StowTown Records have just released a historic project, Fanny Crosby: Newly Discovered Hymns & Songs. Fanny Crosby is an iconic part of the fabric of faith in America, penning over 8,000 hymns and gospel songs. These classics of the church include "Blessed Assurance," "Pass Me Not, O Gentle Saviour," "I Am Thine, O Lord," "Tell Me the Story of Jesus," among others.
Recently, a treasure trove of unfinished and unpublished works was found by Stephen Kelley (associate producer) at Wheaton College. This discovery gave Wayne Haun (producer/StowTown co-owner) an idea - to finish these lyrics with some of today's top writers and give life to these songs with performances by 15 of today's top artists in inspirational, bluegrass and gospel music.
Along with Crosby, additional writers on this project include Sue C. Smith, Marcia Henry, Rachel McCutcheon, Val Dacus, Dianne Wilkinson, Melissa Brady, Jim Brady, Lee Black, Don Poythress, Jeff Bumgardner, Joel Lindsey, Scott Inman, Tim Lovelace, Randall Garland and Wayne Haun.
Fanny Crosby: Newly Discovered Hymns & Songs is available at your local Christian retailer and on iTunes, Amazon and other digital outlets as well as Christian Book Distributors here.
We are honored to be able to chat with songwriter and artist Tim Lovelace about this historic project.
Q: Before you got involved in this new project, were you familiar with the hymns of Fanny Crosby?
Tim Lovelace: Yes. As a child I didn't understand the depth of her lyrics, but I knew that she had written many, many songs, and that really impressed me. Later in life, her lyrics influenced me greatly.
Q: What was your favorite Fanny Crosby hymn? Why?
Tim Lovelace: When I think of Fanny Crosby's songs, "Blessed Assurance" comes to mind first, but one of my favorites is "Near the Cross." I remember hearing my Uncle Otis play it on the piano when I was young, and the melody and lyrics found a special place in my heart.
Q: How did you become involved in this new Fanny Crosby project?
Tim Lovelace: When I first heard about some of Fanny's unpublished hymns and poems being discovered, I was thrilled. It was the discovery of a lifetime, not only for songwriters, but for all people of the faith. Fanny Jane Crosby is a treasure, so when Wayne Haun asked me to co-write on this project, I was ecstatic!
Q: What was the song you contributed to this new album? Tell us what your song is about? And why did you choose it?
Tim Lovelace: I was privileged to co-write "His Love Will Shelter Me." It's about the goodness of God's peace and how we can rest in the mercy of His sovereignty. When I was writing it, I didn't know I was also going to be singing on the project. It has been an incredible experience to be a part of this collaboration. Jeff and Sheri Easter and their daughter, Morgan, also sing on this song and do an awesome job!
Q: In your own opinion, what's the value of these new hymns?
Tim Lovelace: Not only do I believe they are great songs, but they also speak to the faithfulness of God and how He honors His servants. Songs that Fanny Crosby started writing in the 1800s are lyrically relevant today and bring praise to the Savior.
Q: Is there room for hymns today in the church? Why are they important?
Tim Lovelace: Yes. There are many views today on Christian music, but I believe just as the Bible spoke of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, people of faith have always enjoyed a variety of styles. There are different styles represented on this new project, and I still find such joy in singing songs with great theological depth and praise to our matchless God.