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Friday, September 2, 2011

What Have You Gained - Ernest C. Martin

Mother's Not Dead She's Only Sleeping
A Crown He Wore
Ain't No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down
What Have You Gained
Ernest C. Martin
Jewel Records - Cincinnati, Ohio - LPS 346
QCA - Cincinnati, Ohio - 305117

Terrific southern gospel album by Ernest C. Martin who was working, at the time, out of Winchester, Kentucky.

From the back cover: The name of Ernest C. Martin is familiar to thousands of people throughout the states of Kentucky, Tenn., Va., Ohio and wherever else he travels to preach the Gospel. Ernest was born Jan. 27, 1914 at Clay City, Ky. He learned to pick some on the 5 string banjo while still a young boy. A six-dollar guitar was his next musical instrument. He was a Christian at the age of 15. Four years later he was working on WNOX Radio in Knoxville, Tenn. Something happened along the way and Ernest drifted to the wrong side of life. He learned and knew the sordid things that await anyone who chooses to live on the wrong side of the tracks.

In Martins own words, also from the back cover: I became a heavy drinker and lost my health completely. At this point of my life I put my trust in God. He wonderfully saved me and restored my health after three doctors had told me I had only six months to live.

Martin worked with Rusty York, owner/operator of Jewel and had thanked him and the staff for the "outstanding job they did in recording this album".

Additional credits: Dallas Alexander - Tenor, Vocals and Guitar, Darrel Alexander - Drums, Ernest Martin Jr. - Guitar, Vernon Leroy Martin - Bass and Bruce Andrews - Banjo. A Special Thanks to J. D. Jarvis.

Ernest Jr. and Vernon are Marin's sons. Martin dedicates the track A Crown He Wore to his wife, Fannie.


  1. Great site! I also collect gospel records, especially the small label or self released records. I was wondering if you have any insight as to why so many gospel groups used the same images on their covers? I know I have at least on record with this same exact cover.

    1. Thanks for taking time to leave a comment. What you have noticed is "stock" or "pre-printed" album covers. To save money artists used these "blanks" and printed one color (almost always black) on the front and back cover. Usually, the title on the cover and the track list, information and a photo on the back. You may notice one or two color covers featuring graphical framing devices printed in, red or blue sometimes with black ink with a photo inserted. This blank was probably even less expensive, but printing a photo on the cover cost no more than printing the title. With limited distribution and no internet to compare covers, few folks probably never noticed the duplication.