Led by internationally-famous evangelists Dwight L. Moody and Ira D. Sankey, the revival business of the late 19th century was an established juggernaut, complete with its own musical soundtrack. It met up with an infant recording industry in the 1890s still experiencing growing pains. Waxing the Gospel is a groundbreaking exploration of how tradition and technology merged in three distinct areas of recording: commercial, celebrity, and vernacular. Waxing the Gospel presents top-notch performances by the earliest studio pros, records by Moody and Sankey themselves, old recordings from a Victorian camp meeting, and more than a dozen sacred treasures made in the parlors of ordinary people experimenting with their own phonographs. Including a book-length essay, this release chronicles the incredible detective hunt that identified a cache of mystery “homemade” cylinders from 1897, recorded at the annual Methodist camp meeting at Ocean Grove, New Jersey. Incredibly, in the collection was found the first and only recording made by blind hymn-writer Fanny Crosby. Some of the selections include the earliest recordings of “In the Sweet Bye and Bye” (from 1890!), “Nearer, My God, to Thee,” “Rock of Ages,” “The Hallelujah Chorus,” and Ira D. Sankey’s signature song, “The Ninety and Nine.” Also featured is the newly-discovered earliest recording of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” by the African-American vocal group, the Standard Quartette—a wax cylinder literally saved from the trash can. Packaged in a beautifully-illustrated hardcover book, this compilation includes a prologue by noted folklorist Joseph Hickerson, an extensive essay by Richard Martin, artist biographies, discographical information, historical notes and full transcripts of the recordings, full-color photography, and 102 remastered selections from the 1890s on three CDs.
1890-1900 Waxing The Gospel: Mass Evangelism And The Phonograph
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