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Sharon Mountain Harmony: Golden Ring of Gospel

28 Jul 00 - 07:01 PM (#266915)
From: bbelle

When Bill Sables visited my home (with Allan) he told me about this wonderful tape of music he had bought from Folk Legacy called Sharon Mountain Harmony. It contains a particular song that I love ... "Time Has Made a Change in Me." I contacted Sandy Paton and made arrangements to purchase the tape (only for that one song, mind you).

When I received it, what I discovered is a tape filled with the most awesome harmony singing imaginable. The songs are of a religious nature and may not suit everyone, and, in fact, it's no secret that I am Jewish. But, I love this tape!!!!

On my recent road trip, I found myself tooling down the highways singing along and adding my harmony, at the top of my lungs. Every once in a while, the hair on my neck would stand up, when my harmony would spark with the other harmony. If you have never experienced this, you are missing out on one of music and life's natural highs.

Have "you" had this experience, as well? For me, I'm not talking about a religious "experience," but an "experience" of nature. But, if it was "religious" for someone else, that's good too.

shalom ... moonchild

28 Jul 00 - 08:35 PM (#266962)
From: kendall

Have you ever heard Helen Schneyer? she is as Jewish as Yom Kippur, but man can she sing godspel..

28 Jul 00 - 08:45 PM (#266971)
From: rangeroger

Last Fall,when the Burns Sisters were at Strawberry Music Festival and sang "Surrender",I got that feeling.Their harmonies were incredible. I asked Marie Burns if she minded if I learned the song and sang at my church. She said she would be thrilled if I did that.
I ordered two CDs from them that had the song on it. When I received the CDs all 5 sisters were singing harmony on the song(there were only 3 sisters at the festival).Needless to say, the hair on the back of my neck stood up.
I learned the song and did sing it in church, and I hope my solo male voice did it justice. I could hear those beautiful female harmonies in my head as I sang it.I wish the congregation could have heard them also.

There is one line in the song that really pertains to this:

"Echoes of voices Praise and sing through me
Holding the light for me to see"

I'm going to have to get that one you are talking about moonchild.


28 Jul 00 - 08:58 PM (#266983)
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

Moonchild, I'm so excited to see this thread! I just bought the tape from Sandy at Falconridge folk festival, and it's been in my car tape player ever since. It's just wonderful!!
Another recording that does this for me is Graham Pirt's group, Cockersdale. I have their cd Wide Open Skies (again, thanks to Bill Sables!) and it's full of lovely harmonies.
And last night I went to hear Ruthie Foster sing in Nelson NH- the small audience filled that wonderful hall with harmonies; I don't think she's much used to that and it was a magical experience for all.

28 Jul 00 - 09:08 PM (#266992)
From: Sandy Paton

Glad you liked it, Moonchild! We had great fun recording it, too. Some dandy songs there, eh? Some fine ones on Helen Bonchek Schneyer's On the Hallelujah Line, too. Take a look at "custom cassettes" for Helen's, or at regular "cassettes" for . Access them via THIS CLICKY THING. (Hope that works.) As for me, I'm an unreconstructed heathen, but sharing hymns and harmonies with friends is one of life's great pleasures.


28 Jul 00 - 10:01 PM (#267022)
From: bbelle

I didn't think I was alone in this "experience!"

Never heard of the Burns Sisters or Ruthie Foster. Any tapes available?

I could drive for thousands of miles just for the opportunity to open my windows wide and sing to the heavens. Yes, people in other cars do stare occasionally.

Yesterday, while driving south on US 17, through the historic Tidewater area of Virginia, I was stopped at a red light. My windows were down and I was lost in harmony and song. The person in the next car looked at me and then raised a thumb up and smiled.

What a high.


28 Jul 00 - 11:05 PM (#267032)
From: Rick Fielding

I did a concert with the Burns sisters two weeks ago in Orillia. They're a fine group. Nobody's tighter than sisters or brothers. Go Get 'em!


28 Jul 00 - 11:50 PM (#267059)
From: flattop

What songs are on this Sharron Mountain Harmony tape? Can we get a link to Sharron Mountain? I couldn't find it via the search on Sandy's site. Did I miss something or am I dumber than usual tonight?

29 Jul 00 - 12:02 AM (#267071)
From: Sandy Paton

I should have been more specific. Sorry. Try clicking on this SHARON MOUNTAIN HARMONY. It was hidden under "Friends Making Music Together," fourth cassette down the page. If you're interested, you can click on "browse" in the left panel of the opening page, and it will take you to an index of all of the stuff we offer on the web. I hope this new clickey thing works. I'm an awful cyberklutz.


29 Jul 00 - 01:25 AM (#267116)
From: rangeroger

I was going to try my first blue-clickey,but couldn't find the print out on how to do it.

Here is the Burns Sisters web site:

you can order from the website.


29 Jul 00 - 01:43 AM (#267127)
From: bbelle

rr ... thanks very much! I will definitely visit their website and will order tape(s). Is there something you would recommend? BTW ... I've never mastered the art of the "blue clicky thing," much to the chagrin of Joe Offer.


29 Jul 00 - 07:22 AM (#267194)
From: karen k

Sharon Mountain Harmony was released in 1982! It's wonderful that people are still discovering how awesome it is 18 years later! I also agree with kendall that hearing Helen Schneyer singing "God songs" as she calls them is powerful. Her recordings are wonderful but to see her in person is one of the finest musical experiences one can have in their lifetime. Helen will be at Champlain Valley next weekend.

Moonchild, I'm glad you've discovered this tape. Learn some of them for the Getaway. I'll look forward to harmonizing on them with you.

karen k

29 Jul 00 - 09:19 AM (#267233)
From: flattop

Thanks for your help Sandy. I'm flabbergasted that friends making music can hide a mountain.

Please, don't be tough on yourself for your digital discomforts. Computers systems should fit human needs and complexity but they're not very good at it.

29 Jul 00 - 09:40 AM (#267238)
From: Pinetop Slim

Dear Sandy: I've had a notion to plug a new CD "Gems: Lily May Ledford" on Mudcat, but have refrained because it's not on Folk Legacy, and I deeply appreciate the support your company gives to Mudcat (and to traditional music in general). The album includes rare live and studio recordings from 1968-83 of 17 songs by Lily May Ledford -- choice from the beginning with "How Many Biscuits Can You Eat" and "Little Birdie" to the end with a most haunting version of "Red Rocking Chair" -- and five monologues telling how the Coon Creek Girls started, visited the White House, etc., and including a moving confession of Lily May's love for the audiences who rediscovered her in the late '60s. It was assembled by Cari Norris, Lily May Ledford's granddaughter. You may remember her from the first Mountain Music In the Ocean State festival that Aubrey Atwater organized a few years back. (If I did not say so at the time, accept my belated thanks for a nifty ballad workshop you had a hand in. Norris, if I remember correctly, ran a banjo workshop and helped with a dance session). Ms. Norris is marketing the album herself, accepting orders at 14806 Rehl Road, Louisville, KY 40299 at $15 per CD and $10 per tape, plus $1 per item mailing. It is on the June Appal label and I expect would also be available from Appalshop. The CD is both entertaining and informative and I suspect would be of interest to at least a few Mudcatters. -- Mark Flanagan

29 Jul 00 - 10:14 AM (#267252)
From: bbelle

Karen ... I'm in the process of picking out a couple or three or four for the getaway! I'll let you know beforehand ... and look forward to singing with you and whoever else wants to add some harmony.


29 Jul 00 - 10:31 AM (#267265)
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

Ruthie Foster has cds available here . A warning- she's nothing like Sharon Mountain Harmony or Helen Schneyer- she was raised a Texas Baptist and sings a blend of gospel, soul, reggae, blues- all in an unbelievable melodious voice. Her cds don't reflect the harmony singing that went on this week in Nelson either. But they are great recordings, and she's just amazing live.

29 Jul 00 - 04:24 PM (#267422)
From: rangeroger

I'm amazed, I guess a thank you is order to Joe Offer for rendering a blue clicky thing for me. Thanks Joe.

Moonchild,the 2 CDs I have are "Songs of the Heart" and "Into the Wild". Both are good.I also recommend "Tradition" and "Out of the Blue". Actually they are all good.


13 Feb 03 - 09:00 PM (#889975)
Subject: Sharon Mountain Harmony: Golden Ring of Gospel
From: Joe Offer

I think the Gold Ring albums are my very favorite CD's. I heard that there was one more Golden Ring album, a gospel collection called Sharon Mountain Harmony. I wanted that album so bad I could taste it, but I don't have a record player and I refuse to spend money on cassettes. So I bugged Sandy Paton about producing a CD of the album. Well, today, the CD arrived in my mailbox, and it's every bit as good as I expected it to be. I'm in gospel music heaven right now. Here's the track list:

Sharon Mountain Harmony

A Golden Ring of Gospel
With: Lucy Simpson, Rock Creek (Bill Destler, Wally Macnow, Tom McHenry),
Mary Alice Amidon, Peter Amidon, Caroline Paton
  1. I've Been Listening (2:15)
  2. Glory Bound (2:33)
  3. Turtle Dove (2:28)
  4. Climbing High Mountains (2:08)
  5. Peace Like a River (1:23)
  6. Done Found My Lost Sheep (3:51)
  7. I Want to Die Easy (2:53)
  8. Blessed Quietness (3:52)
  9. Oh, He's Taken My Feet (2:37)
  10. Lord, I Want More Religion (2:12)
  11. Trouble So Hard (1:32)
  12. Will Arise (2:33)
  13. Bright Morning Star (2:18)
  14. Time Has Made a Change in Me (3:41)
  15. Been in the Storm So Long (3:01)
  16. There Are Angels Hovering 'Round (3:27)
It's available as a custom CD from Folk-Legacy,


Other custom CD's will be available soon, but this is the one I was waiting for. Thanks for the CD, Sandy and Caroline. It's wonderful.
-Joe Offer-

13 Feb 03 - 09:59 PM (#890004)
Subject: RE: Sharon Mountain Harmony: Golden Ring of Gospel
From: Rick Fielding

Thanks Joe. I still listen to my vinyl versions. Great stuff.


13 Feb 03 - 10:13 PM (#890010)
Subject: RE: Sharon Mountain Harmony: Golden Ring of Gospel
From: Nancy King

No question that "Sharon Mountain Harmony" is one of the finest albums ever made. I have at least a couple of copies, and I never get tired of it. Great therapy for those times when I'm feeling grumpy...

Cheers, Nancy

13 Feb 03 - 10:50 PM (#890029)
Subject: RE: Sharon Mountain Harmony: Golden Ring of Gospel
From: GUEST,Mary Wisconsin

Thanks for the headsup about Sharon Mountain Harmony
I will be ordering it tonite.
I feel the same way about you all do.
There is nothing that sounds so beautiful as harmony.
If anyone is familiar with Sonja Isaacs of the Isaac Family..
she sings the prettiest version...
of the PRETTIEST FLOWERS I have ever heard...and
I believe her brother and mom does the harmony.
Its a bluegrass gospel song...
new to me....but it is an old Albert Brumley song.
Thanks to all of you from Mary

13 Feb 03 - 11:09 PM (#890039)
Subject: RE: Sharon Mountain Harmony: Golden Ring of Gospel
From: Joe Offer

Hi, Mary - maybe it's better to wait until daytime, Eastern Standard Time. Folk-Legacy is a family operation in Connecticut - and most likely, the family has gone to bed. They're set up for online submission of regular orders, but not yet for the custom CD's.
Wait and call them at 1-800-836-0901 during the day. You'll love talking to Caroline Paton when you place your order.
You can also e-mail them at
-Joe Offer-

14 Feb 03 - 04:23 AM (#890120)
Subject: RE: Sharon Mountain Harmony: Golden Ring of Gospel
From: GUEST,Sandy Paton (working late)

Thanks for the kind words, Joe. That box of 28 additional "made to order" Folk-Legacy CDs ought to be hitting your mailbox soon. Meanwhile, I'm working on getting masters made for the next 30. If there is enough interest among 'Catters, I'll post a listing of what's available now, and what we hope is soon to come.
         Sandy (resident folk fogey)

14 Feb 03 - 06:10 AM (#890165)
Subject: RE: Sharon Mountain Harmony: Golden Ring of Gospel
From: sian, west wales


These 'expensive' threads do nothing for my bank account!

But - back to the original question, over two and a half years later - I bought an interesting book a while back, again a Mudcat Recommend (see! - this place is expensive!): The Sound of the Dove. Details here
According to the author, many people testified that they had joined the Primitive Baptist because they had heard the music and knew that they had found their spiritual home. Other members who had near-death experiences (some on the battle field) said that this music came to them as their life hang in the balance. Many seem to feel that the music, more than the preaching or the prayer, was the key to their beliefs.

Maybe you're a Baptist at heart? I suppose stranger things have been known to happen ...


14 Feb 03 - 06:31 AM (#890180)
Subject: RE: Sharon Mountain Harmony: Golden Ring of Gospel
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

Yes, Sandy, please post a list! I lent my cassette of Sharon Mtn Harmony to someone and it never came back- to think of having it on cd!!
Now, can I have the original Sandy and Caroline Paton lp on cd, too??? Hmmmm??? Pleeeeeezze???

14 Feb 03 - 06:43 AM (#890182)
Subject: RE: Sharon Mountain Harmony: Golden Ring of Gospel
From: RoyH (Burl)

I brought the vinyl of this wonderful album home from America back in the 1980's. I was hosting a radio show at the time and first chance I got I played it on air. I had more 'lets hear more' requests for that album than any other, ever.   A while later Lucy Simpson came to my area to sing. She was amazed at the reaction to songs from the album, not realizing that I had been playing them regularly. 'Angels Hovering Round' was a big favourite. I am an atheist, with a dislike of organised religion, but I have no problem listening to Gospel, white or black, Sacred Harp, etc, sung by people of faith. Their belief gives the performance an impressive honesty and that connects with me. I also agree with the opinions about Helen Schneyer. She is a Mighty singer. If you haven't heard her yet, do so straight away. Burl.

14 Feb 03 - 05:51 PM (#890611)
Subject: RE: Sharon Mountain Harmony: Golden Ring of Gospel
From: GUEST,Sandy (cookieless) Paton

I'll make up the list tonight, folks. For now, just let me point out that, yes, Animaterra, "New Harmony" (Patons) is now on CD, as are both of Helen Schneyer's Folk-Legacy recordings and ,of course, "Sharon Mountain Harmony." Give us a call at 1-800-836-0901. Caroline will answer (I don't do phones).

04 Apr 04 - 07:54 PM (#1154445)
Subject: RE: Sharon Mountain Harmony: Golden Ring of Gospel
From: RiGGy

Did "ROCK CREEK" {Billy Destler, Wally Macnow, Tom McHenry) who appeared on Sharon Mt Harmony make any other recordings ??

Is Wally out there ?? Are you the lead on "I Wanna Die Easy" ??


05 Apr 04 - 01:50 AM (#1154580)
Subject: RE: Sharon Mountain Harmony: Golden Ring of Gospel
From: Sandy Paton

Yes, Riggy. That's Wally Macnow singing lead on "I Want to Die Easy." I guess our notes weren't as clear as they could have been. Sorry.

05 Apr 04 - 12:48 PM (#1154968)
Subject: RE: Sharon Mountain Harmony: Golden Ring of Gospel
From: Art Thieme

I have prized my cassette of this for many, many (many) years.

It's simply wonderful. Lucy Simpson has always been one of my favorite singers. I'll never forget being on a workshop with her at one of the Folk Legacy Folk Festivals in Hartford, CT when she started singing "There Are Angels Hovering 'Round". I started batting things away from my head like I was being swarmed by flying creature things. She was laughing so hard she had to take a break. Lucy singing "Time Has Made A Change In Me" has certainly been more and more (and more) real to me as these decades roll past like they were minutes now. Several of my photos at were taken at this fine singing festival.

Say, Sandy, now that I have your attention, Ms Caroline was gonna send me 6 of each of my 2 Folk Legacy CDs about 3 or 4 months ago. Those never got here. I meant to call and tell you, but... I do hope they weren't lost.


11 Jul 22 - 06:27 PM (#4147033)
Subject: Sharon Mountain Harmony: Golden Ring of Gospel
From: GUEST,Guest

Folk Legacy recordings were taken into the Smithsonian Folkways catalog a few years ago. Somehow or other Sharon Mountain Harmony (FL86) has made its way onto and if you want to hear some wonderful gospel harmonies, give it a listen. Lucy Simpson, Rock Creek, and Peter and Mary Alice Amidon put together some wonderful singing sessions.

11 Jul 22 - 06:37 PM (#4147035)
Subject: RE: Sharon Mountain Harmony: Golden Ring of Gospel
From: Joe Offer

Almost all of the Smithsonian Folkways recordings are available on YouTube and Spotify, including the recordings from Folk-Legacy Records. YouTube does pay royalties. Not much, but it's the name of the game nowadays.

Sharon Mountain Harmony: