TBGB Reviews Old Time Camp Meeting Songs – Volume III

Old Time Camp Meeting Songs – Volume III
Rev. Timothy Flemming, Sr.
God’s Strength Records 2007

Buoyed by the success of Volumes I and II, the prolific Rev. Timothy Flemming, Sr. has released yet a third volume of Old Time Camp Meeting Songs.

Recorded live at the Macon City Auditorium in Macon, Georgia, Old Time Camp Meeting Songs – Volume III reminds us that there was a soul-stirring sound in the church long before gospel music took hold. Rev. Flemming takes the listener way, way, way back, leading old fashioned, largely unaccompanied call-and-response congregational hymn and spiritual singing. Think Alan Lomax’s Library of Congress field recordings, but in stereo. The recording is also reminiscent of Dr. C.J. Johnson’s classic “Old Time Prayer Meeting” LPs for Savoy. Dr. Johnson’s albums were recorded in the 1960s, but the content was rooted in the 1860s.

In particular, Rev. Flemming’s version of “Old Ship of Zion” brings to mind Rev. C.L. Franklin’s popular 1950s 2-part single of the spiritual for J-V-B and Chess. As with Rev. Franklin’s recording, Rev. Flemmons preaches and leads the congregation in a tsunami wave of sound punctuated by participants losing themselves in the Spirit.

Of course, I shook my head in disbelief at the CD cover, depicting “The Little Man with the Big Voice” wearing what can only be described as 19th Century country attire, but if anyone can get away with it, Rev. Flemmings can. His point – that this is “little wooden Baptist church on the hill” style music – is evident the second the singing starts.

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.

One comment

  1. National Old Time Camp Meeting featuring Dr. Timothy L. Fleming. Pastor of the Mount Carmel Baptist Church of Atlanta Georgia.

    When: July 11th, 12th, and 13th
    Where: Indianapolis Convention Center, Indianapolis, Indiana

    Host Hotel Adams Mark Indianapolis Airprot, Indianapolis, Indiana
    Call Mr. Reggie Bond to recieve the Camp Meeting room rate of $89.00 per night. Make your airline reservations from any airline website, such as usair.com or delta.com
    Local Contact: Reverend Michael D. Allen 317-636-9579 or 317-502-6021
    Dress Code: Women- Bonnets and old time dresses, Men- Overall’s and Brogain Shoes and white shirts or plaid.
    come and be blessed. Bring your Church or group.
    Daily workshops and worship, if you would like to participate e-mail REverend Michael D. Allen at lilallen56@yahoo.com
    Everyone Welcome.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.