Vernon Oxford - Keeper Of The Flame

Sunday 1st December 1996
Vernon Oxford - Keeper Of The Flame

STYLE: Country
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Bear Family 15774

Reviewed by Dave Brassington

If there was ever an artist who should have been a top artist in country music it ought to have been Vernon Oxford. Over the years I have had the pleasure of seeing him perform many times (but not lately) ranging from when he was on RCA doing great authentic country music very much in the style of Hank Williams but drinking himself to death. Since then he has almost disappeared from the mainstream country scene, performing gospel music, appearing in a moving TV documentary and becoming a Pentecostal-style preacher. Here on this 5 CD set we get all the tracks he cut for RCA and then on a variety of smaller independent labels, finishing up with his three albums for Rounder including his superb gospel album 'A Better Way Of Life'. It has to be said that some of the records he made for Meteor (Ireland) and Rich-R-Tone are variable in quality. But for the Vernon Oxford aficionado this set is a must, it doesn't say a lot for the mainstream country scene in the late '60s, early '70s in Nashville, but it does fill in a lot of gaps both musical and factual in the Vernon Oxford story, in fact providing information on him which is hard to get from the man himself. If you fancy country gospel by its best and can't find Vernon's gospel LP, you could do worse than treat yourself to this luxurious set.

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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Reader Comments

Posted by larry mangold in toledo ohio @ 00:35 on Feb 27 2009

i met vernon in tootsies orchid lounge in 1967 i thought he was the best artist of his style around. i toured with him for awhile then i left before any of my songs were recorded. vernon good luck in all you do and god bless your every endeavor it was a pleasure to have been in your good company take care

Posted by Vernon Oxford in Spring Hill Tn, @ 16:35 on Nov 14 2008

Hello Dave,

Just a short note to say Many thanks for your beautiful Comments and thoughts. I'm still kicking,
Just returned from Ireland , We did a festival there In Aug. 2nd and 3rd. Sold many Cd's surprised every one. Including me. Lol.
Then we went back for a tour for 8 days. here two weeks total, Still serving The Lord too. Going to Ark. tomorrow for a Gospel meeting SEast Of Springdale. then On to Okla where I'm to perform a wedding
for one Of my Nephews sons . Feel free to e-mail me at any time If I can help yu any way.
Thanks again....................Vernon Oxford

The opinions expressed in the Reader Comments are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms.

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