DVD Review: Song of a Lifetime
Rating: 5 stars (0f 5)
Song List: “Welcome to the Family” (Booth Brothers); “Let the Rocks Keep Silent” (Atlanta First Baptist Choir & Orchestra); “Safe on the Glory Side” (Mark Trammell Trio); “His Life For Mine” (Talley Trio); “I Will Stand” (Tommy Mosely); “Praying Man” (Brian Free & Assurance); “The Lighthouse” (Ronnie Hinson); “Let Me Be a Rock” (The Dartts); “You Were Working For Me” (Mark Bishop); “Amazing Grace” (Mallory Ledford); “Grace Will Always Be Greater Than Sin” (Hoppers); “Hey Jonah” (Triumphant Quartet); “It Pays to Pray” (Greater Vision); “He Looked Beyond My Fault” (Pfeifers); “The Sweetest Words” (Hemphills); “There’s a Miracle in Me” (Greenes); “The Rose” (Inspirations); “Behold the Lamb” (Phil Cross & Crossing); “Ten Thousand Years” (Jim Brady); “Where No One Stands Alone” (The Crist Family); “Holy Shore” (Perrys).
Some say that nobody can sing a song like the person who wrote it.
That’s not precisely true, since sometimes a great singer has lived through and understands the life circumstances that led to a song’s writing and can sing it with the same passion.
On Song of a Lifetime, you get to experience both. A number of great singer/songwriters introduce and perform one of their best songs, while a number of non-performing songwriters introduce one of their hits before the group that popularized it performs it.
Many of the songs on this project are fairly recent hits, but there are also a number of classic songs and songwriters recognized. Mosie Lister introduces his classic song “Where No One Stands Alone,” before the Crist Family sings it. Ronnie Hinson introduces and sings “The Lighthouse.” The Pfeifers pay tribute to Dottie Rambo with a rendition of “He Looked Beyond My Fault,” and Jim Brady honors Elmer Cole with a rendition of “Ten Thousand Years.”
Worthy of special mention is 12-year-old Mallory Ledford’s rendition of “Amazing Grace.” This was the only song included in the program not written within the last 60 or 70 years. Ledford delivers an impressive rendition; though not as perfect as will be possible after her voice matures, it takes a special sort of confidence for a child to sing in front of a few thousand people solo and acapella.
The songwriter’s comments range from brief introductions to in-depth emotional stories behind the songs. Perhaps the two most memorable stories were Rodney Griffin’s intro to “It Pays to Pray” and Phil Cross’s conversation with an audience member about how “Miracle in Me” had actually saved a life.
Some attendees of the NQC showcase where this was taped expressed some concern that it seemed disjointed at points. Knowing that heading into the review, the editors of the DVD version deserve high praise for taking their source material and coming out with a DVD that flows well and has few if any awkward transitions between introductions and songs.
This type of gathering, with most of the top songwriters gathered to tell the stories behind their songs, and most of the top groups gathered to sing them, is the sort of thing that is only possible at NQC. I was going to conclude by saying that this was one of the best Southern Gospel videos I’ve seen that was taped at NQC, but it doesn’t really nead that last qualifier. This is a top-notch video, period.