The Hurricane That Hit Atlanta


Dust-to-Digital presents a 2CD collection of archival recordings from Rev. Johnny L. "Hurricane" Jones, culled from more than 1,000 tapes going back to 1957. Every track on this set is available to the public for the very first time. Johnny Lee Jones was born on June 25, 1936 in Marion, Alabama. Growing up, Johnny said he and his brothers were "country boys" -- farming, planting cotton, picking cotton, pulling corn, plowing mules, raising cows, chickens, and hogs, but they also had the spiritual life. Johnny's mother was a very active member of the church, and his father was a deacon. Every Sunday, the family would sing and praise at Macedonia Baptist Church in Howell Crossroad, Alabama. Johnny soon taught himself how to play piano and before long he was appointed the church's choir director. In 1957, Johnny moved to Atlanta, going from church to church and from place to place, preaching and playing the piano. He hit his stride in LaGrange, a town a little more than an hour's drive southwest of Atlanta. Johnny claims he had "a lightning spark" while pastoring several churches in the rural town. It was at the Second Mount Olive Baptist Church in Atlanta where Johnny would receive the nickname "The Hurricane." The nickname stuck, as did the church, and a string of album releases followed Jones' fiery reputation. Jewel Records released Jones' last album in 1978. In the years since, those records have gone out-of-print, eventually circulating into used bins and thrift stores where they've been picked up by younger listeners unfamiliar with Jones or his church. The records have been rediscovered by a new generation, and now we can hear the recordings Johnny made for his own private use and for his radio ministry. Today, Rev. Johnny L. "Hurricane" Jones is still preaching, singing and playing music every Sunday at Second Mount Olive Baptist. He still does a radio show on WYZE every first and third Saturday of the month. In fact, many of the recordings on these CDs were made to assist Johnny with his radio ministry. The songs serve as church to those who are physically unable to leave their house, and are a calling for those who cannot wait until Sunday to hear "Hurricane" Jones. The reels of tape, which date back to Johnny's first days in Atlanta, provide documentation of a church across seven decades. The quality is raw and often distorted, yet the sounds are nothing short of heavenly. Housed in a cardboard case with an essay by label founder Lance Ledbetter.