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Sister O.M. Terrell

You listen to enough early "roots" of gospel compilation CDs, you're bound to come across Sister O.M. Terrell. She didn't record that much, but what she did lay down is completely spirited and so direct - you may feel, as I do, that she intends to sing to you nothing but the truth.

from "The Bible's Right":

you know the bible right, somebody wrong
the bible right, somebody wrong,
the bible right, somebody wrong, god knows, you're wrong

i know the bible right
somebody wrong
the bible right

the bible right, well well well, you're wrong

tell you once, tell you twice
can't get to heaven with another man's wife

the bible right,
the bible right
oh yes
the bible right
somebody wrong,

wait let me tell you can't do
can't tell lies and go there too
i know the bible right
somebody wrong the bible right
somebody wrong the bible right
somebody wrong, great god! somebody wrong.

you snuff dippers,
tobacco chewers
when you get to heaven,
you won't have no where to spit

i know the bible right
i know the bible right
ooo - bible right, somebody wrong
i mean, you are wrong

It's just her and her guitar, some unknown backup, and a whole lot of faith in the Lord and the Bible. Most of her songs are played the same; rough strumming a direct plodding bass line and occasional guitar shouts.

It's when she shouts herself that the music wakes you and reminds you all the Lord has done for you, and those little birds mpeg 3 format (2.6 megs).

Steve discovered and enjoys her too - he says there's only 6 or so songs out. I have four of them:

God's Little Birds
I'm Going To That City
Swing Low Chariot
The Bible's Right
If we look at the liner notes of "The Gospel Tradition: The Roots and The Branches, Volume 1" (which has the "Birds" track):

Sister O.M. Terrell's one session for Columbia, in Nashville in 1953, resulted in six tracks. An itinerant black evangelist singer with holiness roots, Sister Terrell came to the attention of Columbia through the efforts of Robert T. Christie and Lauren Moore, managers at radio station WPAL in Charleston, South Carolina. Terrell had come to the station, and for a period was doing a regular live radio show on Sundays at the station.

no picture, no additional tracks or information to date.

and then, summer 1999:

Subject: SISTER O. M. TERRELL (1911-)
From: Eric LeBlanc-CISTI


The latest Blues & Rhythm #141 (August 1999)
has an article on Sister O. M. Terrell.
She was born OLA MAE LONG, on Atlanta, GA.,
on August 18/1911, and is i a nursing home.
You can write her at Starcrest Facilities,
1420 Milstead Road, Conyers, GA. 30012.


Someone tracked her down in a rest home and interviewed her - As It Happens, from Canadian Public Radio, they aired this piece.

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