Clinch Mountain Echo

Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers - Hymns From The Hills

(Rebel REB-CD-1839) 2010

Hymns From The Hills
Rear Cover CD Tray Maggards Studio - May 2010

Average Album Rating: 3
(Total votes 2)

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An all Gospel release. About half of the tracks feature Joe Mullins and the band by themselves and the remainder have guest vocalists including Larry Sparks, Doyle Lawson, Rhonda Vincent and Paul Williams. Ralph is featured on one track, Jesus Loves Me, which makes use of a children's choir contrasted with Ralph's elderly vocals.

Elsewhere the album is quite polished, with vocals reminiscent of Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, and slick production.

Joe Mullins is the son of Paul 'Moon' Mullins who played briefly with the Clinch Mountain Boys in late 1958/early 1959. He has of course played with The Traditional Grass and Longview, as well as following in his father's footsteps as DJ/radio magnate. In 2016 Joe was elected chairman of the IBMA.

The CD comes with a 12-page booklet, with extensive liner notes. On Ralph he had this to say: "I have a picture taken right after my first birthday with Ralph and Carter Stanley. Ralph's music has been a part of my life and he has always been a friend to our family. His contributions to mountain-style gospel music are enormous. After years of intense study of hundreds of Ralph's songs, it was very exciting to record with him."

When Ralph died Joe posted a picture of Ralph during the recording session for Jesus Loves Me on his facebook page and wrote: Not a great picture but memorable. I've saved this picture for over 6 years and look at it often. This was May of 2010 in the break room at Maggard Sound Studio in Big Stone Gap, VA. Ralph and I were discussing the arrangement for the song he recorded with the Radio Ramblers that day. It was a very special career moment for each of us.
My earliest memories include Ralph Stanley. I am safe in saying that very few days of my 50 years didn't include some music directly from or connected to Ralph Stanley. I got a record player for Christmas at age 3 and the Stanley Brothers first LP for King Records was one of the first in my collection. The 45rpm of Little Birdie was always close at hand, too. I think my Dad promoted a concert for Ralph almost every year from the days of Sparks and Goins all the way up to Ralph II. My mother welcomed, Ralph, Carter, and dozens of Clinch Mountain Boys into her kitchen through the years. Our family friendship has continued, and I'm thankful I presented Dr. Ralph many times at concerts and festivals the past 25 years. Ralph was a talented and down to earth businessman who managed and booked himself without any outside assistance well into the 1990's. I have been on radio 34 years and Ralph's music has part of almost every broadcast since I started in 1982.
Instrumentally, Ralph Stanley's timing was so fantastic and consistent and he was one of the rare banjo talents that could play and sing at the same time, equally great. Vocally, no one ever sounded just like Ralph. The mournful, mountain tenor voice was unequalled. And while his lead vocals made the whole world pay attention and award him many deserving honors, his tenor singing absolutely shook the ground! You must never leave the Stanley's Mercury recordings on the shelf for more than a day or two without playing Our Last Goodbye or Cry From the Cross. And Ralph was only in his 20's when these records were made! What a blessing to contribute significantly for 70 years of music. His tenor work alongside Sparks, Centers, Whitley and Sizemore helped make men out of boys!
I thank God that Ralph was able to share so much for so long. Thankful for his perseverance, for the millions of miles and thousands of banjo strings. We will never see or hear anyone else just like Ralph. - Joe"

Personnel on Jesus Loves Me:

He Loves Me

Adam McIntosh
Fallen Leaves

Louis M. Jones
Come On

P.D. arr. Joe Mullins
Rock Of Ages Keep My Soul

Luther G. Presley
We Missed You In Church Last Sunday

Aubrey Holt
Hold On To The Gospel Way

Paul Humphries / Joe Mullins
Jesus Loves Me

William Bradbury
Fair Weather

Mike Ramsey
O The Love Of My Redeemer

Josh Caterer
I'll Never Go Back

Ira Louvin / Charlie Louvin
That Little Old Country Church House

J. Purdon / Muriel Deason Wright
Be Jesus To Someone Today

Tim Stafford / Jon Weisberger
Worth It All

William Howard / Joe Mullins
Sweet Hour Of Prayer

William Bradbury

Go To Top Of Page [1] posted 24th June 2016.