Boneyard Media


Archive for the ‘Sunday Service’ Category

Song ID: Jimmy Hughes – “Steal Away” (1964)

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

hughes-stealawayFrom Leighton, Alabama, Jimmy Hughes was Percy Sledge’s cousin, and his soaring, imploring “Steal Away” (which includes the disquieting line “your folks are sleeping, let’s not waste any time”) found its way into Billboard’s Top 20 in 1964. This was one of producer Rick Hall’s early successes for the FAME Studio in Muscle Shoals – the first hit, in fact, to be recorded in that building. The song would naturally influence plenty of soul yet to come and help shape the Muscle Shoals sound, but it also bore the unmistakable musical imprints of the Southern gospel standard “Steal Away to Jesus,” written in the mid-1800s by a former slave named Wallace Willis. The clip below shows future Los Angeles gospel legends the Mighty Clouds of Joy (featuring Joe Ligon) doing their upbeat version of the hymn. It comes from TV Gospel Time in Baltimore, a show that debuted in 1962, in an episode hosted by Sister Jessie Mae Renfro.

Jimmy Hughes – “Steal Away” (1964)

The Mighty Clouds of Joy – “Steal Away to Jesus” (c. 1962)

1965 “Noah’s Ark” ViewMasters

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

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If you reach for your nearest set of red and blue glasses, you can watch this simulated 3D YouTube presentation of the 1965 “Noah’s Ark” ViewMaster reels. The clay figurines are by the sculptor Florence Thomas.

YouTube isn’t as 3D friendly as it was when these videos were posted, apparently, so here’s how to watch: After clicking the link to the YouTube video, replace “watch?v=” with “v/” (no quotation marks). Play the video, then look for the gear symbol at the bottom right. Click on that, then click “options.” Make sure that “red/cyan” and “full color” are checked. You may also need to check the “swap (right left)” box if it still doesn’t look right. And of course, if you’d rather just look at the pictures, you can go back to “options” and click “off” next to the 3D heading.

Sunday Service/Song ID: The Rance Allen Group – “Up Above My Head” (1971)

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

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There’s a loosey-goosey sort of deism going on here that I can’t help but nod at. “I really do believe there’s a god somewhere,” the always-red-hot Rance Allen Group sings in this spirited cover of Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Yes, he/she may be a Star Trek prankster in a laurel wreath and toga, and he/she may be 1 out of 47, but I know he/she is up there. Somewhere.

The Rance Allen Group – “Up Above My Head”

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Sunday Service/Song ID: The Hello People – “(As I Went Down to) Jerusalem” (1968)

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

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This single (which peaked at #123) kicked off the unique run of late sixties/early seventies mime rock outfit the Hello People. “Mime rock” is a misleading term because they didn’t mime at all, although their white face paint and somewhat exaggerated movements made them look like they were. Hence the weird allure. Notwithstanding my own affection for this single, their overall sound never quite jelled into anything especially singular, but their stage presence made for some memorable TV appearances (stay tuned).

Update (7/11): Whatever prompted me to claim with assurance that the Hello People were not really a mime rock group has been refuted by Richard Gagnon (see comments) who says they would mime on stage in between songs. This makes perfect sense – I sure wish I could have seen this one-of-a-kind band live.

The Hello People – “(As I Went Down to) Jerusalem”

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Sunday Service/Song ID: Delirium – “Jesahel” (1972)

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

This Italian religious youth cult, which flourished in the God-consciousness flareup of the early seventies, called itself – in full – “The Tribe of Delirium for the Most High Jesahel.” Origins of the term “Jesahel” are unclear, but the tribe would use it interchangeably in reference to the ultimate guiding spirit, as in Jehovah, and to a holy land of both origin and promise, as in Jerusalem. The tribe included no one over thirty, and they would only emerge periodically in large groups – from their headquarters in the high Apennines – just long enough to enliven Italian city street life by chanting and singing as they stood side by side, stiff and upright as soldiers, save for those ever-chugging arms, which continuously expressed their trademark “applause for Jesahel.” (Equally common among them was the outstretched “Jesahel reach” and the “family-clasp,” both of which you can see demonstrated above.) Flute-wielding leader Ivano Fossati, or genitore (parent) as they called him, made the journeys infrequently, preferring to lead from the hills with his seven female co-genitores. Whatever public appearances he did make with the Delirium tribe, though, caused enough furor for their signature mantra “Jesahel” to become an Italian smash hit.

Just kidding – I made all that up, but I prefer it to the truth, which is that “Jesahel” is just a love song by a certain Euro prog rock group.

posted by Kim Simpson

Sunday Service/Song ID: Good News – “I’m a-Losin’ My Mind” (1969)

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

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So you have this charming Jesus thrift store find floating around forever, then you come to find out the duo that recorded it is actually Kevin Bacon’s brother Michael and Larry Gold, a man responsible for some of the entire Philly soul genre’s crucial string arrangements.

Good News – “I’m a-Losin’ My Mind” (1969)

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Sunday Service: The Atlantics – “Superstar” (2003)

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

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Jesus Christ SurferStar is a 2-CD set full of various latter-day reverb dial instrumentalists doing interpretations of every single song from the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack. Here are Australia’s Atlantics catching a real heavy – the 1970 Murray Head hit single “Superstar.”

The Atlantics – “Superstar”

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Sunday Service: United States of America – “I Wouldn’t Leave My Wooden Wife for You, Sugar” (1968)

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

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“Experimental” is the operative word for this album, although it’s more satisfying than the word might suggest. It’s a good 50% hear-us-on-acid clatter, and a good 10% “When I’m Sixty-Four” envy, but it’s the other stuff, the moderately weird 40% that sounds best. Here’s one of those: an ode to whips and chains that closes with a Salvation Army band playing a Protestant hymn (“There is Sunshine in My Soul”).

United States of America – “I Wouldn’t Leave My Wooden Wife for You, Sugar” (1968)

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Sunday Service/Song IDs: Kendell Kardt’s “Walk On Water” and “Three Steps”

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

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Another installment of tracks from Kendell’s 1971 live demo sessions. These were both influenced by his years worshiping at a storefront church in Harlem during the sixties. As he puts it, “my experience at Gospel Church opened many doors. I began to explore the available records of then contemporary gospel artists I could find, in addition to Mahalia [Jackson]. Marion Williams stands out, among others. In any case, I was moved to try to create some songs of my own in that style, and these are 2 examples.” Jim Post, incidentally, recorded “Walk on Water” several years later on Fantasy Records.

Kendell Kardt – “Walk On Water” (1971)

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Kendell Kardt – “Three Steps” (1971)

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posted by Kim Simpson

Sunday Service/Song ID: Kendell Kardt – “Silver Engine” (1976)

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

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“Silver Engine” is a track from the same demo sessions that brought us “Buzzy and Jimmy.” As Kendell puts it, “it’s based on a dream I had which reinterpreted a story my grandmother had once told me about the rapture when I was a little boy.” This is one of Kendell’s better known tracks, and it’s been recorded by a number of artists such as Jim Post and bluegrass group the Morgan Bros., among others. And now, here it is – Kendell’s own unissued version.

Kendell Kardt – “Silver Engine” (demo) (1976)

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