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The Feast of Saint James the Great
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Nearly 4,000 recordings of “Amazing Grace”


Peter Hollens | YouTube

J-P Mauro - published on 07/02/18

The Library of congress has gathered them all in one place.

The Library of Congress houses a vast number of recordings of “Amazing Grace.” So many that when Allan Chasanoff and Raymon Elozua took on the monumental task of gathering them all, they found themselves with the largest such collection of a single musical work in the library’s catalog.

Now known as The Chasanoff/Elozua “Amazing Grace” Collection at the Library of Congress, it holds 3,790 recordings and manuscripts of the timeless hymn. Assuming the average length of each recording is around 5 minutes, the collection would take nearly 2 weeks of continuous listening to get through.

Although they list the entire collection on their website, it appears the music is not available online. In order to fully enjoy the Chasanoff/Elozua “Amazing Grace” Collection one would have to visit the library in Washington, D.C. We have however, gathered some of our own favorites to share:

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin’s mastery of the soul and jazz styles translates beautifully in this exceptional live recording of “Amazing Grace.” It’s a little long, but it becomes more and more impressive as it progresses.

Peter Hollens, feat. Home Free

Talented vocalist Peter Hollens teamed with the male quintet Home Free for this unique vocal arrangement. Some of the tight harmonyies they employ make this rendition stand out.

Ray Charles

An emotional recording from Ray Charles. The rich orchestrations of standard tunes he produced in his later years are timeless classics.

Gospel Creek the Bluegrass Band

This is a newer recording, but one that we’ve come back to often since discovered. A much faster paced version, surrounded by skilled instrumentalists.

King’s Own Scottish Borders Military Band

An acquired taste to be true, but there is something about “Amazing Grace” on bagpipes that will always have a place in our hearts. Fun fact: This recording was featured in the motion picture Tommy Boy, during the funeral of Tommy’s father.

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