Larnelle Harris, CCM Magazine - image
Larnelle Harris – ‘Shaped Notes,’ book review
5 Overall Score


Morgan James Faith

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Sandi Patty, Andrae Crouch
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Larnelle Harris – ‘Shaped Notes,’ book review

Larnelle Harris, CCM Magazine - image

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With the same care, precision and intention Larnelle Harris has always extended to his audiences from stage, he now shares his story in this beautiful memoir, Shaped Notes (buy). Page after page is a conversation, drawing the reader deeper into the life of one who was significantly and magnificently shaped and impressed upon by the goodness of God and has, in turn, reciprocated such an impression to the rest of the world through his stunning multi-decade career. From his early childhood days to 2018, Harris opens door after door of history, painting a living mural of a life touched by as many challenges as opportunities. The son of a bootlegger who later found Christ, Larnelle was a Kentucky borne and bred boy with an extraordinary gift of music. As he takes the reader’s hand, introducing them to teachers, fellow artists, pastors and others who not only launched his career, but helped him to understand what ministry was about and provided a launching pad for his, this icon of music and church pillar suddenly becomes very real.

Deeply affected by race issues and divisiveness, the grace by which he shares those struggles is evidence of a heart not hardened by the world, but enlightened by the Divine. Early in the book, he states, “There is a dignity in living through life’s challenges and coming out the other side.” He found that dignity and has lived his life accordingly. The book not only conveys the extraordinary life of this grace-filled man, it inspires others to reach beyond circumstance, prejudice, boundary—perceived or real—and become living examples of God’s perfect melody He sings through us all.

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