STYLE: Southern Gospel RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 14884-10701 LABEL: Integrity 027072805524 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Trevor Kirk
The Happy Goodman Family were one of the most popular family groups in the history of Southern gospel music, and the best known lineup of Rusty and his brothers Sam, Bobby and Howard, along with Howard's wife Vestal, packed them in all over the place for the best part of two decades, until internal strife split the group asunder in 1980, and Howard and Vestal went their separate way as a duo. It wasn't until 1990, when Rusty had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, that the group was briefly reunited, before Rusty passed away in November of that year. Rusty had begun singing with his family at age 16 before serving in the United States Army Signal Corps during the Korean War. Upon his return, he served for several years as bass singer for the Plainsmen Quartet, before linking up with the rest of the clan in 1963. This collection highlights Rusty's wide vocal range, which could be anything from bass via baritone to first tenor; seven of the 13 tracks are his own compositions, and the whole thing is an affectionate tribute to a Southern gospel legend.
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Rusty Goodman poured his heart into each song that he wrote, a heart that was full of the love of God. Now for the first time on CD his best songs are available in one place. The Essential Collection contains the songs that prove that he was the consummate singer and songwriter.