Country, Western & Gospel Music

A History And Encyclopedia Of Composers, Artists & Songs

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes



Share page  Visit Us On FB



Previous Contents Next
ever recorded. In fact, he made the recording right in the condemned man's cell.
In his search for realistic sincerity, Satherley once hap­pened upon a venerable and dignified colored preacher in Richmond, Virginia. He was holding a street revival. With him were two little blind boys playing on a dilapidated portable organ, held together only by ropes and prayers. The three sang Ezekiel Saw de Wheel, and then the minister, smoothing his long black robes, began to preach a beautiful sermon, in which the words fell into spontaneous cadences and became a musical prose. It suddenly came to Satherley that it might be unusual to record a preachin', and he ap­proached the minister and asked him for permission to re­cord a sermon, which was steadfastly refused until Sather­ley argued that if the sermons were placed on records, then the flock in Richmond would derive spiritual comfort if their preacher had to visit another county or another state. The first preachin' records were released in 1930, and scored such a success that Satherley looked around for more suit­able preachin' talent.
A few months later he was in Augusta, Georgia, and he passed the word around that he was looking for a good preacher. An immaculately dressed Negro in a reversed collar appeared, carrying a nickeled guitar, and said, "Ise a man of God and I hears you is looking for a sermon. I brung my flock with me." The flock sheepishly followed him in. The group sang a spiritual, and then the Negro launched into the most moving preachment Satherley had ever heard.
After the recording was completed, Satherley paid the prophet $100 for himself and his congregation. The follow­ing day the congregation appeared and asked for their pay­ment. Satherley explained that he had paid their pastor.
"What pastor?" they cried. "He ain't our pastor. He picked us up on the corner and said he gwine gi' us two bits apiece iffn we he'p him sing the gospel. Why, he ain't even no churchgoin' man. He's blacker'n the devil hissel'. Why, he's the man who runs all our dens of 'niquity and 'bomination round here."
After sincerity, Satherley strives to project the meaning
61






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III