Clinch Mountain Echo

John's Gospel Quartet - John's Gospel Quartet

(Wango LP-103) c1964

Side One
Side Two

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The first of the Wango LPs, this album was recorded at Ray Davis' studio at Johnny's Used Cars in December 1963.[1] The brothers had spent the previous week in Baltimore, recording about 25 radio shows for Ray Davis, and had already spent the afternoon performing live on his 'Christmas Party' at Johnny's Used Cars.[2]

I sometimes wonder whether it was a good thing or not that so much material was recorded during this week... Carter had laryngitis, so could only make limited contributions to the Radio shows, which have subsequently been issued on Vol's 1-7 of Ray's V/A 'Radio Series', the On The Air LP and some of the other Wango releases. It does give a good indication of how Ralph had to begin to do emcee work, and how the band coped under such difficulties, but unless you realise the material is all from one week, it makes it appear that Carter was ill a disproportionate amount of time.

On this LP, Ralph, George Shuffler and Jack Cooke sang lead, and Carter is only heard playing rhythm guitar. The sound is therefore quite different in places, and probably of more interest to hardcore fans, than casual listeners.

The Stanleys had cut three of the songs before. Over In The Gloryland and Lonely Tombs had been recorded on the sessions for For The Good People; and Just A Little Talk With Jesus had previously appeared on a single (Mercury 70718) in 1955.

Also featured are five cuts which had previously been recorded by Bill Monroe: Bill's The Old Cross Road, Charles E. Moody's Drifting Too Far From The Shore plus I Am A Pilgrim, A Beautiful Life and Precious Memories.

Originally Ray Davis sold the albums over the air, and they were housed in plain cardboard sleeves. I've seen copies go for $100 or so on ebay, but fortunately the albums have all been reissued, with Wango 103 being reissued as Stanley Brothers Of Virginia, Vol. 3: Uncloudy Day.

It's a shame that all four albums haven't appeared on CD - they would after all easily fit on a double CD set.


For much more detailed information on these sessions, check Gary B. Reid's The Music Of The Stanley Brothers book, pages 174-176 and 210.

Side One:
The Old Crossroads

Bill Monroe
Drifting Too Far From The Shore

Charles E. Moody
Just A Little Talk With Jesus

Cleavant Derricks
Precious Memories

Johnnie Wright
I'll Fly Away / Sweet Bye & Bye

Albert E. Brumley / Samuel Fillmore Bennet - Joseph P. Webster
Uncloudy Day

Rev. J.K. Algood / J.F. Kinsey
Side Two:
Over In The Glory Land

J.E. Reynolds / W.P. Snyder
Lonely Tombs

Amazing Grace

John Newton
I Am A Pilgrim

Mary D. Shindler
A Beautiful Life

William M. Golden
Someone's Last Day

M.H. McKee

Go To Top Of Page [1] Gary B. Reid's "The Music Of The Stanley Brothers" book (p. 174-176)
[2] For the afternoon show see the Radio Series Vol. 6 and V/A - Radio Series Vol. 5 CD or check