Bill & Gloria Gaither and Their Homecoming Friends - Southern Convention Songs
STYLE: Southern Gospel RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 9517-9210 LABEL: Spring House SHD2463 FORMAT: CD Album RELEASE DATE: 2003-09-05 RRP: £5.99
Reviewed by Dave Brassington
The cover with its mid-'50s sepia photograph sets the tone for this long running (22 tracks) but rather dull and boring album. Presumably the idea is that these songs are those the Gaither's grew up with, but there is nothing really exciting about most of the album. There is nothing unpleasant, but the songs that I know have been done much better by other artists. For instance "Beautiful Star Of Bethlehem" I first heard from the old time country group, the AL Phipps Family, and this became even more popular when Emmylou Harris recorded it on her Christmas album. "His Hand In Mine" was the title track of Elvis Presley's first gospel album and it is much better by the star. Several other songs like "I'd Rather Have Jesus" and "I'll Meet You In The Morning" have been done so much better by other artists, the latter has even become a standard in bluegrass quartet singing. Even the Gaither's themselves have done "Looking For A City" in a much more exciting manner than on this album. Not one of the Gaither's better releases.
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Featured here are 22 songs performed in their original harmonies. And these songs – meticulously recorded by Bill Gaither and Ben Speer – have a history! Ben Speer’s father, Dad Speer, taught these songs in gospel singing schools when they were first composed and performed.