Sunday, March 25, 2012

Merrill Womach
"Sweet, Sweet Spirit"

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When I saw this album in the used bin at Tower Records in Atlanta, I thought the text was in Cyrillic. After pulling it out for a closer look, I discovered it was actually a gospel album from the mid/late 1970s by a guy from Spokane, WA, resting place of my nine-year-old appendix.

According to the liner notes:

Widely known for his unique vocal achievements in sound, Merrill is the first one to produce multiple stereophonic recordings. Through a series of delicately performed recordings of his own voice singing the various parts, he has produced duets, trios, quartets and even a 42-voice precision male chorus. Accompanying Merrill in many of his concerts are taped symphony orchestration backgrounds which are the result of years of research and development.

In addition to being a master of recording technique, Womach was also the victim of a fiery plane crash on Thanksgiving Day, 1961, just over seven months after my parents got married. This is the cause of his horrific facial scarring. Yes, it's not a horror movie makeup job; the poor guy actually looked like that.

As would be expected, nearly the entire album is graced with the sort of instrumental backing one might expect on a Caucasian gospel album of the period: dreadful. This particular track, however, is completely a cappella, albeit severely multi-tracked. I actually quite like it.

1 biased opinion:

Anonymous said...

It was about 1977 when we saw him in concert in Cincinnati, OH. I believe we had that record album. Unfortunately when we got rid of our turntable, we gave the album away too. I think we wore it out. :)