, humble front jacket pic, and "West Virginia" in the notes, I knew I had my Sunday gospel post...

DOWNLOAD: The Singtime Trio: More About Jesus (Salem 1065; 1969)

Born Again

He Touched Me

Palms of Victory

More About Jesus

I've Got It

Thank You for the Valley

Joy in the Camp

Constantly Aware of His Love

I Don't Know Why

I Need Jesus

Thanks to Calvary 

It's in Your Hand



A man for whom Christ died said...

Thanks, Lee, for this interesting and yes, low-budget (but great) album. From what I've seen online about McGraw, he was (I believe) an Announcer (as in a radio station DJ) who, from the late 40s on (reckon for some twenty-plus years) produced records, wherever he worked and could get a PO box at the time, with Salem being his most-profitable venture, from the output I've seen anyway. Some have said said industrial motivation was due to his accessibility to radio station equipment, maybe so. I do wonder though, why the instruments weren't in tune (even the organ is out of tune with itself)? Either way, his what-you-see-is-what-you-get (with just a little echo as needed in spots) approach is fine in my book, even if the instruments are a little lackluster. The musicianship isn't in question, just the instruments themselves, (piano and organ), guitar can't help it, has to tune to something. On the singers being musicians as well, I believe you're the only person I've heard say that, unless they're in the Sacred Harp tradition. Anyway, on the songs, I've only heard that Thanks To Calvary two other places. The first, is a group I grew not too far from at all (The Gethsemane Quartet of Greensboro, NC) on a very early album of there's and the other, can't remember the group's name, both do it a lot slower, but I like their take on it. It's more of a positive, fast-paced rendering, whereas the others are more of a slower, bluesy/jazzy number. Sorry I wasn't any help but again, thanks for this album. Going for now, 3:30 comes early, love and praying for y'all! P.S., our two oldest girls are taking Violin and Cello, respectively and while looking over Youtube notifications, I saw your Long Long Ago post and need to play it for them!

Romans 11:33-36 KJB

Phone Ministry: (563) 999-3967

Ernie said...

I rarely if ever find anything good at the St. Vincent de Paul thrift stores. :(

groovylounge said...

Hey there. Thank you for this!

I'm curious why you place the composer name in parentheses in the title field instead of the composer field?

I go through each title and move it.

J. David

Lee Hartsfeld said...


Yes, "Thanks to Calvary" was pretty widely recorded--I found a number of versions on YouTube. Just wish someone had given the author/composer credit! As far as the out of tune instruments, I didn't really notice! I have a solid sense of pitch, but I guess I've gotten used to tiny-budget gospel LPs. Way back when I started to listen to blues recordings by John Lee Hooker and other "down home" bluesmen, off-key instruments (and instrumental backgrounds) hurt my ears, but I gradually adjusted my hearing. Same with 1920s "folk" polka recordings. Thanks for the McGraw info. This album does have a get-it-over-quick feel to it, but it works!

Lee Hartsfeld said...


My local St. Vincent thrift only recently started getting vinyl (and shellac) in decent amounts. For quite a while, it was the same 300 or so LPs each visit. Dunno if Covid had anything to do with that.

J. David,

I'm using the fields provided in my MAGIX Cleaning Lab program--it doesn't have a composer field. I don't know why it doesn't. Glad you enjoyed.

groovylounge said...

I see. I would suggest then using a more powerful tagger. I use Yate but it's Mac only. It has dozens of fields.

A man for whom Christ died said...

You're right, on the get-it-over-quick feel, but it's still good. Boy, they love the key of E-flat, though! Reckon it's a good key for the singers and musicians, therefore, that's why it's so widely used on the album. On McGraw, I believe he started in Bristol, VA/TN, circa 1947 through 1950 and from what I gather, spent most of his time in Salem, VA, recording such groups as this one and The Clyde Murphy Trio (or is it just The Murphy Trio), of the Skelton, WV area. Haven't looked up, but wonder how far Salem, VA is from WV? Rambling and listening to local news at the same time, 'nuff said. 'Til later, thanks again, love and praying for y'all! P.S., a great album in my collection, is from Ray and Naomi (Stanley) of Greensboro, NC (my home town), pressed by Wright (dunno where it was recorded, probably somewhere in Greensboro), with an out-of-tune piano (nothing new there), but the organ and lguitars are in tune, as I remember. It's just good ol'-fashioned singin' and playin', with Ray singing lead and Naomi comin' in on the alto. I never knew them (I believe both are passed on now), but I'm familiar with the church where they were members and no doubt, sung a lot of services. Well, I'm off-topic, but what's new there?

Romans 11:33-36 KJB

Phone Ministry: (563) 999-3967

A man for whom Christ died said...

Looks like I need to start proofreading my comments, for several reasons, typos and misspeakings. On the latter, Clyde Murphy (who recorded at Salem, the common thread) was from Sophia, not Skelton. That was the name of the church where he was a member, sorry.

Mr. Clyde C. Murphy Obituary

Oh and on Thanks To Calvary, I haven't looked, but I'd say the more-popular song by that title, is what is posted, the one written by Bill Gather, but once again, I haven't looked, but I will. Love and praying for y'all!

Romans 11:33-36 KJB

Phone Ministry: (563) 999-3967

Diane said...

I am continually amazed how much information is right there on the internet! (You mentioned the websites that helped you out here.) I remember the days of library visits, and phone calls, and asking friends whether they knew anything about this-or-that. And now it's all at our fingertips. I love it!

Lee Hartsfeld said...


I'd have been lost in those days! Only thing about having so many sources at our fingertips is the risk of being called for not checking out a source we didn't know about. ("You mean, you didn't check the so-and-so guide?")