The Hurricane That Hit Atlanta

Title: The Hurricane That Hit Atlanta

Artist: Rev. Johnny L. Jones

Format:  2-CD set

Label: Dust-to-Digital

Catalog No.:   DTD-17

Release date: November 2010

If you want to immerse yourself in some of that old time religion for the holidays, look no further than The Hurricane That Hit Atlanta.   To compile this new package, Dust-to-Digital worked directly with the Rev. Johnny L. “Hurricane” Jones, whose personal archive includes more than 1,000 audio tapes going all the way back to 1957. As DTD states in their press release, “the quality is raw and often distorted, yet the sounds are nothing short of heavenly.” Amen to that. And you’ll soon discover that Rev. Jones was named “The Mighty Hurricane” for good reason, because this stuff can really blow down the house.

Born in 1936 in Marion, Alabama, Johnny Lee Jones eventually made his way to Atlanta, where he has been a preacher at the Second Mount Olive Baptist Church for nearly six decades. Early on in his career he started a gospel radio show, and is still featured every first and third Saturday of the month WYZE.  According to DTD, many of the recordings in Jones’ collection were made to assist with his radio ministry. We particularly like the way DTD has maintained the feel of the radio program, interspersing songs (“I Know I’ve Been Changed,” “I Got Drunk For the Lord,” “I Feel Alright”) with sermons (“You Can’t Outpreach Daddy”), radio airchecks, and even some original commercials in order to retain the authenticity.

Due to the varying sound quality, this collection will be of most interest to gospel music historians, but fans of classic gospel will also surely appreciate the “Mighty Hurricane.”

Reviewed by Brenda Nelson-Strauss