Live (Sword & Shield LPS 9054) 1980
At age 36 Freida Sinclair felt she was too old to begin doing gospel ventriloquism. But as she states on the back cover, “God wouldn’t leave me alone”. Fortunately for us she ﬁnally gave in and now we’re blessed with Willie Jo, a somewhat Hispanic-looking dummy that could pass as a distant cousin to Herve “De Plane! De Plane!” Villechaize. This live album (recorded at various churches in Texas) is a slightly more subdued performance than the numerous more abrasive femme/dummy combos out there, but it’s still just as entertaining. The funny thing about this one is that sometimes you can’t tell when Freida switches off and Willie Jo kicks in – it’s practically the same voice! Opens with a smooth contemporary gospel ballad, followed by Freida’s spoken testimony about how she got into ventriloquism (another wonderful Southern accent). Then it’s on to the jokes and routines – ever notice how they all seem to come from the same book? The audience roars whenever one of the members of their congregation is the target of a jab. Includes that long teary-eyed routine about the three trees being converted into a manger, a ﬁshing boat and a cross (the story appears in various forms on a number of these records). Closes with a spoken challenge from Freida about God using your hidden talents. (The Archivist, 4th edition by Ken Scott).
I have not acquired this album yet.