Sweet and low down

I confess it, dear readers: I love a good bass line. I don’t just mean a chordally or music-theoretically sophisticated bit of bass playing, though this is true. I mean, I love a good bass line that, in just the right place, kicks in the subwoofers and threatens to rattle one’s innards and leaves one just a wee titch stunned when it’s all over. Doing this, without muddying the entire mix, mind you, is no small feat.

And for me, this is not just a southern gospel thing. For nearly three years in my twenties I attended a high Episcopal cathedral in Duluth MN not least of all because the dear old sainted dowager at the organ was unabashed in – quite literally, I think – pulling out the very best, or at least the very lowest, stops for the last rousing verses of all those grand old hymns of the Anglican brethren and sistern and in the process springing the lock on my musical soul and setting me as free as the clerestory windows were high and incense-encrusted.

But no matter: another confession I must make for this to make any sense is that I’m not really an audiophile. I like good sound and I complain bitterly at bad sound (cf any random half dozen of the last 10 years of NQCs) but I’m not the guy who shells out hundreds of dollars for gear with precious-metal-plated plugs or speakers whose cost rivals the GDP of some developing nations. I just like to be able to hear a well calibrated sound mix projected through some audio equipment of respectable quality.

Still, a more-than-decent pair of monitor quality headphones made their way into the Avery headquarters yesterevening, and I spent an hour or so moving my way through selections in my playlist of favorite southern gospel. And though I still don’t see any reason to bankrupt oneself on audiophilic toys, these monitor headphones do separate the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the chafe, and the folks in southern gospel who know how to mix in the bass lines and those who … well, don’t. Worse than those that simply don’t bother with much of anything meaningful below a baritone’s range, are those mixes that power dump the lows into the track, swampifying everything, and producing the aural effect of Novocaine injected directly into one’s ears.

So let’s hear it for the Hoppers and Greater Vision and some Gaither and Goss and Haun stuff, among others, who seem to get the value of a deeply satisfying bed of shapely low notes that flow beneath the arrangement – without going flaccid or fouling the mix – and in the process creating a satisfying foundation on which to build upward and outward into a heaven of harmony.

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  1. Backwoods Philosophe wrote:

    Speaking of bass sounds……

    One of the best bass players in Southern Gospel Music, who now plays for the Grand ‘Ole Opry star Bill Anderson, is James Gordon Freeze.

    For years, James played the bass with The Hemphills. I remember when they came to our church, I would just be mesmerized with his incredible bass-playing. He would put his whole heart and soul into it.

    My mother is a Pentecostal piano player and she has always preferred a good bass player to accompany her on piano solos.

    Here is a vintage Hemphills clip with James Gordon Freeze playing bass (the one with the gold suit). Since this is a video, you won’t get the deep sounds that one would hear in a live concert, but between 2:46 and 3:00, you might get an idea. He is just an incredible bass guitarist.


  2. SteveSmith wrote:

    James also played for the Nelons. Good guy.

  3. Wade wrote:

    YES HE IS!!!

    Mark Fain who in SGM most notably played for GCQ has played a few years for Skaggs and does good too!!!

    Another GCQ Bass Player Jeff Hullender I was lucky enough to get to play a few years in a Mega Church and the boy could GO… he was hired when they transitioned from a 4 piece Band down to Garry & Jeff and they had to have somebody that could REALLY tote the water!!!

  4. CVH wrote:

    Psychoacoustics…no, it’s not Wade going psycho when he hears The Florida Boys. (or maybe it is). Part of it is objective - the overall fidelity of the finished record and part of it is subjective - what ’sounds’ best sonically to our brain.

    It begins with the recording process; how the bass lines are played, how the bass is recorded, the instrument itself. Probably the biggest influence is the producer’s ear, what he knows in his head he wants to hear when the whole project is finished. The engineer’s input is critical here too; once a track is laid down that’s what you have to work with unless you replace it.

    Some producers like a really ‘fat’ sound, especially in the rhythm tracks. For Goss and to a lesser degree Haun that’s their signature. Others not so much. But a lot of low end gets taken off in the mix and many records end up with a kind of bland, midrange-heavy sound. Plus when the record’s mastered too often compression is overused in an attempt to make it ‘louder’. Whatever spectrum of fidelity was on the final mix is reduced in order to make the music more punchy on the radio.

    Technology plays a huge part in this but ultimately I think it comes down to artistry, that innate sense of sound, color, tone, nuance - having an emotional connection to the piece so it can be realized through the instruments, players and singers, captured by excellent studio gear and lovingly brought into the world by engineers and producers who have not only the ear but the vision to create something with artistic and commercial merit.

  5. Pat wrote:

    I know that Lari Goss is not the most popular man on this site so i thank you for giving him some props. Growing up in the Choir World gave me ample opportunity to really understand his arrangements. He is truly a talent!! i also enjoy the others you mentioned but i have a special fondness for Mr. Goss!!

  6. CVH wrote:


    Me too. Since I first heard him in 1971. He and his brothers were innovators in many ways. He’s written a number of great songs (probably ‘Cornerstone’ being the most recognizable). But his arranging and production have done so much for so many artists through the years, like his work or not, he’s an icon.

  7. Wade wrote:

    CVH…. you said in 4.. “kind of bland, midrange-heavy sound”… so this is why I have to push the sub to almost the point of distortion of the mids for even secular music much???…with the exception of urban music of course!!! :-)

    Do the original bass on a rhythm track make it through the recording process??? or NOT at least modified by just punching an updated lick usually at a bridge, modulations and song endings?!?!

    Of course I know the punching in and out has very little PUNCHING any more with digital editing, gawd guess I just showed my age!!!

    Great Post CVH!!

    OH that Psychoacoustics sound is when I had to set through Martin Cook encoring a song 8 FREAKIN’ times… after that I went for POP CORN!! But I had to hang around because Teddy Huffman & The Gems were closing and leading the JAM at the end of the concert… don’t worry Myron did not play bass during the jam!!! lolo;-)) GAWD they suck and the 8 FREAKIN’ ENCORES made me glad I took my xanax like I was supposed to that night!!

  8. irishlad wrote:

    5 Larri no so popular here?..never heard a bad word said about him.

  9. irishlad wrote:

    Outside of SG my ears always pick up on a radio play of Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary”, Ike’s counterpoint bass is fantastic(live version on youtube)

  10. mb wrote:

    Within the SG, I like the bass lines and production the Gaithers et al bring to the table. The bass is ideal to accompany a piano if the choice is the guitarist pick up one or the other. Leaves the piano player ‘free’ to do other things… outside of SG, kudos to Mel Schacher, John Paul Jones and Tim Schmidt should get some mention for their work. Agreed, the Bass can be the anchor to it all if done properly!

  11. Ode wrote:

    “”"”Do the original bass on a rhythm track make it through the recording process??? or NOT at least modified by just punching an updated lick usually at a bridge, modulations and song endings?!?!”"”"”"

    Ditto! :D Wadey, I hear you, my sweet,amen. It’s painfully hard to mix those,due to that damn law that forced me to replace my Toyota’s door in January “2 objects-same physical space simultaneously-clashing”. Low rangers like bass and kick drum are occupying the same frequencies, and the same stereo position - dead center. What works fine in a 360degree environment of a concert/arena/church, requires much skill to be recorded and turned into listenable 2 channel audio output.

    Subtractive EQ, that whole trimming of overlapping frequencies is walk on eggshells, done way before we can even touch that volume level. Its impossible to boost the kick or the bass without resulting distortion; you cut your kick a bit, then bass a bit, and play on contrast, presuming that kick has a good high end. Its like you ,darling, can easily pull flirting with a redhead and a blond provided enough time and space, but crammed into a small house party you turn down the heat with each, or’ll end up with your cute face scratched.

    You are right, digital radio doesn’t have the limitations, that, as CVH said, require chopping the low end off and compressing the living hell out of a mix as an easy solution to combat the airwave radio and cheap speakers innate handicaps. But for a quality mixing job you ideally need a multiband compressor,to isolate compression on certain frequency ranges. I just toy with software out of curiosity, being a techie nut, but do have a friend who’s a sound engineer. She went to Berkley,and there are only 2 more schools I know of here, and one in UK that teach it on a high pro level. No wonder quality studio work is so astronomically expensive. Stupid equalizer alone can cost 3 hundred or 3K, depending on what you want to achieve.

    Lari Goss and the major league nailed the sound coz they got the money. Which brings to mind the usual lamentations about SG’s evergreen beggings for money, fully ignoring the fact that musical industry is a cruel mistress, it allows only a few select singers and bands to be fulltime. Professionals don’t beg, just charge the amount they are worth! Pros who feel the market and are evolving, like good ol GVB, or Ernie Haase (even his behavior, way too effeminate for a straight musician, miraculously works to his advantage), etc.

  12. CVH wrote:

    Another thing to consider is the changes that came as a result of the transition from tracking on 2″ analog tape to digital recording. As recently as 6 or 7 years ago I still used 2″ multitrack on some projects, at least for the rhythm tracks, in order to get the warmth and punch on the bass and drum kit that only analog can give.

    Ode’s right, you have to have some high end on the kick (and the toms) in order to get a range of complimentary tones within that frequency range. Fat doesn’t mean tubby.

    The trick in the mix is ‘less is more’. Not just subtractive EQ but only using as much of an effect as is needed. That goes back to what I mentioned in a previous post - it’s not just about the music or the technology. It’s being able to hear the finished piece in your head, the feel, the emotion, then knowing how to combine the human and technological elements to achieve that result.

  13. Wade wrote:

    Thanks to ya ode & cvh… just from my recording experience which has been some years back we always went and laid down a VERY SIMPLE rhythm on all instruments and then back in later and put other stuff in by punching in and out or putting down another track if it was something like drum fills or playing in the OFF!!!

    Just thought with digital recording the process would be MUCH simpler than replacing a door… but the example is a FUNNY one and one I have seen before become difficult…without proper ENGINEERING!!

    On another note I think it is funny that the last few threads have been more about the music and the ppl who complained about the blog not being that way do not find anything to comment about… if they REALLY wanted it to be more about the music you would think they would be on all over this stuff!!!

    But they must be just setting back and waiting for something they can come out and JUDGE!!!

  14. cynical one wrote:

    Wade, maybe this stuff about music is over those people’s heads. They want it to be about music, but they don’t really know enough about music to be able to comment, unless it’s something like “I love the Inspirations and the McKameys. And this one group is the most spiritual bunch of people I’ve ever known,” (even though they only THINK they know them).

  15. j-mo wrote:

    Don’t worry, Wade. I’ve been judging you silently.

  16. observor wrote:

    good topic…

  17. Wade wrote:

    j-mo I knew ya were just like a bunch of the rest of them that get silent when it is about the music!!! lol…but please judge me it is good for biz and I really don’t care!!!

    cynical— maybe Dr DH will write a thread about how spiritual some of the groups are when on the BUS or in a hotel!!! ;-) lol

    I will tell ya this… unless they marry into the family you will not get good players or singers if you are too straight. Which is ANOTHER reason you have TRACKS as musicians.

    Same really with singers… one group a few years ago was having problems keeping ppl that were not married in the family and SOME of them ended up being a little side ways and I ask a friend of mine on the road at the time what was the issue?!?!

    He said it was because you could not fart on the bus without getting bitched out!!!

    So clearly it was a mixed group because farting is the national past time on an all male bus… well one of them any way!!

  18. cynical one wrote:

    Wade, I’ve also heard about one family group who does not allow any joking on the bus. How stupid is that?

  19. quartet-man wrote:

    #18, I love to joke, but I could understand if they said no coarse jokes (of course), no practical jokes (something that could damage things, make a mess, or hurt someone’s feelings), or jokes that are making fun of fans etc. but no jokes at all? Are they afraid that people will think they aren’t serious, be offended because they are happy or what? My word.

  20. Hector Luna wrote:

    I was listening to some old school GV and Gold City the other day and I then spun it on Dr. Dre’s headphones and it was something. Simple stuff too, not the over-orchestrated kind. The Hammond B-3 was letting the bassist have at it (I believe it was Fortner, Street, and Lunn).

    Anyways, about Wade’s comment…farting is a favorite pastime on an all male bus, but I know ladies who like to jump in every now and again. Sometimes though, to keep the group chemistry from squandering, and depending on the moods of others, a heads up or a quick trip to the back of the bus to let it “air out” is appreciated.

  21. Wade wrote:

    Q-Man it is because they think the best way to hit on some one is to kinda joke about it!!! So NO JOKES NO BODIES asking to get freaky!!!

    Cynical — hummm let’s don’t spread gossip just inbox me the name… if you don’t irishdude will be bugging me wanting to know if I know!!!

    Are they totally self contained with only married people & kidz in the group?!?!?

  22. Alan wrote:

    Hey Wade - Am I one of the ones you’d meant, about now that it’s about music, some are silent? I did write a while ago that most of the posts from the weeks before had little or nothing to do with sgm.

    So, if you meant me in part, we moved a few weeks ago, and won’t get internet until tomorrow. I’m relegated to using my iPhone, and haven’t been on for a while.

    Having said that, I’ve read this post three times now, and still don’t understand it all. The first time or two through it, I thought Doug meant bass singing in a mix. And yet the comments were on great bass lines, as in instrumentals. With that in mind, I read it again, and still don’t understand all of it! LOL.

    Singers generally know the sound they want. Producers try and find that sound for them, or apply their signature sounds to a mix. But not every singer knows how - or cares to know the technicalities of how - to achieve that balance of the instrumentals. Perfecting their craft means perfecting their vocals, not the instrumentals. As well, very few who just listen to and enjoy the music have a clue how it’s engineered, or the level of talent and experience required to take raw tracks and make a masterpiece out of them. If I were a betting man, I would bet good money that only a tiny percentage of CD buyers ever look at the printed credits. So, what CVH wrote above would be like listening to someone speaking Lithuanian to them. Thus, I really think this post was likely a bit too esoteric for many of Doug’s readers, if not most.

  23. ode wrote:

    Cynical: “one family group who does not allow any joking on the bus”

    Wade: ” it is because they think the best way to hit on some one is to kinda joke about it”

    I know who that is. It’s (whispering in Wade’s ear)___ Family Group. Brother, sister, husband, wife, her brother and a cousin. A trio.

  24. ode wrote:

    yes, good point. Money buy technology,schools teach technique, but one cant buy/learn talent. You seem to be quite a pro at this, and I just play with the software. Cant imagine how the mixing was done in the days of analog tapes… Was electricity invented aready by then? Bet our CVH had to handcrank the tape recorder. Had a gerbil to power it?

    Dead serious, brother – how many channels was used to mix music back then? Do enlighten!

  25. ode wrote:

    18, Lack of rudimentary theological knowledge, they clearly never got to Ecclesiastes, let alone the Gospel of Luke….Give a fool enough rope he will hang himself. Don’t care what ideas they entertain in the privacy of their own sculls but I wish they knew damage they cause to Christianity :(

    What an evil,dark hearted family. If you forbid jokes – you forbid laughter.(unless they tickle each other?)

    It was just lamented that TBN destroys the Evangelical Fundamentalists’ reputation. Looks like they don’t need TBN for it, doing the job themselves just fine.

    Cynical is right, Wade, don’t call in trouble! :D I’d much rather have 3 posters that are worthy, then 40 self-righteous dummies. They are like Ozzy Osbourn, only talent-free.Their brains are fried. I am -seriously!- wonder, were current SG fans heavily into hippie culture and LSD in their day?
    What explains such stupidity? Elderly are usually filled with wisdom!.

  26. Wade wrote:

    ode… we used 24 channels much and sometimes did not have enough but most studios had 36+ channels!! this was in late 80’s early 90’s!!! CVH can confirm!!! Y’all are the Genius People Here!!! irishdude & myself are just the Jesters!!!

  27. CVH wrote:

    Uh…ok, I’ll tiptoe back into the conversation. Alan, good points but while some artists may know what sound they want they may not know what sound is best for them. It’s like the difference between what you like and what’s best for you. And when the label is fronting the project it’s not about you; it’s about what will work best for radio, cross-promotion opportunities, trends in content, A&R, marketing and commercial viability.

    It’s largely the producer’s job to work through the maze of considerations to find the right sound. As you say, some producers find it while others have such a distinctive brand that much of their work sounds similar. Lari Goss is a good example of the latter. If that’s the sound you want you go to them and it usually works well. Even if it doesn’t there can still be some benefits.

    I remember when Benson signed Cheryl Prewitt Blackwood (the former Miss America) - she was married to Terry at the time - and Lari produced her first or second record. One tune had a huge string chart and between the mults and reverb, it was like she was drowning in a sea of violins. In that case it was a mercy killing; no jury would ever convict him.

    (I’ll brush up on my Lithuanian too.)

    Ode, I haven’t been around quite that long LOL. We actually had electricity but no gerbils. Their union was too strong and they had a regular gig with Richard Gere anyway.

    Wade’s right, by the mid ’80s everything was 24-track; a decade earlier 16-track was common and before that 8-track. Before my time there was 4-track and of course 2-track; any ‘mixing’ was done live. With 8-track and sometimes 16-track there was bouncing of tracks or doing sub mixes of several tracks down to two, usually to the outer edge of the 2″ tape.

    Mix down? Before digital media became reliable enough for creating stereo masters we used high-quality 1/4″ tape at 15 or even 30 ips. And I remember splicing masters together where you’d have two or more takes of a mix and you’d need to pull part of one and scrub the tape over the heads to find just the right spot to make the cut. You had to have a really sharp blade to get a clean cut then splice it together, slowly wind the supply reel back until it was snug, rewind a bit and then play it back. And if for any reason the splice wasn’t perfect, you’d have to do it all over again. Because tape was a pretty delicate thing I never rested easy until I had a final master back from the plant.

    In the early ’90s I upgraded to a Euphonics control surface and Pro Tools. Still used analog from time to time but there’s nothing like digital. To go back now would be like trading my iPhone for the Nokia I had in 1998.

  28. Wade wrote:

    Alan… was I talking about YOU??!! Maybe a little. I was hankering to hear your point of view!!! ;-) Hope the move went well now SELL that HOUSE!!! :-)

  29. Alan wrote:

    CVH - I recorded my first album in 1969. It was recorded live, directly to 2-track tape, mixed by the engineer as we went, both vocals and instruments. Actually cut three albums that way, maybe four, and then the next few were (in order) 4-track, where we all thought the technology just couldn’t get any better than that!, 8-track, 16, and 24. I marveled at the engineers, especially the great “tape men”; the guys who could effortlessly make seamless splices, and beautiful cut-ins and outs on the punches Wade was talking about. My last 24-track album was engineered by Chuck Seitz. Remember him? He did a lot of Elvis’s RCA work, both studio and live album recording. That guy was a wizard. By 2001, I did an album at Gaither Studios and they were using those cartridges; not that I can remember what they were called, but they’re still in storage! lol. When things became fully digital and Pro Tools-only, I was instantly lost and remain so to this day. Now I sit in the control room watching and listening to the engineer and producer, not having a clue what they’re talking about or doing; but I still know the sound I want, and as long as I can talk, they seem to be able to accomplish what I want. And, frankly, that is the best I can do. What you guys do these days is just way past me, and I take my hat off to you.

    Wade, come on, man…with your money, and your contacts here in Myrtle Beach, for you to buy our now-empty house close to the ocean would be like me buying a medium coffee at McDonald’s! So buy the darn house! You know you’ve always wanted a house by the Atlantic, and now there’s one available for you! :-) We moved to our renovated farm cottage three weeks ago, and gosh, we’re loving it. Out in the middle of nowhere, can’t see another property. We have a 550 sq. ft. screened porch and the dogs can run inside the 3 fenced acres while we look at our little lake. Life is good. We just need you to buy our other house. And I’ll even make you a special deal; just $1000 over asking price! HAH!

  30. Wade wrote:

    Ha HA CVH… your sharp object description of editing brought back memories of the MID 80’s when I was doing radio commercial spot voice work!! I NEVER got it right… I would just read everything 3-4 times and take it to the production manager to deal with and then I would go sell something. If I sold something the GM would always take up for me… if I didn’t it was hell to pay & I would have to clean up the edit bays!!!

    Then in the mid 90’s while doing reads I usually would read most thing 2-3 times and then monkey boy would take any pops off the top and compress or expand the time!!! But usually did not have to because I have this CLOCK in my head and I could just FEEL 30 or 60… really it was hating that SHARP EDGE editing in the previous decade that helped hone that skill!! If you read it correctly the first time you didn’t have to do much editing!!!

  31. Carl Urion wrote:

    About sound recording. Anyone heard the name Daniel Lanlois? I’ve listened over and over to a Torchmen’s album he worked on in Hamilton, Ontario, because it’s one of the best technical sound jobs on a gospel album from the 70s.

    That album is in a collection I’ve been digitizing over the past few years. It’s a collection of recordings of LPs and cassettes of regional Southern gospel group from the 1960s to 1990s.

    It’s given me a new perspective on the relationship between art and technique in sound recording.

    Some of that collection is hard to listen to. But I’ve been happily surprised to find that some of the small local recording studios did a lot better production and sound engineering job than some of the larger studios at the time.

    I go back to the best in that collection to listen for pleasure–to revisit things like those bass lines that DH appreciates–proportionally more than I do to today’s music. For example, one of the most engaging recordings in the whole lot is from the early 70s, recorded on a reel to reel tape recorder in a rural Kansas kitchen and engineered in a local studio. It’s old standards by an amateur double quartet, with instruments. I’d like to know what genius miked those sessions because the vocal and instrumental combinations provided every opportunity to lay down chunky mud, and instead there’s clear separation of voices (sometimes six, sometimes eight). It’s a live album but it sounds like it was laid down in tracks–and the guitars are not to be believed. That has to involve an unusual amount of good luck and a whole lot of technical knowledge, but also a genius for engineering and production. Must be a gift. I don’t have it.

    Current technology can cut some slack in the luck department. The demands for technical knowledge are probably more onerous today than they were even 10 years ago, but there’s still no substitution for production genius.

  32. Hector Luna wrote:

    #31…Yes!!! He also co-produced U2’s “The Joshua Tree” with Brian Eno, making it one of the great, authentic classics in rock history, both critically and among fans.

  33. Carl Urion wrote:

    oops. typo. Should be Lanois, not Lanlois.

  34. Ode wrote:

    27, Wow, CVH.Thanks for explaining. Going back‘d be more like trading IPhone for smoke signals, not Nokia. I tried with Cubase and Native Instruments, but read about upcoming ProTools 10. If it does a half as much half as good as mag claims, it’s a highly impressive. Do they have something fancy for vocals, too, these days? or voice part is not that manageable?

  35. Ode wrote:

    31, As any producer or sound engineer would testify, there is virtually no strictly Live albums being commercially released. We were just talking about it- even when well recorded, the perfect for stage and audience environment sound has to be modified for 2 channel output- a set of good speakers at best, or the usual noisy holes that pass for speakers for the most of us radio-car-laptop listeners, audio barbarians. The ambitious goal of bringing the best version of a live song to a customer like me, the happyotic user of some IToy , jogging with the cheap earbuds growing from her ears, is not an easy task.

    It often requires substituting some so-so parts with the better ones recordered at another concert , or just re-recording the part in the studio altogether. Adding tracks, doctoring up a live version a bit is often seen as an innocent practice, as our church’s musical director puts it, “like a push up bra – too much and its fake, too little and the sound is flat” (neah, he’s not hitting on us , the lil genius is gay and harmless)

  36. Ode wrote:

    speaking of….Wade, so in my perpetual culture study quest… you said that the family band forbids jokes on the bus to prevent hitting on each other, were you just goofying around or hinting at inbreeding in SG groups? I gently nudged, got no reply, do I take it as quiet yes? I can ask around here, but midwest might be biased.

    But if so, don’t feel bad .israelis been inbreeding per God’s direct order for thousands of years, no biggie. We are still smart, invented a whole bunch of stuff ;) Ever owned a Motorola cell or Windows XP and asked yourself “who’s the inbred that came up with this piece of… “thats us

  37. CVH wrote:

    Ode, I had a demo of PT 10 a couple of weeks ago and it’s a decent upgrade. I especially like the 32-bit feature; opens up the space which helps on acoustics and vocals. Vocals? I just look for the best matched mic and track as naturally as possible. Depends on the space in the tracks you’re working with but less is usually more.

    Good points on the live records too. I have some good ‘live’ jazz records from the ’50s and ’60s that were unedited sides but by the late ’60s the trend was toward combining tracks from different shows; some of the cross fades and edits were horrible, especially when you listen on headphones.

    There was a trend at Benson in the ’70s to release single and then 2-LP live records. Some were very well-done. A few were horrendous. Despite some rough edits, the Oak’s ‘Performance’ was one of the best ever done. So was the Gaither Trio’s second ‘double-live’ set. The Stamps had one out (a single LP) in ‘71 that was also very good. On the other end of the spectrum the Lanny Wolfe Trio did a couple of live records. I like a lot of his music but those were OMG, just kill me now.

  38. Wade wrote:

    ode…lots of inbreeding!!! Did you know I was Jewish?!?!?

  39. Wade wrote:

    CVH… Oaks Performance to me is The BEST LIVE recording I have not necessarily heard but EXPERIENCED. Growing up it was a Great recording to play along with. I have 2 copies of it and have heard they are quite valuable because there was not many pressed?!?!? You or Q-man or any one else feel free to correct me

    Would love to have a copy on CD or in some kind of digital form!!!

    I played along and listen to it so much I can still do the beginning kick off intro of the recording and Duane introducing the Group. Was lucky to run into him a Nara Lee on a vacation and after talking them a few minutes I rattled both off and thought he was going to cry!!

    IN all my years of playing drums in groups I have been given 2 very special compliments. When playing with a country band one night I had a guy walk up and hire me for spot gigs playing Jazz. He said he had never heard country music SWING SO MUCH… but earlier on the biggest compliment was being told I played like Mark Ellerbee!!!

    Wished there was a youtube video of them singing King Jesus… was a great recording and the last time I remember hearing Willie scream at the end. Think this was right before Joe joined.

    Always wondered what would have happened if Willie had sang country with them and how it would have sounded?!?!?

    The Oaks were the BEST!! They were considered contemporary!! WOW!!!

    Great Memories thanks CVH for bringing up PERFORMANCE!!!

  40. quartet-man wrote:

    I don’t know how many of the Performance albums were made, but I know they are hard to find. This could be due to their being so good they got worn out, or that people refuse to sell them. I have a few of them I have managed to find over the years. The Three Nails LP (which was the play done the same night “Performance”, Stamps “Live In Nashville” and the Rambos “Live” lp is possibly more rare. I did finally manage to find that too. Everything is in storage right now though.

    The Oaks “Performance” and their later live album (half country half gospel) on Rockland Road along with the “In Concert versions” of “Jesus Is Coming Soon” and in particular “King Jesus” are among my favorite live recordings. That version of “King Jesus” is one of my absolute favorites period.

    As far as the Oaks with Willie on tenor, at first I didn’t like it at all, but have grown to appreciate Willie. He is way different than Joe, and certainly more gospel sounding as far as men’s gospel quartets. I don’t think he would have worked as well in country (although back then maybe more than now). Joe’s voice although admittedly not as high, had a more commercial sound as far as country I think.

  41. CVH wrote:

    Wade and Qt. Man…I’m not sure how many pressings were made of “Performance”; most records only shipped a few thousand initially and that included retail to Christian bookstores and sales to the artist.

    “Performance” was also released very close to “Jesus Christ, What A Man”. Live records didn’t usually sell as well as studio recordings so fewer were pressed initially. I was lucky a few years ago to find a still-sealed copy of “Performance”. I think I paid $35 for it. I’d burned out my first copy years ago.

    They did “Light” next (at Whitney Studios in CA) and then “Street Gospel”, their last with Benson. That’s when the personnel changes started; they signed with Columbia and released their first record in ‘74 with ‘The Baptism of Jesse Taylor’ and other great tunes.

    I agree with Q-man on Willie’s voice and Joe’s. Joe was more pop oriented. I remember him and Dick Sterban and Garland Craft from their days as The Keystones. Dave Will too for that matter, before he joined The Imperials. Those were the days…..

  42. quartet-man wrote:

    CVH, I wonder if the sealed copy you found was one I almost got. I set it up for purchase during a time I think I was recuperating from surgery and accidentally didn’t follow through. For some reason they didn’t bill (I suppose maybe they didn’t use Gemm’s system for payment). By the time I discovered they were waiting on me (the email I use for that account is not one I check often enough), it was too late and had sold to someone else. If that is the case, I am glad you found one, but wish I had gotten that one and you had found another. ;)

    Although I have most of what the Oaks recorded (going back to their 78s), the time I love most gospel-wise (not counting their recent gospel offerings) would be from around the Performance / International albums through the Columbia ones. This would be when they started updating their sound, band and songs. There are some good things prior, but I am talking overall. As far as Heart Warming albums, Light is one of, if not their best. That is a real solid album. Even though Street Gospel was great, I think as a whole Light has better songs. I don’t think there is any filler on that one.

  43. Wade wrote:

    CVH & Q-Man… the cat the with the Chuck Wagon Gang who sells and collects all those albums was selling one he had at the convention one year for $750. That was a time in my life I ALMOST BOUGHT it but it was b4 I found my 2nd copy at a yard sell in one of those HUGE RCA Stereo units that look like a piece of furniture!!!

    Got the Stamps live to that was so popular!!!

  44. Ode wrote:

    Well, that explains a lot about SG then ;)
    Dislike the whole subculture, but like the music and buy it, I am a rebel like that.

    LOL, I figured that much.Considering you flirt with every gentile girl that walks within your eyesight, speak what other people dare to only think, eat way too much , have sex on your brain 24/7, and are well hated, you must be a jew. But i like to think you are a nice boy from GA. Southerners are the loveliest people of all US, in my opinion. They just sadly got cursed with one of the ugliest version of christian religion. Well, welcome to the club, southerners, we blessed people all have something we are cursed with. Look at what neighbors jews got ;)

  45. JR wrote:

    It seems to me this thread got a little sidetracked. I really think Wayne Haun out of any SG producer knows how to pump out some urban into the Southern Gospel. Janet Paschals “Anything To Love You” is an example. Going back to what Ode said in #11 probably explains why a synth rhythm track is used when punching up the bass and not so much bass on an acoustic set.

  46. Wade wrote:

    Ode — So I am “WELL HATED”??? Say it ain’t so??!?! ;-)

  47. Ode wrote:

    :D :D It is so, bubaleh. But dont worry about it. If someone is loved by EVERYONE, he is a real shyster and a crook

  48. Wade wrote:

    ode — there is a old saying or even a verse that says something like… Woe to you when all men speak well of you!!!!

    It is one of my favorites and SOOO TRUE!!!

    So I am GOOD!!! ;-) :-)

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