Archive for January, 2012

Sunday Jubilee Time: Leaning on the Everlasting Arms


Here’s another sweet, consoling sentimental tune that turns into a gospel party over the years — one of my favorite things, I gotta tell ya.

Anyway, lyrics and brief history are here.

Andy Griffith and friends sing one verse in the course of the Andy Griffith Show — dig the rich harmony!

Embedly Powered


Mahalia Jackson puts some muscle into it — and now it jumps to life. If you didn’t before, you know now why safety and security mean so much.

Embedly Powered

And when you’ve had to do without for so long, that prospect is BIG news, as the Blind Boys of Mississippi demonstrate.

Embedly Powered


Embedly Powered

And then you get gleeful with it, like this service at the First United Tabernacle Church, Apostolic. Now it’s gone all Caribbean! (The sound quality is pretty poor, due to the typical small-church sound system cranked all the way up. But it gets under your skin in a good way.)

Sunday Jubilee Time: In the Garden


I’ve always thought this was kind of a schmaltzy tune, of the genre younger evangelicals call “Jesus-is-my-boyfriend.”

Like this:

Embedly Powered


I mean, we all love Elvis, but some of us spiritually shy folks want to avert our eyes.

Well, according to the author, C. Austin Miles, it’s supposed to be like that — sweet, soft and sentimental, a caress when you’re feeling low.

Now, Mahalia Jackson puts some muscle and dignity into it:

Embedly Powered

But the version that I most wanted to show you, that redeems this song for me and turns it into a gorgeous gospel party, is not to be found online. It is “In the Garden” by the Original Five Blind Boys of Alabama, on their album “The Sermon.”

Album cover:

You can get your own copy from Amazon for 99c.
Also iTunes — it’s the last track on the page.
And TradeBit, and many other places.

Sunday Jubilee Time: Martin Luther King Day


Well, to my somewhat lateral mind, this was the most obvious choice.  The only version available on YouTube has very poor sound quality (the sound track was recorded in the late ’20’s, after all), so it’s off to GrooveShark:

No Room at the Hotel
sung by Sister Jessie Renfro

Langston Hughes incorporated it into his Black Nativity (originally titled Wasn’t That a Mighty Day?), which debuted on Broadway in 1961 and is still going strong:

Embedly Powered


Now, Bessie Johnson’s Sanctified Singers and Jessie Renfro are singing two different tunes, I’m pretty sure —

Embedly Powered

…and now I wonder where each of these tunes came from.  Also, I  haven’t found out which version is in Black Nativity.

“But what about ‘We Shall Overcome?'” you ask.  Well:

Embedly Powered

Which leads, eventually, to this hymn by Rev. Charles Albert Tindley, a self-educated, ordained Methodist minister who once got beat up while protesting a showing of The Birth of a Nation:

I’ll Overcome Someday
(Not embedding this URL because of autoplay.)

And now that we’re speaking of Charles Tindley, here are Rosetta Tharpe and Sister Knight being all amazing with “Beams of Heaven.”

Embedly Powered


New Year’s Jubilee Time: Tear down and rebuild


This is half my wish for the new year — every year.

Embedly Powered


And here’s the other half — let’s bring this one into the here and now:

Embedly Powered