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Reverend Robert Ballinger The King's Highway (2-CD)

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2-CD Digisleeve with 36-page booklet, 40 tracks. Total playing time approx. 90 min. A... more

Reverend Robert Ballinger: The King's Highway (2-CD)

2-CD Digisleeve with 36-page booklet, 40 tracks. Total playing time approx. 90 min.

  • A double CD with recordings by Reverend Robert Ballinger kicks off the new gospel CD series on Bear Family!
  • Mostly with a trio, accompanied by bass (Willie Dixon) and drums (Odie Payne), the pianist and singer recorded some of the most powerful Blues-drenched Gospel numbers in the 1950s and early '60s. 
  • Musically, the Reverend's vocals are more reminiscent of blues and R&B shouters than of traditional gospel singing in African-American houses of worship; as a pianist, he impresses with his extreme, pounding playing in the best barrelhouse tradition.
  • Recordings for United, Chess, Artistic and Peacock.
  • Extensive liner notes by Chicago author Bill Dahl, carefully remastered recordings.

From the 1930s on, Chicago served as the nurturing cradle of modern gospel music, thanks to the incredibly prolific Thomas A. Dorsey and his small army of protégés, choirs, and choruses. Every so often, an outsider with his own concept crashed the Windy City's burgeoning gospel scene—and sanctified evangelist Rev. Robert Ballinger's thundering musical vision was about as close to rock and roll as you could come while still working in service of the man above. Rev. Ballinger entered a Chicago recording studio for the first time in late 1952 under the auspices of United Records

The seven sides wouldn’t see light of day until Delmark Records, now owner of the United’s archives, featured five of the reverend’s sides on a 1997 gospel CD. The piano-pounding Ballinger debuted in 1955 on Chess Records with an inspiring rendition of Sister Rosetta Tharpe's rollicking This Train as blues legend Willie Dixon applied thundering bass (Dixon dug it so much that he wrote My Babe around its chord changes and melody), then migrated over to Eli Toscano's Artistic logo in 1958 for another one-off single before cutting two wild early '60s albums for Don Robey's Peacock label—and they're all on this compilation. 

There was nothing stodgy about the Cincinnati-born Reverend Robert Ballinge, he rocketed straight for the heavens every time out, punching his 88s with two-fisted abandon and unleashing a gritty vocal attack not all that far removed from that of Ray Charles. Give Reverend Robert Ballinger  a chance, and he's liable to save your soul with his high-flying sanctified houserockers!


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Ballinger, Reverend Robert - The King's Highway (2-CD) CD 1
01 Swing Down Chariot Reverend Robert Ballinger
02 No Bread Reverend Robert Ballinger
03 Somebody Saved Me Reverend Robert Ballinger
04 He's My Everything Reverend Robert Ballinger
05 The Little Black Train Reverend Robert Ballinger
06 I John Saw The Number Reverend Robert Ballinger
07 The King's Way Reverend Robert Ballinger
08 New World Reverend Robert Ballinger
09 Standing In The Safety Zone Reverend Robert Ballinger
10 This Train Reverend Robert Ballinger
11 God Rode In A Windstorm Reverend Robert Ballinger
12 Oil In Your Vessel Reverend Robert Ballinger
13 Drop Your Net Reverend Robert Ballinger
14 Don't Wonder 'Bout Him Reverend Robert Ballinger
15 There Are Days Reverend Robert Ballinger
16 Poor Wayfaring Pilgrim Reverend Robert Ballinger
17 Holy Spirit Reverend Robert Ballinger
Ballinger, Reverend Robert - The King's Highway (2-CD) CD 2
01 Two Wings Reverend Robert Ballinger
02 Hold My Body Down Reverend Robert Ballinger
03 So Glad Reverend Robert Ballinger
04 Working The Road Reverend Robert Ballinger
05 How I Got Over Reverend Robert Ballinger
06 Something Has Happened Reverend Robert Ballinger
07 Hold On 'Til Jesus Comes Reverend Robert Ballinger
08 Walk The Streets Of The City Reverend Robert Ballinger
09 Our John Saw The Number Reverend Robert Ballinger
10 Joy In His Company Reverend Robert Ballinger
11 I Got To Tell It Reverend Robert Ballinger
12 He Rode Reverend Robert Ballinger
13 Let It Be Reverend Robert Ballinger
14 Standing In The Safety Zone (Peacock) Reverend Robert Ballinger
15 The Life I Sing About Reverend Robert Ballinger
16 My Soul Loves Jesus Reverend Robert Ballinger
17 Sweet Lamb Reverend Robert Ballinger
18 Walk On By Faith Reverend Robert Ballinger
From the 1930s on, Chicago served as the nurturing cradle of modern gospel music, thanks to the... more
"Reverend Robert Ballinger"
From the 1930s on, Chicago served as the nurturing cradle of modern gospel music, thanks to the incredibly prolific Thomas A. Dorsey and his small army of protégés, choirs, and choruses. Every so often, an outsider with his own concept crashed the Windy City's burgeoning gospel scene—and sanctified evangelist Rev. Robert Ballinger's thundering musical vision was about as close to rock and roll as you could come while still working in service of the man above. Rev. Ballinger entered a Chicago recording studio for the first time in late 1952 under the auspices of United Records


The seven sides wouldn’t see light of day until Delmark Records, now owner of the United’s archives, featured five of the reverend’s sides on a 1997 gospel CD. The piano-pounding Ballinger debuted in 1955 on Chess Records with an inspiring rendition of Sister Rosetta Tharpe's rollicking This Train as blues legend Willie Dixon applied thundering bass (Dixon dug it so much that he wrote My Babe around its chord changes and melody), then migrated over to Eli Toscano's Artistic logo in 1958 for another one-off single before cutting two wild early '60s albums for Don Robey's Peacock label—and they're all on this compilation. 

https://www.bear-family.com/ballinger-reverend-robert-the-king-s-highway-2-cd.html

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Customer evaluation for "The King's Highway (2-CD)"
17 Sep 2021

Ihr seht mich beeindruckt!

Habe heute Abend das Booklet nochmal studiert… was ein Zufall das man der unglaublichen Fülle an Artists den Riecher in diese Richtung gestreckt hat… Hut ab.. muss eine unfassbare Arbeit gewesen sein … ein release das auch bei jeden Liebhaber von Blues und Rhythm‘n‘Blues zuhause stehen sollte…

26 May 2021

Rev Ballinger’s style is all out roof-shaking

Although I’d seen the name from Peacock 45s on record lists, Reverend Robert Ballinger was a great mystery to me. Aside from the Little Richard post-Specialty numbers and the pre-fame Sam Cooke, I’d indeed not listened to a great deal gospel. So, I was pleasantly surprised what a joy this double CD was when it came through the door recently.
Rev Ballinger’s style is all out roof-shaking not a ballad in sight; recorded with his piano and voice being backed by bass and drums. Lots of call and response on offer in a fervour I’m most familiar with in an RnB capacity. Rev Ballinger’s
left hand could (and should) have graced many a secular RnB session too, but his love of the Lord stopped him doing anything as crass.
All the numbers come from sessions from 1955 until his untimely death in 1964. Starting off at Chess in ’55 with a great version of Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s ‘This Train’. The great Willie Dixon is walking the strings on this as he would on later that year on Little Walter’s rewrite ‘My Babe’. Peacock became his home in the early 60’s and it was there he cut great numbers like ‘The Little Black Train’ and ‘Swing Down Sweet Chariot’. He was obviously a steady seller as Peacock put out a bunch of 45s and a couple of long-players.
Despite being an active minister and having a record contract, no photographs have yet been discovered of him; attempts to find out more information died along with his only son a few years ago. I think this double cd from Bear Family goes as far as it is possible to redress the balance of a certain neglect in his corner.

29 Mar 2021

I was blown away!

I was blown away by the Rev. Robert Ballinger 2CD Set you kindly sent me. Considering what you had to work with the packaging is top notch. I am a black gospel music fan and this is the real deal. Thank you. Yours, Dave

12 Feb 2021

A true servant of God! Amen!

I wish I could have seen him live i one of his services but unfortunately I am too young! We all need a whole lot more Jesus in our hearts and a lot less of selfishness and narcism!

29 Jan 2021

God bless!

I've always hoped that someone takes care of the musical heritage of Reverend Robert Ballinger! Thanks a lot Bear Family!

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Tracklist
Ballinger, Reverend Robert - The King's Highway (2-CD) CD 1
01 Swing Down Chariot
02 No Bread
03 Somebody Saved Me
04 He's My Everything
05 The Little Black Train
06 I John Saw The Number
07 The King's Way
08 New World
09 Standing In The Safety Zone
10 This Train
11 God Rode In A Windstorm
12 Oil In Your Vessel
13 Drop Your Net
14 Don't Wonder 'Bout Him
15 There Are Days
16 Poor Wayfaring Pilgrim
17 Holy Spirit
Ballinger, Reverend Robert - The King's Highway (2-CD) CD 2
01 Two Wings
02 Hold My Body Down
03 So Glad
04 Working The Road
05 How I Got Over
06 Something Has Happened
07 Hold On 'Til Jesus Comes
08 Walk The Streets Of The City
09 Our John Saw The Number
10 Joy In His Company
11 I Got To Tell It
12 He Rode
13 Let It Be
14 Standing In The Safety Zone (Peacock)
15 The Life I Sing About
16 My Soul Loves Jesus
17 Sweet Lamb
18 Walk On By Faith