TBGB Reviews…Katie Sankey


My Best to You
Katie Sankey
Meltone Records 2007
www.meltonerevue.com

Katie Sankey’s voice is so large it can hardly be contained within the borders of her home state of Alabama, where she is a Jefferson County native. It’s no surprise Katie won the Dorothy Love Coates Life Achievement Award at the 2006 American Gospel Quartet Convention: she reminds me of singers like Dot Coates and Ernestine Washington who didn’t need a stage full of instrumentation to turn a church out.

The finest tracks on Katie’s CD, My Best to You, released earlier this year on Melvin Couch’s Meltone Records, focus on her God-given voice, with just a trickle of accompaniment (piano, organ, drums). These tracks include the traditional “I Don’t Know Why,” “He Touched Me,” and “I Need Thee,” though the background musicians do a fine job on “He Made Me,” also known as “I’m Glad.” Katie’s rendition of “Battle Hymn of the Republic” sounds as if Ray Charles arranged it.

Other tracks, like “God Always” with its incessant disco beat, tend to distract from, rather than add to, the overall experience. Nevertheless, Katie sings with complete abandon, oblivious to the fact that the instrumentation on some tracks is completely out of step with her traditional sound.

Whether it’s a hymn or gospel song, Katie Sankey sells it by squeezing every ounce of meaning out of it. The gospel world needs more singers like her.

Two and one-half of Four Stars

About Bob Marovich

Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. Founder of Journal of Gospel Music blog (formally The Black Gospel Blog) and producer of the Gospel Memories Radio Show.

10 comments

  1. MAY I ADD SHE CAME TO MY DADS CHURCH AND TORE THE HOUSE UP.. I JUST LOVE HER.. I LISTEN TO HER CD ALL THE TIME. MY DADS CHURCH IS DEVINE LOVE COGIC, IN GRIFFIN GEORGIA….

  2. The Lyrics to “He Made Me” by Katie Sankey

  3. I was born and raised in Birmingham,Ala., so Katie Sankey was a staple in my house. Getting ready for church on Sundays would not be Sunday with Katie’s voice ringing through the house.

    I have been waiting for “He Made Me” to make it’s way to a CD. That particular song has gotten me through many challenges, yet, it is the most difficult song for me to find.

    Katie Sankey is in a class unlike any other Gospel Singer. I had the pleasure of seeing Katie sing in Birmingham in the late 1970’s in a small church. She shook the place to the rafters. Watching her sing in her bare feet and hearing this raw spiritual force move through her was a sight that will forever be embedded in my mind. I knew I was in the presence of greatness…

  4. The song “I Don’t Know Why” has gotten me through a lot of difficult times. It helps me to acknowledge the hard times but also to weather them and endure because it is all a part of God’s larger plan that we can’t see now, but will “by and by.” Ms. Sankey’s voice is moving.

  5. Ms. Sankey performed at my Mom’s Funeral. I will never forget what that meant to me and my family. I grew up in Brighton, AL. So I was fortunate enough to be able to hear this robust, earth moving voice more often than a lot of her fans. My mother had to be smiling down from heaven when Ms. Sankey’s voice filled our church.

  6. Im trying to get a copy of the “My Best to you” Cd, everywhere I look is tell telling me that its unavailable..

  7. Hello, send me an email at the address at the bottom of the blog and I can give you information on how you might be able to obtain a copy of the CD.

  8. Trying to find the album of Katie Sankey with the song “If I Could Just Hold Out Until Tomorrow”. Can’t find it anywhere..Really want to purchase it..That was my mom’s and I favorite song, and still is…Helps me make it through the day…

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