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12" 1950s 33 rpm Compilations Gospel LP

C-grade Christian

Johnny Cash sometimes described himself as a “C+ Christian”. Robert Hilburn, in his wonderful biography of Cash, observes: Most thought this American icon was just being humble. To those who’d been close to him at various points, it appeared he was being a bit generous with his evaluation. But there was  no question Cash believed. […]

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12" 1980s 33 rpm Compilations LP World music

Distributed in health-food stores

Back in the 1980s, there was a thing called “New Age”. It was a not-quite-religion, a mish-mash of spiritual practices and beliefs all broadly rejecting materialism and suggesting people slow down. Sort of Buddhism-lite, for prosperous Californians. It was a bit self-centred – long on attending health spas and short on volunteering at soup kitchens […]

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10" 1950s 33 rpm Gospel LP

Why should the Devil have all the good tunes?

“Why should the Devil have all the good tunes?” asked Charles Wesley, the great religious reformer and hymn writer. Like anything to do with religion, arguments about what music, if any, should be played church can be furious. There have probably been wars fought over it. Which is why this record is symbolic of a […]

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12" 1970s 33 rpm LP Spoken Word

Converting me into a bullet

Richard Harris is now chiefly famous for two things: singing the mysterious, melancholy song “MacArthur Park”, which was a huge hit in the late 1960s, and playing the role of Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films. He was not especially good as Dumbledore, though in fairness he was in poor health. His singing […]