Words and music of the late Anderson Johnson captured on CD from North Carolina non profit

Newport News folk artist, preacher and musician Anderson Johnson died in 1998, but his work is still preserved, discussed and admired widely. His musical legacy got a boost from a CD released last year by the Hillsborough, N.C.-based non-profit Music Maker Relief Foundation.

"Roots of Sacred Steel," mixes tunes and interview clips recorded live in Anderson's Newport News home on Oct. 22, 1994. Music Maker founder Tim Duffy made the recording himself along with Elleanor Ellis and Axel Kustner.

"Elder Anderson spent his life preaching, singing and playing his steel guitar on the streets of America," reads part of the liner notes for the disc. "[He] remains a true pioneer of the sacred steel music tradition, which in recent years has gained worldwide popularity with groups such as The Campbell Brothers, The Lee Boys and many others."

The recording is available from Music Maker for $12. Order the disc at the Music Maker site.

Read my colleague Mark St. John Erickson's story about Johnson's death at this link.

The video below isn't a track from the CD, instead an earlier version of one of Johnson's most popular songs, "God Don't Like It." The Miami-based Glory record label released the song in 1958. A different version of the same song does appear on "Roots of Sacred Steel."


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