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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hisel Carpenter and the Gospel Rhythmaires

Full Album
Hisel Carpenter and the Gospel Rhythmaries
I Cannot Find The Way Alone and 11 more
REM Records, Lexington, KY LP-1012

This is debatably one of the greatest gospel album covers I've yet to stumble across (Cover by Privott). It's great to see the artists posing with their instruments. The acoustic is a Martin and the electric is a Gibson.

From left to right, Hisel, his wife Geraldine and the lead guitar player and vocalist Billy Gabbard. The group hails from Jackson County, KY.

One jacket note is fun: He (Hisel) is tall, strong, and earnest and is loved by all who meet him.

Another lost to history group. From an overall great old time country gospel album, I feature what I consider is one of the LP's better tunes. A song credited to Hisel.

Apparently Hisel made another LP on the REM label that he named after himself. RL-1008.

Comment moved here from an earlier post: Hisel and Geraldine moved to Richmond Indiana in the early 60's and attended my home church for years. I had the pleasure of playing drums and bass guitar with them for several years in the 70's. They released at least 10 albums over the years maybe more. most were recorded at Artist in Cincinnati, Ohio with Dennis Hensley as the Engineer. Hisel still pastors a Pentecostal church in Richmond. Still has a powerful annointed singing voice along with the same Martin Guitar. Just visited with him a few weeks ago. Love them dearly. ...Ken Centers

Comment moved here from an earlier post: Hi Manic Mark,This is Dr. Mike; I posted a comment on your "The Singing Rexroats" blog yesterday. Today I was digitizing another LP from my Grandma Benjamin's gospel record collection and found Hisel and Gerldean Carpenter's "Most Requested Hymns." Hisel Carpenter was the minister at Gr. Benjamin's Holiness Penecostal Church when I was a kid. It was located in a tiny church on the south side of Richmond, Indiana in the '60s. I vividly remember the slow spinning ceiling fans on hot mid-summer Wednesday nights. The music (I realize now) was incredible - just guitar, piano and spirit-filled voice - no organ. Worshipers would stumble forward during the songs, shaking and speaking in tongues. Gr. Benjamin's would always buy an album from the traveling evangelists - and I was lucky to inherit her collection!

(see my note under Manic Mike's blog on The Singing Rexroats.)

I am traveling for work now, but when I get home I will send you scan of some of the great album artwork.

Mike Bowers


  1. Hi... I have a copy of Hisel Carpenter and the Gospel Rhythmaires "He Died For Our Sins" ON REM records. Do you need a copy? I would love a copy of "I Cannot Find The Way Alone." Would you be interested in a trade?

  2. Thank you for your comment. Sounds like you have a very hard to find copy. I seldom find REM label records. I appreciate your offer of trade, however I actually only collect physical copies of albums, rather than digital copies. I'll check my files and see if I can find the entire album to upload for you.

    1. For the past couple of years I've been collecting bluegrass and country gospel for my 85 year old mother. In the process I've become a fan myself. I found the Hisel Carpenter recording on the "Friends Of Old Time Music" blog. It's one of the best country gospel records I've ever heard. There's very little information about Hisel so I was happy to find out a little bit more about him from your blog.

    2. I've posted the raw file for you. May you and your Mother have a great day!

  3. Thanks a lot Mark! I'm listening to the record now. Hisel had a great voice. I like Geraldine's harmony singing as well. REM 1008 doesn't have any piano on it... it's all guitar. Have a great weekend!

  4. My brother played drums for Hisel in the the early 1980s. Does anyone have any of the albums that would have come out in that period?