Love Minus Zero was eventually chosen to be the single from the album that was simply titled, Turley Richards. The flip side was Gone From Yesterday. Promotional copies were sent out in November of 1969 for radio airplay. The single was issued for sale after the New Year, with plans for releasing the album soon afterward. Professionally, 1970 looked as if it would be a good year, and despite the reality of blindness finally closing in on me, in many ways it would.
We had worked hard on the album and thought that we had it nearly finished. At the end of the last recording session everyone had packed up and left the studio for the night except for Lew Merenstein, the recording engineer, and me. I walked through the empty studio to the control room and asked Lew and the engineer to set two mics up for me.
“I’ve worked this song up called I Heard the Voice of Jesus and I’ve got to do it.” I looked at Lew, “I have to do it.”
“No problem,” Lew said, and they came out to the studio, got me set up, and then returned to the control room. I began to sing:
I heard the voice of Jesus say,
Come onto me and rest,
Lay down thy weary one, thy weary one lay down,
Lay thy head upon my breast . . .
The song is almost seven minutes long, and when I finished singing I sat for a moment, frozen. My body and spirit were both shaken. I put down my guitar and made my way to the control room door. Weak in the knees, I leaned against the doorframe and asked:
“What the hell just happened?”
“I don’t know, man,” Lew replied in a tearful voice. “At first I got cold chills, then I just started crying. I have never heard anything like that in my whole life.”
I don’t know why I chose that particular song, but eighteen months later, that seven minutes would be defined as the moment I began to believe. (Richards, 2014.)
~ BlindSighted, 2014
~ Turley Richards