Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Rev. J.M. Gates - Are You Bound For Heaven of Hell

Rev. Gates was one of the most prolifically recorded preachers, recording over 200 sides between 1926 and 1941. This is a compilation of some of his best known sermons, some interspersed with songs, but most simply his preaching, with responses from Deacon Leon Davis and Sisters Jordan and Norman.

The subjects are wildly varied, from "Goodbye to Chain Stores" to "Devil in a Flying Machine" to "The Woman and the Snake" to "Kinky Hair is no Disgrace" to "Hell Bound Express Train" to "Mannish Woman" to "Scat to the Cat and Suie to the Hog"! Many, if not all of these sound as if Gates had a basic idea and starting riffing off of it and when the members of the congregation would interject, he would get thrown, but come back to his point - whatever that might be, which he might not be certain of!

There is plenty of humor here - some purposeful and some unintentional - and there are times when Gates seems to be arguing with the Sisters to the point of everyone becoming testy, but somehow it all works in the context. Highly entertaining and good fodder for my Prophet Greene persona!