An atheist’s take on religion on records

Easter/Passover/April Fools’ Day seems like the right time to post about religion on records.

I prefer the humorous songs:

“He Calls That Religion”: The Mississippi Sheiks 1930s take on an evil preacher

“Everybody”: John Prine’s 1972 take on meeting Jesus with Steve Goodman on acoustic guitar and David Bromberg on electric guitar

“God’s Song”:  Randy Newman (1972)

“O Holy Night Cha Cha Cha” by Brave Combo if you really want to get blasphemous

Even though I don’t believe in any of it, I do respect some serious gospel music

The small label Dust to Digital issued a terrific 6 CD set called Goodbye Babylon in 2004.  It includes gospel recordings from the 1920s-1950s including African-American sermons. Here’s an example: “Sow Good Seeds” by Lil McClintock.

The Holmes Brothers released Jubilation in 1993.  It has gospel music as R&B flavored by a steel guitar.  I don’t think we needed another version of “Amazing Grace” or “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” but “I Had My Chance” and “I’ll Fly Away” are terrific.

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