Recording Elijah with First Baptist Church Choir

October 18, 1964
The Senior Choir of First Baptist Church, Atlanta presented Mendelssohn's "Elijah" on Sunday evening, October 18, and recorded the performance to make a 33/1/3 rpm vinyl disc recording.

We were led by Jim R. Jones, Minister of Music and Barbara Ann Coffey accompanied us on the big pipe organ.

In the segment photo at right, Rod is third from right on the third row back. To his left are Don O'Neal and Jim Crudup. Behind Rod is Art Sherwood and to his left Tom Durrett, both of whom were active in the BSU program at Georgia Tech. The other active BSU'er in the choir was R.B. Coulter, third from left on the back row above. To R.B.'s left is Richard Botters, with whom Rod later team-taught one of the college-level Sunday School classes.

This is our album cover. We were quite pleased to be able to do the recording project. We also did a vinyl disc recording of Handel's "Messiah".

This project was brought back to mind in January of 2013 when we did a Sunday School lesson which included 1 Kings 18:20-39, the account of Elijah's confrontation with the 450 prophets of Baal. Haskell Boyter, a renowned bass in Atlanta, was our bass soloist and played the role of Elijah. In studying my lesson in 2013, I keenly remembered as a choir member we repeatedly sang the line "O Baal, Hear Us!", more or less like bleating sheep. Then the powerful bass voice of Elijah would boom in "Call him louder!" and "Perhaps he sleepeth!".

The soprano solo was done by our beloved soprano soloist, Jean Cliett, who is 6th from left on the third row in the top picture.

Rod enjoyed singing with the choir at Atlanta First Baptist, beginning under the direction of Ray Smathers when he was probably a junior undergraduate at Georgia Tech and continuing until he got his Ph.D and we left for Wales in 1966.

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