Album Review by OJ Sikes:
Hymns and spirituals held an important place in the Sons of the Pioneers’ repertoire from the start. But until now, it hasn’t been possible to find so many of the early songs on one disc. This new CD contains 16 songs, 9 of which were recorded as Standard Transcriptions in 1935, when Roy Rogers (still Len Slye at the time) was a member of the trio.
The rest are from the Orthacoustic Transcriptions, recorded in 1941, when the trio consisted of Lloyd Perryman, Bob Nolan & Tim Spencer. Bob Nolan hadn’t written/recorded many Western inspirational songs up until this time and Stan Jones, who was to write several later, hadn’t yet been “discovered.” Still, 2 of Nolan’s Western compositions are included: “The Touch of God’s Hand” & “Lord, You Made the Cowboy Happy,” along with one, “What You Gonna Say to Peter?” that showcases individual Pioneers. All 3 are from the 1941 sessions.
Several others are very familiar to Pioneers fans, e.g. “One More River to Cross,” “You Must Come In at the Door” & “Lead Me Gently Home, Father” (with Hugh Farr’s special bass contribution). The Pioneers arrangements of others may be new to many listeners, e.g. “Old Time Religion” & “Swing Low Sweet Chariot.”
Liner notes are by co-producer Laurence Zwisohn. There’s a great rare photo inside and the audio is outstanding. Widely available. Try www.DeepDiscountCD.com
1. One More
River to Cross