Brother Claude Ely – Ain’t No Grave

Brother Claude Ely—Ain’t No Grave

Download Story of Brother Ely MP3

Kevin Fontenot, an expert on country music history at Tulane University, says that in 1953, King Records heard about Brother Claude Ely. The company decided to record him live at a Pentecostal service in the courthouse in Letcher County, Ky., when he was holding a revival. King Records set up equipment in the courthouse and made the initial recordings that made Brother Claude Ely popular. And Fontenot says that those recordings were a very valuable historical document because they were the first time people really got to hear a recording of a live Pentecostal service.

Pratt remembers that the courthouse was packed with people saying amen and clapping their hands.

“Pentecostals clap off the beat,” she says. “We prefer our style of handclapping.”

Fontenot says that it might be hard to tease out where different musical traditions come from. But he believes that Pentecostal music had an impact on rock ‘n’ roll. He says you can hear that impact in Brother Claude Ely’s music.

Many of the early rockers — Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash — all grew up in the Pentecostal church, according to Hensley.

Text from NPR.ORG—Read the rest and listen to the story:  Brother Claude Ely

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~ by castleqwayr on May 6, 2011.

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