Ain’t No Grave: The Life and Legacy of Brother Claude Ely

Description: 360-page hardback biography with CD, includes 290 sepia photographs
CD features rare and electrifying audio recordings of Pentecostal worship services in the mountains of Kentucky and Virginia accompanied by a fiery sermon preached by Brother Claude Ely.
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Availability: In Stock

Price: $30.00

Penned by Macel Ely II, Ain’t No Grave: The Life and Legacy of Brother Claude Ely is written as an oral, biographical history taken from the recorded interviews of more than 1,000 people in the Appalachian Mountains who knew Brother Claude Ely. Authored by Brother Claude Ely’s nephew, Macel Ely II, the biography is supplemented by 290 sepia photographs along with a CD featuring rare and electrifying audio recordings of Pentecostal worship services in the mountains of Kentucky and Virginia accompanied by a fiery sermon preached by Brother Claude Ely himself.

“It’s sanctified singing like (Brother Claude) Ely’s that we hear echoes of in Elvis and Little Richard, in James Brown and especially in Jerry Lee Lewis. But not a one of them ever burned on record, not even Jerry Lee Lewis, the way that Ely burns on (his) recordings. The main difference is this: Most musicians were merely called by fame, by the Opry. Brother Claude Ely had been called by God.” — Dana Jennings, New York Times editor and author of Sing Me Back Home: Love, Death, and Country Music

“…and Holiness preachers such as Brother Claude Ely rave on like renegade rockabilly cats… You have Brother Claude Ely doing radio broadcasts that sound like a tent revival… I think his material is as strong as anything Sun Studio did. Even the wildest rockabilly rarely reached the unhinged delirium of “There Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down,” … A Holiness preacher from Kentucky, Ely was a faith healer and a terrific guitarist, judging from the ferocious rockabilly rhythms on “Grave,” a country hit in 1953. Ely and many others… foreshadow the rock-and-soul explosion, when church-reared performers such as Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin fused sanctified and secular style to revolutionize pop music.” — Eddie Dean, Washington Post