Andy Griffith - I Love To Tell The Story: 25 Timeless Hymns

Tuesday 1st April 1997
Andy Griffith - I Love To Tell The Story: 25 Timeless Hymns
Andy Griffith - I Love To Tell The Story: 25 Timeless Hymns

STYLE: MOR / Soft Pop
RATING 5 5 5 5 5
LABEL: Sparrow SPD1440
RRP: £2.50

Reviewed by Brian Carr

Listening to Andy Griffith's album wafted me on a wave of nostalgia to a time before CCM when as a teenager new to Christianity the only music I could listen to without being frowned upon came from the hymn book. "I Love To Tell The Story: 25 Timeless Hymns' - need I say more? The singer - a very popular actor Stateside - along with executive producer Billy Ray Hearn, has pulled together a collection of tried and tested favourites. Many arc bound together by theme into medleys: "Shall We Gather At The River/Will The Circle Be Unbroken" (I can't ever actually recollect singing these particular hymns in church!). There's the inevitable "Old Rugged Cross" along with "Near The Cross" and the not so familiar "When They Ring The Golden Bells/In The Sweet By And By". Things are livened up with a jazzy combination of "Marching To Zion/When The Saints Go Marching In". There are plenty of opportunities for those with a mind to sing along: "When We All Get To Heaven/We'll understand It Better By And By/When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder". This album is a brand new release and no expense seems to have been spared with the benefits of up to date production and arrangements by Steve Tyrell and David Huntsinger. For me Andy's mid-range voice was at its most satisfying on the album's gentle and sensitive moments such as the title track and "Softly And Tenderly/I Surrender All/Pass Me Not", "Whispering Hope" and "Wayfaring Stranger". For those readers who love their hymns, this may be an album to check out though really it's existence has more to do with American cultural nostalgia and the popularity of the TV actor than with musical excellence.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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