Open Your Heart

The Andrews Gospel Singers

1963?/2005: Ola Andrews

  1. If You Miss Me Here
  2. Does Jesus Care
  3. I Won’t Turn Back
  4. Faith
  5. Don’t Forget to Pray
  6. Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho
  7. He’s a Mighty God
  8. Open Your Heart
  9. He Satisfies
  10. The Miracle
  11. Soon Ah Will Be Done
  12. Walk All Over God’s Heaven

I’m over the moon at discovering that this long-overlooked treasure is at last available on CD! I grew up with this album and have acquired a vinyl copy, but I never thought I’d see it come out on CD. This release is a not-quite-bare-bones transfer from vinyl, with pops and scratches off a nearly-clean “master” not edited out, but the power of the recordings comes through that level of imperfection. And such power!!!

Twenty thousand thanks to for stocking this beauty, and to Ola Jean Andrews for having it be transferred to CD after all these years. This is a mighty, fervent, and downright gospellifying scorcher of an album. I may not be a religious person, but these girls showed me how to TESTIFY; they’re in my personal pantheon of singers whose recordings have taught me how to tap into that flow myownself—Janis Siegel’s another key one (especially her twirlin’-it-over-her-head wild smackdown of the vocal for “Operator” with the Manhattan Transfer), Annie Lennox is another, Alison Moyet certainly holds her own there, and of course there’s Aretha Franklin (that goes without saying).

AND my hat’s off to Miss Ola Jean herself, who’s whipping her piano to a veritable froth with those absolutely delicious flourishes and the serious churning underneath. The piano work is much clearer on this CD transfer than on the vinyl copy I grew up with, but then the stereo system I’m playing it on is in a different league to the ones I used to listen to this album on (both in my family’s house and on my own before I got a decent audio setup); all of this adds up to a room-rockin’ celebration that even an agnostic like me can roar along with in complete accord.