MP3 and write-up submitted by Martin Skidmore

Elder Beck – Rock And Roll Sermon

This is a thrilling and hilarious track. Elder Charles Beck had been recording all over the place for 25 years, for any label that would let him put his gospel message across. By the mid-’50s (his as well as the century’s), he could see a new target, a new enemy of righteousness. He makes it quite clear here that he sees rock ‘n’ roll as bringing down civilisation. Trouble is, his instincts were always those of a showman – you’ve got to excite your crowd, make them really feel it. I don’t know who is playing guitar on this (I’d love to know, if anyone can help – I’ve heard suggestions that he was playing it himself, but I doubt that), but although the style fits emotionally with the building fire of his sermon, there is a rather obvious thematic dichotomy, as you’ll hear…

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