February 20, 2010
Once he got over the whole notion of “praise” music, a notion that still can make him kinda squirm, The IP started realizing that many of the praise music LPs he sifts through every weekend have some of the best covers EVER! The matching polyester outfits of the singing groups alone make many praise LPs praiseworthy for a unique, albeit at-times tacky, aesthetic sensibility. Over time, The IP started noticing sub-genres of praise LPs and he chose to start collecting two of them:
Stone Mountain Praise Music LPs
Bus Tour Praise Music LPs
First, let’s look at two examples of the Stone Mountain Praise Music LP category.
It’s hard not to appreciate how much folks around here have idolized their local geologic wonder, Stone Mountain. Regardless of your attitude toward overt, Polyester Christianity, one has to admit that Stone Mountain IS a pretty amazing thing in and of itself. That it was the birthplace for the second-generation KKK revival and remains a tribute to White Southern Solidarity adds a creepy cultural layer on top of the great quartz monzonite (one should never take Stone Moutain for granite) monadnock. And that creepiness really comes through as you can see above.
Wanna take a guess when the last cross burning took place at Stone Mountain? Maybe some time in the 1920s? 1930s? Try 1962. Yep. That’s right. That’s why the very notion of posing in front of such a monument to Confederate Christian values is (to some) a somewhat dubious act; it’s obviously not to the people above.
The most tainted form of Stone Mountain-style Christianity is represented in the history and rhetoric of once-Georgia governor, Lester Maddox. Much like the giant relief sculpture of Confederate heroes on Stone Mountain, Lester was a piece of work, to say the least. Ironically, The City of Stone Mountain, where the inselberg of the same name protrudes, has slowly become more black over the years
OK. On to the Bus Tour Praise LP type.
The required criteria for achieving Bus Tour Praise Music LP status is simple: The LP MUST feature the actual tour bus of the group with the latter posed in front of the same, and the group must have coordinated outfits. Most important, the music contained on the LP must be Christian Praise or Gospel music. If members of the group pose with their awesome, slate-blue American Tourister suitcases, well, that’s just icing on the cake; or the bus. And check out that modernistic, concrete “carillon” tower behind the Calvary Choir. WTF? It probably houses a Schulmerich.
The IP kicks himself in the ass for having passed up several Bus Tour LPs like the above in the past; he might have had a collection of ten or twelve by now. Thankfully, there are still plenty of LPs out there, and hopefully the Bus Tour Praise LP collecting niche will remain small enough to collect some more.
Check out those Blackwood Brothers on the YouTubes; they totally rock: