Fern Jones

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Reissues

Fern Jones

The Glory Road (Numero Group)

The name is unfamiliar, but the sentiment is clear. Fern Jones was an Arkansas preacher's wife who toured the South with her husband's revival show. The closest Jones came to fame was "I Was There When It Happened," a song she penned, covered by Johnny Cash, and bought by Jimmie Davis, who received the acclaim. Jones recorded one record for Dot Records in 1959, Singing a Happy Song, just as country began leaning toward a less holy sound. Perhaps the sentiment voiced by Sun Records' Sam Phillips in Cash biopic Walk the Line – "Gospel don't sell" – is what ultimately ended Jones' career in 1960. Numero reissue The Glory Road is a remastered version of Singing a Happy Song along with four bonus cuts. The result is Patsy Cline-like praise that even nonbelievers will love. "I Do Believe," Sister Rosetta Tharpe's "Strange Things Happening Every Day," and "Didn't It Rain" mesh gospel, country, and rock & roll in a way only the greats mastered, thanks to Jones' rowdy alto and Hank "Sugarfoot" Garland's rockabilly guitar. Church sure would be more fun with a little rock & roll worked into the sermon. Praise Jesus.

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