Today’s post was written by Paul.
I found this version of Pap’s song “I’ll Choose Jesus” on one of the old reel to reel tapes he recorded on back in the day. The tape box is labeled March 6, 1971. March 6 happens to be Granny’s birthday 🙂
I left some of the talking at the beginning. As the sound starts, you can hear the last half of a question from Pap, saying “the volume?” It seems like he was asking something like, “should we turn down the volume?” or “Did you check the volume?” Uncle Ray responds, “It’s alright.” Once the song is underway, someone clearly turned down the volume. To make it less noticeable, I turned the volume back up in the same place when making the copy to CD. This adjustment happens right after the words “the things.” It may have been Pap who turned it down because it was distorting on the VU meter of the reel machine. Funny to think that 47 years later, I would be adjusting his adjustment to make the volume drop less noticeable. The reason I think it might have been Pap who turned it down is that I hear no sign of his rhythm guitar in this, only Ray’s rhythm, so Pap would have had a free hand to turn the knob.
I really like Uncle Henry’s playing on this. Pap and Ray later recorded this song with two acoustic guitars in the early 90’s. It became the title cut for a collection that was only available on cassette. They sang it lower then (key of F vs key of G) and changed the end of the chorus. I have a suspicion that the audio on this reel is dragging or playing slow. Both Pap’s voice and Ray’s voice sound heavier than they should. It may have been that the reel machine that recorded it was turning slightly faster than the one I’m playing it on now. It could also be caused by the fact that my two plastic reels are two different sizes. When I flipped it over and played the tape from the big reel to the small reel, everybody sounded like chipmunks! 🙂 I apologize for the dark, grainy video. I didn’t realize it is so dark in my house! That makes the flip cam look like 480 quality instead of 720. If the video isn’t too dark for you to make out the VU meters on the reel player, you’ll notice that it’s a mono recording with only the needle for the left track moving.
Pap’s lyrics are below:
In a world that seeks the way,
To gain Earth’s treasure to hold,
People choose the things that decay.
They have no concern for their souls.
But I’ll choose Jesus. He will be my way.
In song, I will lift my voice. Jesus is my choice.
Won’t you choose the way that is right.
Don’t be blinded by riches that glow.
Choose the way of eternal life.
You’ll be rewarded, I know.
I hope you enjoyed Paul’s post and the song. It’s one my favorites from Pap’s long list of original songs.