DVD Review: 1951 1958 Live (Blackwood Brothers Quartet)

Rating: 4 stars (of 5)

Song List: 1951 Blackwood Brothers Quartet: Rolling, Riding, Rocking; Swing Down Sweet Chariot; He Bought My Soul; Satisfied; It Is No Secret; Rock A My Soul. 1958 Blackwood Brothers Quartet: Never; No Tears in Heaven; I’m Happy and Free; Inside the Gate; I Don’t Mind; His Hands; He’s All That I Need; I’m Bound For That City; Jesus is Mine; Wonderful Savior.

Available from: Artist (Blackwood Brothers, on table).

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1951 1958 Live is a 2006 DVD featuring footage of the pre and post plane crash Blackwood Brothers Quartet.

The DVD starts with a photo and video montage featuring footage of the group from the over seven decades it has been on the road.

The first segment of the video contains six songs featuring the group’s 1951 lineup, tenor Dan Huskey, lead James Blackwood, baritone R.W. Blackwood, bass Bill Lyles, and pianist Jackie Marshall. The video does have some specks, artifacts of 6-decade-old film but is surprisingly clear.

The 1958 footage features tenor Bill Shaw, lead James Blackwood, baritone Cecil Blackwood, bass J.D. Sumner, and pianist Wally Varner. The video also has some old film artifacts but is also quite clear. It appears that this may have been a segment recorded for television; unlike the 1951 segment, with the classic quartet 2-microphone setup, the 1958 segment has overhead mikes. On a number of songs (most notably “Inside the Gate”), the audio and video are out of sync enough that it isn’t clear whether the 1958 segments were the group singing along with a  separately recorded audio track or merely out of sync audio.

The songs do not appear in the order they are listed on the DVD cover; the song listing in this review reflects the actual order of the songs on the project.

The Blackwood Brothers have done the genre a service by reissueing this rare footage in a current format. This video is probably the closest modern-day Southern Gospel fans will ever be able to come to experiencing what it was like to see the Blackwood Brothers during this classic era.

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3 Letters to the Editor

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  1. This is truly a great video. I bought the VHS video of this from James Blackwood quite a few yrs. back. It is one of my favorite videos.

  2. The audio is out of sync because the tape had stretched over the years as it deteriorated. This is as close as the audio can be matched to the video.

  3. I see – thanks for the explanation!