I Hear a Sweet Voice Calling

“My name is Alton Stitcher and I have some old recordings you might want to hear.” No sooner had I picked up the phone than the affable-sounding fellow at the other end of the line made it plain what was on his mind. Stitcher’s call had been prompted by a newspaper article publicizing my search for musicians and recordings from the post-World War II era of live country and gospel music programs on a little radio station in Carrollton, Georgia. Swallowing the bait, I made an immediate beeline for his house, tucked away in the woods off a gravel back road between Carrollton and Villa Rica.

The songs on this collection are a reflection of the eighty years or more that Alton Stitcher has been making music in one form or fashion. During his lifetime, the world around him has transformed itself in strange and disturbing ways, yet the man and his music both seem impervious to the negative effects of these changes. In reality, his job as a mill worker was only a cover for his true calling: digging down deep into the mother lode of American folk, gospel, and country music in order to communicate the sincerity, tenderness, and truth of his own heart. As long as artists like Alton Stitcher live among us, the soul of man will never die.   ~Mick Buck, 2003