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Greatest Gospel Songs

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Album Review

Greatest Gospel Songs isn't a compilation at all — it's actually a reissue (and not the first) of Brenda Lee's 1997 inspirational album Precious Memories, which was previously available only through her website and at personal appearances. Lee produced the album with husband Ronnie Shacklett and longtime guitarist Dave Powelson, and the recording values are as high as if it had been crafted for major label release. She sings a dozen gospel songs, all of which are well-known classics like "Old Rugged Cross" and "Amazing Grace" that afford Lee ample opportunity to display her expressive ballad style. The arrangements vary from the piano and vocal chorus of "Softly and Tenderly" to the sparse acoustic guitar accompaniment of "Unclouded Day," with an orientation toward slow, intensely spiritual songs.

Biography

Born: 11 December 1944 in Lithonia, GA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the biggest pop stars of the early '60s, Brenda Lee hasn't attracted as much critical respect as she deserves. She is sometimes inaccurately characterized as one of the few female teen idols. More crucially, the credit for achieving success with pop-country crossovers usually goes to Patsy Cline, although Lee's efforts in this era were arguably of equal importance. While she made few recordings of note after the mid-'60s, the best of her first...
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Greatest Gospel Songs, Brenda Lee
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