So, here we are with the J.B. Betts Family of Mississippi, Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Betts pulled together all the kids to make this album with the littlest of the bunch joining the rest of the family on this album.
We start off with the titular track of the album, “Happiness is the Lord” and I’m pretty sure it starts with the two youngest daughters Melody and Mary singing, and one of them sounds like Ricky Segall. The song goes in to a little group singing before switching over to the next older daughter (My assumption) before going back to the group singing. “Longing for Jesus” comes next, and it seems to be the song and maybe the oldest daughter singing over piano playing, it’s slow and the guy has a distinct voice, and so far I find all the daughters to have very similar voices. That song ends, and up comes “Do You Know My Jesus?” and it’s a group effort once more, and you know these group parts aren’t all that bad, I do think this family harmonizes well. “Now I Belong to Jesus” comes next and we have that one Ricky sounding kid again, and you know it’s that one voice that throws things off. This albums seems to lack more instruments besides the piano, and I think if they had some guitar or drums in the tracks it would really benefit them. “Deeper, Deeper” comes next, and you know if you’re not paying attention you don’t even notice the song switch. The songs all mostly seem to have the same similar sound. Next comes “On the Jericho Road” and here we get a quartet style duet, two (maybe three or four) daughters singing one verse, while the parents (and Jerry?) come in with the other verses, each followed by a solo line. Lastly, the A-Side closes with “The Old Rugged Cross” and we continue the group effort on this track, and we will see what the J.B. Betts Family has in store for us on the B-Side.
The B-Side opens with “Jesus Loves Me” – and you know what, I was wrong – the Ricky sounding kid isn’t Melody. It’s definitely Mary who has the Ricky voice, I know this because it’s a toddler singing this song. “Love Divine” (yes, yes I do.) comes next, and it seems to be the son singing this one, and it’s good to hear his voice solo. He does definitely have a distinct voice. Next comes the song “It’s Not an Easy Road” comes next, and we’re back to the family affair with the vocals, it’s not bad just wish we had something besides piano on this album. Then we go onto the track “Just a Little Talk with Jesus” and you know, I like this one a lot. It’s a pretty good, well harmonized track. “In the Garden” continues the album, and the trend of the whole family harmonizing over the piano, this album kind of comes off with the vibe of the whole family gathered around the piano singing songs together. We end with, who I can once again only assume, is the father – Mr. J.B. Betts himself singing “I Have Been Born Again” – before we go into J.B.’s personal testimony into his journey with Christ. He dropped out of college to do un-Christian things, committing “every sin in the book” – we end with the family singing “It’s Real” – and all in all, this has been an alright album!
Accompanist – Mr. Bill Day
Recorded at Select Sound Studio
Engineer – Skip Phillips