Nascente's Beginner's Guide series has offered excellent primers on a wealth of neglected genres – salsa, tango, Indian filmi music, Arabian music, and many more – so it shouldn't come as a surprise that their three-disc volume of gospel music is a success as well. What may be surprising, though, is that its primary achievement isn't to resurrect a brace of hoary old chestnuts (many of which have already been reissued) but to shine a light on gospel's relatively recent past, which has suffered more than the classic gospel of the '40s, '50s, and '60s.
Precious Lord: New Recordings of the Great Songs of Thomas A. Dorsey is a 1973 compilation album by Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey. The recording features Dorsey's account of his life, as well as contemporary performances of his greatest works. Composer of many enduring gospel classics, Dorsey is considered to be the Father of Gospel Music. It is a collection of performances of his compositions. Dorsey appears on only two tracks: the spoken introduction to "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" and the piano accompaniment on "I'll Tell It Wherever I Go." In 2002, the Library of Congress honored the album by adding it to the United States National Recording Registry.
A wide range of magnificent vocals are displayed on The Great Gospel Men, a 27-song anthology. Some names such as Brother Joe May, Rev. James Cleveland, and Professor Alex Bradford are familiar even to non-gospel fans; others, like the intense Robert Anderson, Professor J. Earle Hines, Norsalus McKissick, Robert Bradley, and R.L. Knowles are known only to the hardcore, and even they probably haven't heard many songs by any one artist. This collection alternates nicely between slow and fast pieces, giving each artist a chance to demonstrate their skills.