The Hinsons – The Legacy Goes on (1986)

The Hinsons – The Legacy Goes on (1986)

When this album was released in 1986, the Hinsons had been singing for almost 20 years. The group started in 1967 in a little storefront church in California, where a spark had been ignited. By the early 70s, they had a fire going, as they were writing their own songs and had created a sound that was uniquely their own. Soon that fire was sweeping the nation as they became more and more popular, and throughout the rest of the 70s and into the 80s, that fire kept burning stronger and stronger until it became a fierce inferno, as they continued winning awards, charting great songs, and setting a standard for others to follow. On the eve of their 20th anniversary, the Hinsons were celebrating a wonderful and rich legacy, shaped by their own songs and unique style. The name “Hinson” had become synonymous with country gospel, and they were in a class all by themselves; and as the album title alludes to, that legacy was going on and with this album, they were celebrating that legacy!

When I saw the Hinsons back in November 1986, they sang a lot of songs from this album and it’s one of my favorite Hinson albums. Produced by Kenny (with Ronny being listed as co-producer), it has that old Hinson sound all the way through it. It’s a very country sounding album and is a bit more scaled back than their previous ones, with only 10 musicians being credited. As I mentioned, it has that old school feel to it and in my opinion, was a very refreshing album. The cover has a nice picture, and the art work is good…it’s just not as creative as some of their previous albums had been.

Someone pointed out to me recently that no one tends to mention the albums that were released after their 1982 album, “Hinsongs” when naming favorite or best albums by the Hinsons. While that may be true, I think this is their best studio album from this era of the group, and I actually prefer this album over the “Hinsongs” album. Both are great records, but are very different from each other, and from a personal preference on musical taste, I gravitate towards “The Legacy Goes On”. This album has a certain warmth and depth to it that appeals to me, and I find lots of ear candy on this album!

With an excellent electric guitar and harmonica intro, “Soul Filling Station” gets things off and running, and the song was a big hit for the group, peaking at #2 in September 1987. Following the successful formula with Ronny singing the first verse (which is also Ronny’s only feature on this album) and Kenny taking the second verse and chorus, it’s one of my favorite Hinson tunes and I particularly love Kenny’s performance on his verse of the song; it’s energetic and exciting! You Tube clips of the Hinsons show that at some point, they sped up the tempo of the song (which really made the song sound rushed to me), but later clips show they slowed it back down to the original tempo, which I think best suited the song. They sang the song the night I saw them in 1986, but I don’t recall the tempo the song was performed in.

Bo slows the tempo down with one of my favorite features of his, “There’s Power in Prayer”. The song didn’t do well in the charts, but its powerful message made it a popular song in concert. I still hear the song pop up from time to time by various groups; in fact, the Primitive Quartet did a wonderful cover of the song back in 1988. Take note as to how much Bo is starting to sound like his Uncle Kenny. Bo would mature into an excellent singer, taking his cue from his wonderfully talented uncle!

Speaking of Uncle Kenny, he writes and sings “Have You Ever Seen a Miracle”, and it’s a highlight of the recording. With its strong beat and electric guitar infused track, the song sounds more like a solo effort, as the other’s vocals are a bit further in the background and Kenny’s is more out front. No background vocals are credited on the back cover, so my assumption is the Hinsons are providing the vocals; it sounds like them, but then it doesn’t. Either way, it’s a fantastic song that is fun to sing along with and is a highlight of the recording.

With its fiddle intro, the medium tempo, “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow”, has that definitive country sound that is unmistakably Hinson. When I saw them back in 1986, this was the song they opened with, and it was perfect!

Rounding out this side is the campmeeting feel of, “I Made the Move”. Written by Ronny, this upbeat song recalls that classic Hinson sound from their early days and it’s a highly enjoyable tune, and one of my favorites.

Side two starts with Kenny’s, “Put Me Down”, which brings back the sound and feel of some of his early country gospel tunes from the 70s. With its memorable steel guitar and blaring harmonica intro, the song was another big hit for the Hinsons, peaking at #4 in June 1988, and the song remains one of my favorite Hinson tunes. If they ever released a “Greatest Hits” of Hinson songs featuring Kenny Hinson, this would be one of the top picks.

Next, the tempo picks up for the bouncy, “Cross the Faith Line”. Written by Kenny, I love the piano and guitar fills on the song, and it’s another song that is reminiscent of that early Hinson sound, before the tempo slows down as Yvonne sings the beautiful ballad, “I’ve Got a Picture of You Lord”. Laden with strings, it’s a very soothing song and Yvonne does a great job with it.

With a nice fiddle track, the record ends with the medium tempo, “There’s No Change”. Featuring Kenny, it’s another great song that sounds like it came right out of the 70s. With its message that as much as things change, they stay the same, it’s a great closing song to a great record.

This is the second album in a row with just 9 songs…6 songs were written by Ronny and 3 were written by Kenny. I always feel cheated with less than 10 songs, but I suppose at the time, they couldn’t find or write anything else they wanted to record. At this point in their career, the Hinsons had gone about as far as they could go within the Southern Gospel genre, so they decided to go back and record an “old school” country gospel album, and it’s one of my all-time favorite Hinson albums. The album yielded two strong, Top 5 songs, as well as a few concert favorites, and it was just an all-around great sounding album. That classic country gospel, old school Hinson vibe throughout the album made it a great listen and it was definitely a winner and it continued to solidify the wonderful Hinson legacy within gospel music!

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Category LP Review, Reviews

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2 Comments

  1. Reply October 13, 09:20 #1 Brent

    I have enjoyed the memories that your reviews have brought back to me. Each time, I add a new song or two on YouTube that I used to have on cassette tape while I drove to college every day. Thank you for sharing these; I hope more are coming.

    • Reply October 13, 10:28 James Hales Author

      I am so glad you have enjoyed these and they bring back some great memories! Just doing my part to keep the history alive!


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