Thursday, August 9, 2012

B. L. BLADE - By His Grace We've Come A Long Way (Part I and II) (B. L. B., 1982)

B. L. BLADE - By His Grace We've Come A Long Way (Part I) (B. L. B., 1982)

B. L. BLADE - By His Grace We've Come A Long Way (Part II) (B. L. B., 1982)

In 2012, you might know of Rev. Brady L. Blade, Sr. because he serves as pastor of Zion Baptist Church in Shreveport.  Or because in recent years he’s taken the gospel concert program Hallelujah Train on the road.  Or because he and his church’s choir appeared in Daniel Lanois’s documentary film Here Is What Is.  Or because of his renowned drummer sons, Brady L. Blade, Jr. and Brian Blade.

I suspect 30 or even 50 years ago people knew of Rev. Blade for similar reasons – his ministry and his music.  In the early 1960s, Blade began serving as pastor of Zion Baptist Church.  In the mid-1960s, Blade hosted Sunday School lessons over the radio on KCIJ.  During the mid-1970s, Shreveport’s Jewel Records issued a couple of 45s and an LP featuring Rev. Blade’s sermons and music.  By the time the early 1980s rolled around, Blade was releasing a few records on his own BLB label.

In 1982, Blade released this 45 containing “By His Grace We've Come A Long Way.”  Based on the recording, it’s pretty clear this is sourced from a live performance likely recorded at his church, Zion Baptist.  Due to the song’s length, it’s been split into two segments – part 1 on the a-side and part 2 on the b-side.

The Sunday School Hour -- tune in from 6:45 to 7:00.  (Shreveport Sun [Shreveport, LA], July 1, 1965).

Hallelujah Train performing at Marjorie Lyons Playhouse, Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport, La., recorded by Deborah Allen, January 20, 2011.