Courtesy of Dust-To-Digital and the Rev himself, exclusive to The Wire
Rev Johnny L Jones has been preaching at the the Mount Olive Baptist Church in Atlanta for over 50 years, and has been recording his own, and other preacher's sermons for a similar number of years. Dust-To-Digital recently released a double disc collection from Jones's 1000+ hours of recordings called The Hurricane That Hit Atlanta (reviewed in The Wire 327). These tracks, exclusive to The Wire and with words and explanations from Dust-To-Digital and Rev Jones himself, include recordings of Jones, his father and Dr CJ Johnson.
"Home On High"
This track is actually called “Pray On My Child”, and is usually sung before or after the altar prayer, or is used to get the congregation ready for a sermon.
"Home Recording of Johnny's Father"
The track being sung on this recording is an old country hymn called “Go Preach My Gospel Says The Lord”. Jones's father, Deacon Herbert Jones, is singing, and his mother, Josephine Jones, is singing harmony. The recording was made in a church in Alabama when Johnny and his wife visited his parents after moving to Atlanta around 45 years ago. Jones says the congregation were standing around in the church after benediction talking, and he decided to get out his tape recorder.
“I'm Gonna Leave You In The Hand Of The Lord”
This old gospel song has been largely forgotten. It was written by a mother with a wayward daughter, appealing to the girl to right her ways. “All of us have situations in our lives where we try to get people to a higher level, and make a change," says Rev Jones, "and the more we talk to them, the farther away they run, so we have to find comfort in our lives by moving on and not dwelling on that other person. Let them come around on their own. Come up higher, and let them know you love them and are not angry.”
"Let Jesus In"
While Rev Jones doesn't remember exactly where this recording was made, he believes the person singing is the late Dr CJ Johnson, who was considered one of the greatest hymn singers in the world.