CD Mini-Review: The Best of Jonathan Wilburn: Years Of Gold – A Collection Of Hits

CD Mini-Review: The Best of Jonathan Wilburn: Years Of Gold – A Collection Of Hits

FJonathanWilburn_YearsofGoldor twelve years, Jonathan Wilburn won fans and accolades as the charismatic lead singer of Gold City. He had some large shoes to fill, but he opted instead to bring his own pair, and he remained a favorite with audiences during his entire tenure. This collection is an effort to capture some of his better moments with the group.

Unfortunately, it appears that this collection is somewhat slapped together. There is no consistency to the source material – some of the performances come from Gold City’s 20th anniversary concert while others are studio renditions – and for some reason, they opted to include several Gold City “classics” that Jonathan didn’t originally sing. To solve this particular problem (and this being a Daywind Records release), they simply had Jonathan record the songs using the generic Daywind backing trax for “Midnight Cry,” “I’m Not Giving Up,” and “There Rose A Lamb.”

Another oddity with this project is the title. Aside from being a bit of a mouthful, Daywind is following the “reference the group without actually naming the group” rule of packaging to avoid any trademark infringement. That may be why they chose the tracks that they did – the rest of the masters that include Jonathan are scattered among Benson, New Haven, or Gold City directly, so Daywind just used what they owned (or had rights to).

This would make a good table project for Wilburn & Wilburn, but for a wide-release, you’d be better off to just pick up a Gold City compilation from their website.

SONG TITLES: He Said (Dianne Wilkinson) – I’m Not Giving Up (Squire Parsons) – There Rose A Lamb (Kyla Rowland) – He Lives (Ted J. Collins) – He Lifted My Burdens Away (Doug Riley) – When He Touched Me (Geron Davis) – When The Holy Ghost Shows Up (We’ll Have Church) (Anita Renfroe and Babbie Mason) – Keep Me On The Wheel (Dianne Wilkinson) – The Lamb Upon The Throne (Mike Harland and Amy Susan Foster) – It’s Been Worth It All (C. L. Wright, Jr.) – I Believe (Mark Mathes) – Midnight Cry (Chuck Day and Greg Day) – When He Calls I’ll Fly Away (V. B. Ellis)

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Category CD Reviews, Reviews

Kyle Boreing

Kyle has been writing for MusicScribe since 2008. He is a musician, producer, arranger, and occasional quartet singer, who pays way too much attention to recordings. He is an alumni of Stamps-Baxter School of Music and has shared the stage with many different artists. He also really likes movies that are "so bad they're good." Visit his website at, or follow him on Twitter @kyleboreing.

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  1. Reply July 07, 12:59 #1 bravesfan513

    I don’t find it too odd that they would include the Gold City “classics” that Jonathan didn’t originally record. He’s probably sung “Midnight Cry” on stage more time than any other song. And they did “I’m Not Giving Up” all the time too. So those songs are definitely a big part of his history as a singer.

    • Reply July 07, 13:17 admin

      I agree it’s not so odd that they included those songs, but I’m with Kyle on the point that this is the sort of CD an artist would just sell at their concerts rather than pushing for retail stores. It’s just a weird combination to have the actual Gold City cuts for several tracks, but on others, he’s backed by some random studio singers on a lower quality accompaniment track.

      • Reply July 07, 13:21 Kyle Boreing Author

        Actually, on “There Rose a Lamb,” he’s backed by Guy Penrod I’m pretty sure….he sang the Daywind demo (which I have).

        • Reply July 07, 22:08 admin

          Sure, but it’s still a totally different sound.

          The CD starts with “He Said” with Gold City, and that’s followed by “I’m Not Giving Up” without Gold City…right up front, Daywind is saying “We had the rights to some Gold City recordings and we didn’t have the rights to others, so we threw a cheap accompaniment track version on here instead”

          I’m of the mind that if you can’t release a version of “I’m Not Giving Up” that at least includes Tim, don’t release it at all…OR take it a totally different direction.

          Still, it’s a decent table project that should sell just fine at Wilburn & Wilburn events.

  2. Reply July 07, 15:12 #2 Roscoe42

    What is the acoutal list of songs on the CD??

  3. Reply July 07, 20:39 #3 Slade Alday

    I don’t know that I would agree about his “having large shoes to fill”. He took David Hill’s place who took Steve Lacey’s place. Both were decent singers but neither had the range to tote the mail that the GC lead vocal demanded. Ivan Parker set it pretty high in terms of range and strength. But I think it’s arguable that Jonathan took it to an even higher level in terms of range & strength.

    • Reply July 07, 20:59 Kyle Boreing Author

      Ultimately, Jonathan had to fill Ivan’s shoes (as did David and Steve).

  4. Reply July 08, 12:34 #4 Roscoe42

    I’m in agreeement about some of the songs….either have it be Jonathan with Gold City or don’t title it the way it was titled

  5. Reply July 09, 12:21 #5 Chris Unthank

    The packaging on this is horrible…

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