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Rev. J.C. Burnett

Beginning in the late '20s, Reverend J.C. Burnett began recording religous sermons, including a popular series released by Columbia. One of the most exciting recordings of gospel music from a strictly secular standpoint was the combination of Burnett, producer Joe Davis, and a group of session musicians Davis chose for the occasion fronted by keyboard player Porter Grainger. Grainger's heavy duty gospel organ bears a fair resemblance to a chicken-fried pork chop with a side of candied yams, but the amount of rehearsal preparation involved in this session would have made a Southerner drop off his porch. A letter from Grainger to Davis, as reported in the latter man's biography Never Sell a Copyright, indicates that the seasoned keyboardist was worried about this session: "Anticipating the probability that something might go wrong, I rehearsed my group so thoroughly that they didn't necessarily need their scores." These tracks originally came out on the Jay Dee label.

The Document label has come up with two seperate volumes from the good Reverend's career, the first focusing completely on the late-'20s recordings. Burnett's recordings are considered influential, but not just on gospel music fans or sinners wanting to be saved: his recordings were favorites of Bob Dylan's long before the star briefly embraced Christianity. One collection of so-called "Dylan cover songs", or songs by other people that Dylan has recorded, includes a Burnett track, or at least one that is credited to him. It is "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," more associated with Appalachia than black gospel, not a typical example of the Reverend but breathtaking when sung by him nonetheless. ~ Eugene Chadbourne
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Rev. J.C. Burnett Vol. 2 (1927-1945)

1. The Angel Done Gone Down

2. Cry, Till Jesus Comes

3. The Gambler's Doom

4. Will The Circle Be Unbroken

5. Rejected Stone

6. You Are Sleeping In A Dangerous Time

7. I Don't Want No Trouble At The River

8. Sit Down, Servant

9. Put Your Trust In Jesus

10. Amazing Grace

11. Chariot's Coming Down

12. When The Evening Sun Goes Down

13. Afterwhile Some Sweet Day

14. Speed On! Hell Is Waiting For You

15. Jonah In The Belly Of The Whale

16. Downfall Of Nebuchadnezzar

17. Balshazzer

18. God Will Deliver His People

19. What Ails Thee?

20. I'm Not Ashamed Of The Gospel Of Christ

21. Prayer Was Made Without Ceasing Of The Church

22. Wages Of Sin Is Death

23. War In Heaven

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