By James Calemine
This 2 CD compilation of archival recordings from the late Rev. Johnny L. “Hurricane” Jones, culled from more than 1,000 tapes of live congregational recordings, can now be heard for the first time. The earliest recordings on this set began in 1957. Jones still records every Sunday service at his Second Mount Olive Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
The recordings sound raw and distorted during certain sermons, but the spirit proves unforgettable. Born on June 25, 1936 in Marion, Alabama, Jones began singing in church at an early age. Eventually he started preaching. Jones organized gospel groups, traveled and played piano in church choirs.
Over 50 years ago Jones moved to Atlanta. This compilation documents some of the most soulful and spiritual recordings ever committed to tape. Disc One begins with Rev. Wright from Durham, North Carolina, introducing the fireball preacher “Hurricane” Jones. A rumbling bass follows the introduction and suddenly drums, guitar, bass and organ all converge on Jones’ “Sit At The Welcome Table” message to the congregation.
These discs contain two-dozen soul-stirring songs, sermonettes, guest soloists and priceless radio clips. Rev. Jones’ ensemble ranks as one of the most powerful bands you’ll ever hear. Highlights on Disc One include “I Got Drunk For The Lord/Train Is Moving”, “I’m Going Through”, “God Specializes” and “Sometimes I Feel Like I’m Almost Gone”.
Disc Two brings Jones’ Sunday services up to the latest Second Mount Olive Church era. Memorable tracks on this sequence count as “Glad About It”, “It’s That Way Sometimes”, “Walk with Me”, “Female Choir Medley”, “Don’t Move My Mountains (sung by Valerie Mathis), “Tell It (sung by Sonya Dorsey) and “Psalm 23/Lord Help Me To Hold Out”. Rev. Johnny L. Jones brings church to the airwaves the first and third Saturday of each month on WYZE in Atlanta.
Recently, Rev. Jones spoke about his musical mission: “We sing a lot of songs, and I guess my personal reason would be that they interest the older people and still move a lot of the younger people. I think you’re going to come out better though when you learn how to mix styles. As for this new experience with Dust To Digital, I’m proud, and I just pray and trust that this will be a help to everybody who listens to it.”
Have a listen, and say Amen…
(From Insured Beyond The Grave Vol.2)