Two Gospel Keys, Sister O M Terrell - Country Gospel: Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order 1946-1953

Published Tuesday 11th March 2008
Two Gospel Keys, Sister O M Terrell - Country Gospel: Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order 1946-1953
Two Gospel Keys, Sister O M Terrell - Country Gospel: Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order 1946-1953

STYLE: Gospel
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 21304-12051
LABEL: Document DOCD5221
FORMAT: CD Album
ITEMS: 1
RRP: £9.99

Reviewed by Phil Thomson

The background to this fascinating piece of musical history reads like a TV detective story. Columbia's A&R man Don Law pours over the old log books of the Bristol, Tennessee studios, finds a Greenville, South Carolina address and sets out to unearth yet more amazing deep south soundtracks from the '40s and '50s - plunging us straight back into that strange world of sanctified and Pentecostal sects. Both black and white were, surprisingly, very much in agreement theologically and philosophically - on "the manifestation of the presence of the Holy Spirit via speaking in tongues, holy dance and other uninhibited behaviour carried out in a trance-like state." It might be difficult now to imagine that the rasping, strident vocal pleading and preaching we hear on this album was at the forefront of such a movement, yet there is no mistaking the passion with which these ladies deliver a veritable wealth of teaching and exhortation. The Two Gospel Keys - Emma Daniels and Mother Sally Jones - were singers for the Church Of God In Christ, Atlanta, Georgia and followed in the trail of Brother Claude Ely's post war hillbilly group, learning their duetting craft through exposure to Ely's weekly Whitesburg radio show. Sister Terrell's recordings on the other hand have more vocal dexterity, the plaintiff steel guitar reminiscent of early Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee as well as the unmistakable influence of her contemporary, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the icon for every post war female guitar evangelist. You will recognise a few song standards here - "Precious Lord", "I Can't Feel At Home In This World Any More", "Swing Low Sweet Chariot", "Jesus Met The Woman At The Well", but what gives all these rare recordings a distinct edge is their sheer musical freedom and invention, possibly the result of the geography. The Cumberland region is at the meeting point of the three states of Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee, and it seems to have given birth to a sound which became marketable to both black and white alike. It was the guitar as a rhythm instrument, tambourines, handclaps and older song forms and an emphasis on repetitive hypnotic rhythms which linked both cultures. That, and an uncompromising take on how you qualified for the Kingdom - "You snuff-dippers, tobacco chewers, when you get to heaven you won't have nowhere to spit" (Terrell's "The Bible's Right"). Now, there's a lyric. Take heed.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. Two Gospel Keys - Charity [Listen]
2. Two Gospel Keys - I Love Traveling [Listen]
3. Two Gospel Keys - I Want My Crown [Listen]
4. Two Gospel Keys - We're Gonna Have A Good Time [Listen]
5. Two Gospel Keys - Precious Lord [Listen]
6. Two Gospel Keys - You've Got To Move [Listen]
7. Two Gospel Keys - I Dan't Feel At Home In This World Anymore [Listen]
8. Two Gospel Keys - I Can't Feel At Home In This World Anymore [Alternate Take] [Listen]
9. Two Gospel Keys - You've Got To Move (When The Lord Gets Ready) [Listen]
10. Two Gospel Keys - Can't No Grave Hold My Body Down [Listen]
11. Two Gospel Keys - Jesus Met The Woman At The Well [Listen]
12. Two Gospel Keys - Precious Lord [Listen]
13. Two Gospel Keys - I Don't Want To Go Down There, Pt. 1 [Listen]
14. Two Gospel Keys - I Don't Want To Go Down There, Pt. 2 [Listen]
15. Two Gospel Keys - This Heart Of Mine [Listen]
16. Two Gospel Keys - Every Man Got To Lay Down And Die [Listen]
17. Two Gospel Keys - I Can't Tarry [Listen]
18. Sister O. M. Terrell - Life Is A Problem [Listen]
19. Sister O. M. Terrell - How Long [Listen]
20. Sister O. M. Terrell - God's Little Birds [Listen]
21. Sister O. M. Terrell - The Bible's Right [Listen]
22. Sister O. M. Terrell - The Gambling Man [Listen]
23. Sister O. M. Terrell - I'm Going To That City [Listen]
24. Sister O. M. Terrell - Swing Low, Sweet Chariot [Listen]
25. Sister O. M. Terrell - Lord I Want You To Lead Me On [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

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