A little history of the song: Rev. Thomas Salmon (1800-1854), a Congregational clergyman, served as the pastor of the Congregational Church in Coleshill, Warwickshire, England from 1838 to 1842. Upon his return to New York, he submitted the words to "Sweet Hour of Prayer" to The New York Observer with this note:
"During my residence at Coleshill, Warwickshire, England, I became acquainted with W.W. Walford, the blind preacher, a man of obscure birth and connections and no education, but of strong mind and most retentive memory. In the pulpit he never failed to select a lesson well adapted to his subject, giving chapter and verse with unerring precision, and scarcely ever misplacing a word in his repetition of the Psalms, every part of the New Testament, the prophecies, and some of the histories, so as to have the reputation of knowing the whole Bible by heart."
He asked the Observer to publish these words "if you think them worthy of preservation." The newspaper agreed that the words were worthy, and published them in its September 13, 1845 issue.
About fifteen years later, in 1860 or 1861, William Batchelder Bradbury (1816-1868), a composer from New York, wrote the tune that is usually associated with this song. Bradbury also composed the music for other popular hymns, including: "Jesus Loves Me," "He Leadeth Me," "Just as I Am," "Jesus Like a Savior Lead Us," and "The Solid Rock."
The song's fame grew slowly but surely. It was first published in a Methodist hymnal in 1878.
You will first get tuned up with the Champ. Then you will hear the song in it's entirely with the rhythm section in the right speaker and the lead played in the left speaker. Next we dive into the lessons. They deal with right hand and left hand techniques and ideas for future play and much more.
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