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Rainbow In the Sky

Alex Bradford

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Album Review

Only "What Makes a Man Turn His Back on God?," which features Bessie Griffin, has been previously released. But any number of those 23 sides could have been issued with success (only "Dinner, Mr. Rupe?," a half-minute of studio byplay, wouldn't). The earlier, slightly longer take of "Too Close to Heaven" is especially interesting to compare to the hit; too sweet how Bradford whittled almost 30 seconds out of a performance already in fine fighting trim. Superb annotation by gospel historian Anthony Heilbut offers an insightful history of Bradford and his sound and also gets down to cases about various tracks.

Biography

Born: 1926 in Bessemer, AL

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s

"Singing Rage of the Gospel Age," Professor Alex Bradford, who has been called "Gospel's Little Richard," arguably stands as the most influential male artist of gospel's post-World War II Golden Age. Important as composer ("I'm Too Close to Heaven and I Can't Turn Around"), singer (alternating between a rough, husky chest voice and a falsetto that turned him into a male soprano), stage (and altar) performer, record producer, and group and choir leader, Bradford also pioneered the extension of gospel...
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