The Braillettes – “Our Hearts Keep Singing”

The Sleeve:

105_4181 105_4184

The Liner/Sleeve Notes:
“A word from the arranger:
Jackie Allen, Maggie Gisslow and Kay Rogers are three charming, warm and talented young girls who have a very special kind of vision. They are able to see the wonder of the grace of God and the beauty of His salvation. They have entirely dedicated themselves to revealing this vision to spiritually blind.
These happy girls have an unusual rapport which is quickly communicated to all who hear them. You will love them as they share with you the joy of their salvation. You will be touched and encouraged by these who found to be such a reality.
It is truly a joy for the musicians and myself to share the musical excitement of this recording project.
Jimmy Owens

Take equal amounts of talent, wit, personality, beauty and warmth, mix well with a large amount of dedication and you have the Braillettes. A new dimension came into my life the wonderful day I gave my heart to these beautiful blind girls. For the first time I explored the dark would of the sightless and suddenly I began to see through their eyes a new world of lovely sounds and fragrances.
First there is Maggie – a tiny by of a red-cheeked girl possessing such rare wit! I laughed and cried at her ability to reproduce sounds of all kinds, from frogs to people. I listened amazed as she sang by memory an entire record she loved. The sounds of a forest come alive as she reproduces birds, and wind in the trees. One of eight children raised by a widowed father, Maggie is like a refreshing breath of spring.
Next is Jackie: How can I find words to tell you of this beautiful young girl. Vibrant, warm and so alive! To be near her is like standing by a hidden flame. From her young heart already is flowing music of strange depth. Surely God is saying something important to us through this wisp of a girl.
Then comes Kay: This one seems a part of me. A little chubby but utterly beautiful without and within. A tremendous amount of ability has been invested in Kay by God. A voice husky and low, poignant and wistful, an ability to play a trumpet that would place her in any named band. When Kay smiles a light goes on in a dark room.
By now you know that the Braillettes are one of my all-time favorite trios. Under the tender loving care of Kay’s parents, Nita and Irv Ramage, these girls have become one of the outstanding favorites wherever they appear. How often I have tried to describe a butterfly, a sunset or a towering redwood and suddenly I have become aware that they have seen some strange, beautiful thing that I have missed. Its hidden knowledge glows in their lovely faces and sounds in their voices as you watch and listen in amazement at the knowledge that they truly “see Jesus”.
-Audrey Mieir”

Personal Review:
I usually try to keep all of my reviews (and rantings) positive, but some records – much like this, are very, very hard to sit through. I do like picking out positive points or songs, so highpoint of the A-Side: Jackie Allen’s solo “This is My Prayer” seems to stand-out among the other tracks on the A-Side. Not sure what I disliked more, the instruments in the background or the group vocal tracks. I do got to give it to these ladies for recording an album in the name of our Lord & Savior. (I still think if Jackie had cut a solo album, it woulda been better.)

The B-Side opens with a solo by a woman who is not featured on the other Braillettes cover, nor is she mentioned in the liner notes, her name is Wanda Shows Ezell, her track, much like Jackie’s is a strong point, it does have vocal backing by the Braillettes, it’s not a weak track, buuuut still not as good as Jackie Allen’s solo. (No, I am not fanboying over Jackie Allen.) The B-Side is a lot stronger than the A-Side, that is for sure. Kay Roger’s trumpet solo, “How Rick I Am” is a pretty smooth track which is then followed by the group vocal track “Will He Know Me?” which features the repetitive line, “Will He Know Me?”, then it followed by “Soon it is Over” which starts off very slow, and picks up as it continues.

I give props to Jackie, Maggie & Kay (and I guess Wanda too.) welcome to the cult phenom!

Track Listing:
A1 – He’ll Never Let You Fall
A2 – His Smile
A3 – All Day Long My Heart Keeps Singing
A4 – The First Thing I Do Every Morning
A5 – This is My Prayer
A6 – Tenderly He Calls

B1 – That’s What He Did for Me
B2 – The Innkeeper
B3 – How Rich Am I
B4 – Will He Know Me?
B5 – Soon it is Over

Label:
No Label

Catalog Number:
BR 2103

Studio Musicians & Other Album Credits:
Arranged and Conducted by Jimmy Owens
Recorded at Whitney Recording Studio, Glendale, Calif.
Cover photo/Jack Chinn/Oakland

Released:
1968

2 Comments

  • John Framer says:

    This Braillettes album and Captain Beefheart’s “Trout Mask Replica” were both recorded at Whitney Studios in Glendale at approximately the same time (1968-1969) – I’ve always wondered if the Braillettes and Beefheart or Zappa ever passed each other on the way to the studio candy machine…….Zappa’s HOT RATS and other albums were done at Loren Whitney’s classic studio…though, apparently the studio was built on a smelly reclamation dump…Whitney had one of the most utilized Wurlitzer organs that was used on countless religion albums
    Thanx

  • Tate says:

    I gotta tell ya, this is definitely one of the coolest pieces of music history I’ve heard! Thank you for sharing!

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