May 2, 2012 1 Comment
Won By One started in the mid 1990s as a trio some time after Clayton Inman departed from the Kingdom Heirs. The original trio was Inman singing lead, Greg Shockley singing tenor, and David Jenkins singing baritone. After a few years and some decent success, including a Singing News #1 single (a remake of the Oak Ridge Boys’ classic “King Jesus”), the group added Bob Caldwell as bass singer and became a quartet. While Caldwell went to the studio and cut bass vocals for the prior trio album, this was the first full fledged quartet album by the group, and it is a very good album.
The CD starts of with a couple of very strong mid-tempo tunes. The first, called “When I Reached Up”, featured Caldwell right off the bat. The second “Somewhere In Gloryland” was a radio single that fared fairly well to the best of my recollection. Inman really shone on the verses. The third track was a standout power ballad that Inman sang to perfection called “It Took A Lamb.” This one is worthy of a Hidden Gem post, and I may just do that sometime. The title track has neat Middle Eastern feel to the verses that are in a minor key that transitions to a major key and straight SG feel for the chorus. It’s a unique, interesting standout tune. They also cover “In Gloryland” that made it’s most famous appearance on the Singing Americans’ iconic Live and Alive album. It’s almost note for note, except for the tag, and I actually prefer Won By One’s ending to the Singing Americans. Having been released around the same time by Legacy Five, they also cut “I Stand Redeemed”, but did so as a bass solo for Bob Caldwell. It works, and not in any small part due to Caldwell’s vocal talent. It may not quite have quite the power or charisma of Cobb’s performance with L5, but it’s a very good rendition, and it’s neat to hear the difference in the song as a bass feature. The album closes with “There But By”, a slow ballad that features some nice lyrics and smooth harmonies.
Won By One holds a bit of a special place with me, as they were the first pro group we ever hosted at our church. We ended up booking them for several consecutive years, and always enjoyed our time with them. They were always a solid group vocally that put on an enjoyable concert. I consider Bold and Unashamed to be the pinnacle of their recording career. It’s a great album that if you have a copy and haven’t listened in a while, it’s worth pulling back out and giving another spin. You’ll be glad you did.