On May 6, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound are returning with The Favorite Hymns of Fanny Crosby. On this new StowTown Records release, Haase and his team will bring a roots-styled approach to 8 of Crosby immortal hymns. These hymns have been foundational to the church's worship, and they include "Tell Me the Story of Jesus," "Blessed Assurance," "Near the Cross," and "He Hideth My Soul."
Born on March 24, 1820, Fanny Crosby is known as one of the greatest hymn writers. When Crosby was six weeks old, she caught a cold and developed inflammation of the eyes. Mustard poultices were applied to treat the discharges.According to Crosby, this procedure damaged her optic nerves and blinded her but modern physicians think that her blindness was more likely congenital and, given her age, may simply not have been noticed by her parents.
In November of 1820, when Fanny was only six months old, her dad John Crosby died, so she was raised by her mother and maternal grandmother, Eunice Paddock Crosby (born about 1778; died about 1831).These women grounded Crosby in Christian principles, helping her, for example, memorize long passages from the Bible, and she became an active member of the John Street Methodist Episcopal Church in New York City.
When Crosby was aged three, the family moved to North Salem, New York, where Eunice had been raised. In April 1825 Crosby was examined by Valentine Mott, who concluded that Crosby's condition was inoperable and that her blindness was permanent.
Never one to despair, Crosby found comfort and hope in God. Crosby was a longtime member of the Sixth Avenue Bible Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York, which has been in existence continuously since 1867. Together with her pastor, Robert Lowry, she wrote such hymns as "All the Way My Saviour Leads Me," and many others.
Later, she was one of the most prolific hymnists in history, writing over 8,000 hymns and gospel songs, with over 100 million copies printed, despite being blind from shortly after birth. She is also known for her teaching, and her rescue mission work. By the end of the 19th century, she was "a household name".
Known as the "Queen of Gospel Song Writers", and as the "Mother of modern congregational singing in America",with most American hymnals containing her work, as "with the possible exception of Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley, Crosby has generally been represented by the largest number of hymns of any writer of the twentieth century in nonliturgical hymnals".
Her gospel songs were "paradigmatic of all revival music", and Ira Sankey attributed the success of the Moody and Sankey evangelical campaigns largely to Crosby's hymns. Some of Crosby's best-known songs include "Pass Me Not, O Gentle Saviour", "Blessed Assurance", "Jesus Is Tenderly Calling You Home", "Praise Him, Praise Him", "Rescue the Perishing", and "To God Be the Glory". Because some publishers were hesitant to have so many hymns by one person in their hymnals, Crosby used nearly 200 different pseudonyms during her career.
1. Praise Him! Praise Him!
2. Redeemed, How I Love to Proclaim It!
3. Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior
4. Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross / In the Cross
5. Blessed Assurance
6. I Am Thine, O Lord / Draw Me Nearer
7. He Hideth My Soul
8. Tell Me the Story of Jesus