So… I just paid $50 for a compact disc. It’s a rare one, but good grief.
My journey toward this purchase began a long time ago when I first heard the delightful “One Of Us” by Joan Osborne. The album version begins with an a cappella version of a southern-sounding gospel song titled “The Aeroplane Ride.” It is at once whimsical and slightly disturbing.
I didn’t think much more about it until recently when I began adding some of my CD collection to Google Music in order to stream songs from my phone in the car and at work. “One Of Us” was a natural selection for my “Awesome Songs” playlist, and I was again immediately drawn to the catchy intro. My curiosity about the lyrics and the singer drove me to look online, where I quickly discovered the sample Joan Osborne used was from an original recording by Nell Hampton in 1937. It also turns out the song originated in the Holiness movement, and was recorded in Salyersville, Kentucky. Is it any wonder I am so taken by it?
Disappointment set in when I read that the album Hampton’s version appeared on, ”The Gospel Ship: Baptist Hymns & White Spirituals from the Southern Mountains,” is no longer available from New World Records. Not being one to give up easily when it comes to music, I tracked down a few used copies of the CD on Amazon, and a vinyl copy on Etsy. The prices on Amazon were staggering, ranging from $50 to well over $200. Etsy was far more reasonable at a mere $5, but I have no way of getting the songs from a record to my computer, and I figured by the time I purchased a record player and software to convert it to a digital format, I would be out well over $50. The lowest priced CD on Amazon was looking more and more like my best option, so I bought it.
It better be awesome.