“He Knows How Much We Can Bear”
Eddie Ruth Bradford
Independent (release date: January 15, 2024)

By Robert Marovich

I often think about how much better things were manufactured in the past. Furniture. Automobiles. Electronics. Back then, items were built to last, not to be replaced.

Like hymns and early gospel songs. “He Knows Just How Much You Can Bear,” written in 1941 by Phyllis Hall and published by Roberta Martin, is as durable as an eighteenth-century armoire. Backed by a steady rhythm section and a doleful harmonica, Eddie Ruth Bradford, “the Delta Breeze,” wraps her world-weary contralto around Hall’s song. The moral of pressing on in times of “pain or care,” despite the tears, is timeless, and Bradford’s delivery is equally so.

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Written by : 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.