-- Recording --
Hymns and Songs for Living

Why This Project Was Undertaken

In early 1998, following the death of Mr. Goettee's father in late 1996, his mother requested TortoiseClimbing™ record a selection of their favorite hymns and songs. In collaboration, together David and his mother developed the representative list of hymns and songs for this recording.

TortoiseClimbing™ put on hold ongoing work recording the Romantic Duets album, and focused all attention on recording this album, Hymns and Songs for Living.

Then, due to intervening events in the lives of both David and the Phase I producer after the death of his mother, completion of this album (and all other recordings) got put on hold for a number of years. Fortunately, what is referred to as Phase I of this project had completed the foundational components of this album. Work to complete the recording was resumed as Phase II in 2019, and is on track to be complete in 2022.

The total project is much more than just the recording.

The overall project consists of 6 significantly separate parts:

  1.  Making the Recording (discussed on this site under Recordings);
  2.  Figuring out the method(s) by which this recording will be made publically available (ongoing);
  3.  Writing the companion History book (discussed under Publications);
  4. (After editing the plan is to add public domain photos of the large number of historical persons discussed in the histories);
  5.  Putting the history book into an ebook book format that preserves the extensive footnotes (likely will be formated as a pdf);
  6.  Completely rebuilding the new TortoiseClimbing website, which you are reading, and
  7.  Recording the audiobook version of the History Through 26 Hymns and Songs (being planned).

Selection of Hymns and Songs Included

Process of Selection

Starting from his mother's request for TortoiseClimbing to record a representative selection of her and his father's favorite hymns and songs, they collaborated and together selected the list of hymns and songs to include. The hymns selected came from their review of the hymnals his parents had collected over their lives. In addition, they included several service and religious songs, one of which is a Contemporary Christian Song written for the funeral of David's mother's elder sister.

The dropdown local menu above left provides links to a number of pages, including the playlist of the hymns and songs included on the album. All hymns and songs are public domain, except:

Ms. Kathy Brigman Haupt, the author and composer of "Welcome Home," gave permission for this project to arrange and record the initial release of her song on the Hymns and Songs for Living recording.


Five of the selections are religious songs rather than old traditional hymns.

Two of those 5 selections came from the hymnals and are more commonly considered doxology or service songs/benedictions. They are:

The other 3 selections from the five that are neither a congregatgional hymn or congregational service song and are categorized as songs, rather than hymns. They are:

Since "Welcome Home" is an unknown contemporay christian song, here's a little of the story for why that song became a favorite and is included. Ms. Brigman Haupt wrote it as a tribute for her grandmother's funneral, who she was very close to, when her grandmother suddenly died on a trip to help another granddaughter in Alaska. Ms. Haupt's grandmother was the sister of David's mother (i.e., David's Aunt), and David's mother loved the song written for her sister's funneral by her sister's grand-daughter.

The other granddaugheter involved in this story, Donna, later sent from Alaska a framed copy of the song's lyrics to David's mother, who hung them on her bedroom wall, where they hung until she died. (David now has the framed lyrics sent to his mother.)

Kathy also sang this song at the memorial service for David's mother.

Overview of Processes for Making This Recording

As part of mother's request for TortoiseClimbing™ to make this recording, she also requested TortoiseClimbing™ treat this recording differently from its previous recordings. Namely:

That request Re-defined TortoiseClimbing's future.

Work Accomplished Under Phase I

Mr. Goettee and Ms. Gerber-Salins (producter and engineer of Phase I, and a significant vocal talent on this recording) worked with the mostly traditional congregational hymns and songs they grew up with, and completed a draft recordings for all portions of the project.

For Phase I of the recording, Ms. Gerber-Salins was:

Every weekend until late August of 1998 David took working copies of the latest draft recordings for review by his mother and her friends and care givers.  She was thrilled with the progress, but sadly did not live to hear the final recording.

Following his mother's death, a major hiatus of many years' duration evolved. That occurred because of various preemptions in the lives of both Mr. Goettee and Ms. Gerber-Salins.

Completion Accomplished Under Phase II

Work to complete this project resumed under Phase II in January of 2019 when TortoiseClimbing™ was again able to focus energies on this project, and undertook its completion. Ms. Gerber-Salins was no longer available, so David assummed the role of producer, working from notes he and Ms. Gerber-Salins had developed during the intervening years.

His ability to identify and coordinate completion of all remaining pieces to create the quality product his mother requested, was significantly informed by discussions and notes Mr. Goettee and Ms. Gerber-Salins developed during the intervening years between Phase I and II for harmony additions and changes in mixes that would benefit the recording. Additional ideas were also developed and implemented by Mr. McElroy and David during Phase II.

For recording engineer and associate producer, TortoiseClimbing™ returned to working with its first recording engineer who was again available, Mr. Bill McElroy. He located and arranged participation of several additional artists from the Ashland, VA area, who enabled:

As producer David coordinated and arranged for Handbells, handchimes and shuttle pipe (baby bagpipe). That included:

Mr. McElroy made himself available to travel to Westminster and set up his recording equipment where we recorded the Westminster Ringers and the shuttle pipe parts.

Many Are Due Credits

As part of making this quality recording, a number of artists collaborated during the 2 phases (instrumental, vocal and technical) providing their wealth of training, experience and skills helping create this album.  Each is addressed on separate credit pages.

Organization of artists' credit pages are grouped by what phases the artists were involved with:

See the Cross References webpage for Hymns and Songs for Living to find artists by name or instrument within the cross references for Hymns and Songs for Living.

Companion Book: History Through 26 Hymns and Songs

Information about the companion History Through 26 Hymns and Songs is found under Publications. That book provides extensive details about each of the hymns and songs, explicitly including histories that surrounded and influenced them. The category of Publications can be reached by selecting that choice on the Top menu. For easy access, you can click the following link if you want to jump directly to the write up on the companion hymn history book. It is found at: History Through 26 Hymns and Songs.

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