CD/DVD Review: A Decade of Memories (Collingsworth Family)
On the same evening that the Collingsworth Family recorded Fear Not Tomorrow, reviewed here, they recorded eight additional songs for this project, A Decade of Memories. The concept of this project was to celebrate the group’s tenth anniversary of being on the full-time Southern Gospel circuit with footage from each of the videos they had recorded over the years.
The heart of the film is in several sequences showing the development and growth of the family members through the years. The first is perhaps the most noticeable change, featuring footage of youngest daughter Olivia at age four in 2002 and age 12 today. The first lines of the second song, “Little by Little,” are particularly poignant and appropriate following the transition: “Just yesterday, I was so small / I’ve been learning new things as I go / Some people say I’m getting so tall / ‘Where did the little kid go’? . . . ”
Next up is a sequence of footage of Philip Jr. through the years, with home video and excerpts from each of his concert video solos. After two more songs, one each from the Collingsworth Family’s two 2004 videos, older daughters Brooklyn and Courtney are featured in a sequence of them playing violin through the years—starting with 1999 footage, when the girls were 8 and 9.
Kim Collingsworth has two standalone piano solos, a new arrangement of “My Tribute” and a new rendition of “How Great Thou Art”—an appropriate choice for a decade commemorative project, given that it was the song and arrangement that put the group on the map. Footage is also shown of another of Kim’s most memorable solos, “Joshua Fit De’ Battle of Jericho,” as rendered in 2002 and 2008.
Phil Sr., who plays trumpet solos, is featured in 2002 footage of “I Must Tell Jesus.”
Most of the footage is widescreen, but black bars are added above and beneath to accommodate the earlier full-screen footage. Though it might have made more sense to adapt the far smaller portion to the predominant majority of the footage, adapting the overall presentation to fullscreen still seems to be a relatively common option.
If what you’re looking for is footage of (largely) new songs, and a film quality that raises the bar for Southern Gospel, go with this project’s companion video, Fear Not Tomorrow. This is a video biography, and while the earlier footage is consistently at or above the quality standard for its time, it isn’t quite as strong as the 2010 footage. But as a documentary, a video biography of the Collingsworth Family through the years, this is quite valuable on its own merits. So if at all possible, get both.
Produced by: Jim Hammond. • Group Members: Phil, Kim, Brooklyn, Courtney, Phil Jr., and Olivia Collingsworth. • Review copy provided. • Song list: I Could Never Praise Him Enough; Light from Heaven; My Tribute; I Wanna Marry Daddy; Little By Little; Phillip Jr. Sequence; Peace on Earth Tonight; Walkin’ in the Light; Violin Sequence; He Looked Beyond My Fault; Because of the Blood/The Blood of Jesus; Joshua Fit De’ Battle; I Must Tell Jesus; I Can Trust Jesus; He’ll Bring You Through; He’s Always on Time; How Great Thou Art; Doxology. • Average song rating: 3.7 stars. DVD rating: 4.5 stars. CD rating: 4.5 stars.