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Get On Board Little Children, CD (£11.50)
The train waiting at the platform is the gospel train to glory! Get on board, little children, get on board! If Modern Records never approached the gospel field in the systematic way they did the blues one, they still captured some great performances. The Rev. C C Chapman (The Travelin' Shoes Man) and The Faith Temple Choir cut their solitary classic record for Modern - their On My Way is backed by jazzy organ, propulsive drumming and fervent handclapping. The Four Star Quartet's single recording Steal Away To Jesus was made in 1952 but never issued until now. The Echoes Of Zion sides were originally recorded for the Gerald label and bought by Modern in 1950. The sides here by this exciting Atlanta group showcase their use of switch lead singers on traditional songs such as Jacob's Ladder and On The Battlefield. The authoritative voices of the Revs Louis H Narcisse and James Earle Hines are also featured as are the sophisticated harmonies of The Smith Jubilee Singers, the San-Francisco-based Swanee River Quartet and the preacher-with-flock recording of the Rev G W Killens and his Mount Calvary Congregation recorded during a service at the Oakland City Auditorium. Killens is reported as saying "Once in a while, I like to hear the church sing" and on Father, I Stretch My Arms To Thee, they do just that and to stunning effect.