Crying Demons was issued some time in the early 60s by the A. A. Allen Revivals of the appropriately named Miracle Valley. Arizona. Side one is the transcript of one of Reverend Allen’s services recorded, as noted on the label, ‘under the Miracle Revival Big Top’, and includes the good Pastor trying to exorcise the demons within a suicidal woman. Side two is the gold: actual recordings of the aforementioned demons jabbering away. My favourite is the demon who doesn’t like books and appears to suffer from haemophilia. Poor, illiterate thing!
Asa Alonso Allen (March 27, 1911 - June 11, 1970), was a controversial evangelist with a Pentecostal healing and deliverance ministry, dragging an enormous big top – which, reportedly, could house 22,000 people and was the largest gospel tent in the world - across the nation to hold his powerful revival services. He was born in Sulphur Rock, Arkansas to poor, mixed race parents. At the age of 23, Allen became a Christian at the Onward Methodist Church in Miller, Missouri.
Allen, one of the country's best-known evangelists and faith healers, built his ‘nondenominational Christian’ religious group into a multimillion dollar organisation that sponsored Allen’s frequent tours around the nation and published the monthly Miracle Magazine, with a circulation at its height of 350,000. Miracle Magazine is an absolute hoot, replete with stories of how an overweight woman lost 200lb during a service (‘I weighed over 500 pounds when Brother Allen prayed for me; the lord took 200 pounds off me instantly’), how a man was ‘cured’ of being an hermaphrodite and of how audience members at Allen’s tent revivals grew new hips and even new toes.
He also put out an unknown number of records on the Miracle Revival Recordings label with gospel singing, sermons, miracle cures and exorcisms. Allen’s extensive discography includes the brilliant I Am Lucifer, God Is a Killer, and he Died as a Fool Dieth.
A popular televangelist, one of the first to use TV to enhance his ministry (you can find a number of his shows on YouTube), Allen died at the age of 59 in the Jack Tar Hotel in San Francisco. Although it was initially claimed that he died from a heart attack the coroner, Dr. Henry Turkel (who, apparently, was the inspiration behind Quincy M.E.) told the inquest that his death was the result of ‘acute alcoholism and fatty infiltration of the liver.’ His father had also been an alcoholic. Allen’s followers and family dispute the cause of death, claiming that Dr. Turkel later recanted his testimony. Dr Turkel committed suicide shortly after, but some of Allen’s followers have claimed that the Reverend himself arose, Lazarus-like, from the dead.
Allen was buried at his 2,400 acre Miracle Valley headquarters.