CD Review: Then and Now (Olivia Collingsworth)

oliviaSeveral years ago, when the Collingsworth Family first came on the national scene, one of the first things people noticed was that their little four- or five-year old girl had an incredible voice and control for her age. Olivia Collingsworth started singing on stage at age two and recorded her first song at age four. She was featured on a solo song on each of the family’s recordings; they would also feature her for a song or two in each concert.

The project starts with a new song produced by Roger Talley and closes with three other new songs. Two highlights from the new songs are “The Good ‘Ole Days” and “God Makes a Lot of a Little.” (“The Good ‘Ole Days” is new to Southern Gospel; the Judds recorded it some years back. The lyrics are, however, adapted for a Southern Gospel audience, changing “lovers” to “couples” and changing the chorus from a series of questions to a series of statements.)

The other seven songs on the project are her other recorded solos through the years, from her first at age four (“God Has a Plan for My Life”) to her feature on We Still Believe at age 9, “My Favorite Things.”

Five of the older songs are available on the Collingsworth Family’s previous Crossroads titles; the two harder-to-find tracks are “God Has a Plan For My Life” and “I Want to Marry Daddy (When I Grow Up)” are from a live recording made on April 25, 2002 at Calvary Baptist Church in Covington, Kentucky.

This project is being promoted as a recording for children, but adults will find much to enjoy. Alyric like “The Good ‘Ole Days,” though written to be sung from a child’s perspective, will probably be best appreciated by someone who can remember what things used to be like before open decadence took over the culture.

Now eleven, as the little-child phase of her singing career comes to and end, it’s a simple pleasure to sit back and enjoy her songs over the years, and listen to her voice mature from a little child’s to a smooth alto.

Rating: 4 stars. ♦ Average song rating: 3.8 stars. ♦ Available from: Label, Artist. Review copy purchased (if I remember correctly; too many things happen during NQC week to know for sure). ♦ Song list: God Makes a Lot of a Little; Olivia’s Song; I Want to Marry Daddy (When I Grow Up); Olivia’s Thank You; Little Christmas Lamb; You’re a Grand Ole Dad; My Favorite Things; The Family Reunion; The Good ‘Ole Days; Little By Little.

For more about —and other Southern Gospel news and commentary—follow our RSS feed or sign up for our email updates!

4 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. Olivia is a sweet delight. I loved the CD, and I’m 25 years old. I agree that it will appeal to adults as well. Thanks for yet another great review, Daniel!

    • You’re welcome! I’m glad at least one reader likes the CD!

  2. She really does have a great voice. The first time I heard her mother, Kim, play the piano was when she was exactly the same age–11! That was MANY years ago. lol

    What an incredibly talented family, and I’m happy to call them my friends, and to have gone to HS with Kim, and college with Phill. (Olivia’s Dad)