Close Harmony traces the development of the music known as southern gospel from its antebellum origins to its twentieth-century emergence as a vibrant musical industry driven by the world of radio, television, recordings, and concert promotions. Marked by smooth, tight harmonies and a lyrical focus on the message of Christian salvation, southern gospel-- particularly the white gospel quartet tradition--had its roots in nineteenth-century shape-note singing. The spread of white gospel music is intricately connected to the people who based their livelihoods on it, and Close Harmony is filled with the songs and recordings of artists and groups such as Frank Stamps and his quartet, the Chuck Wagon Gang, the Blackwood Brothers, the Rangers Quartet, the Statesmen Quartet, and the Oak Ridge Quartet.
Close Harmony: A History Of Southern Gospel Music has been compiled by the Southern Gospel Music Association as the musical companion piece to the definitive book of the same name written by James R. Goff (Professor of History, Appalachian State University). Goff also contributes the liner notes for the CD package.
With Christian music sales topping the $600 million mark at the close of the twentieth century, Close Harmony is a great compilation of the history of an important and influential segment of the thriving gospel industry.
A portion of the proceeds from this project benefit the Southern Gospel Music Association and their museum and hall of fame.
1. The Old Gospel Ship- The LeFevres
2. I've Found A Hiding Place- The Rangers Quartet
3. Lead Me To That Rock- The Homeland Harmony Quartet
4. Give the World A Smile- Stamps Quartet
5. Hide Me Rock Of Ages- Rebels Quartet featuring
Big Jim Waits
6. Somebody Bigger- Statesmen Quartet
7. Lord Lead Me On- Chuck Wagon Gang
8. Lord Build Me A Cabin In Glory- Blackwood Brothers
9. Swing Down, Chariot- Golden Gate Quartet
10. I'll Not Deny My Savior- Vaughan Sand Mountain Quartet
11. Where Could I Go- All American Quartet
12. When We Sing Around the Throne Eternal- Stamps-
13. I Want To Be More Like Jesus- Wally Fowler & the
Oak Ridge Quartet
14. Going Home- Speer Family