Archive for the ‘Back in the Day’ Category

Gospel Music Finds Its Way To The New Smithsonian Museum

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Little Lucy SmithFor a number of years, Baylor University’s Robert Darden has led the charge on preserving music from Gospel’s Golden Era via the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project.  Baylor and his team have sought to identify, record and catalog both well known and obscure recordings that make up the gospel music tradition.  To date,more than 8,000 tracks have been digitized.  The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture announced via social media that the collection will be a part of the museum’s Musical Crossroad’s exhibition.

Read more about the exhibit and project here: NMAAHC Welcomes Gospel Recordings from Baylor University

New Music From Kristle Murden

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

KristleIn the 80s, Andrae Crouch gave us I’ll Be Thinking of You and introduced the world to the song stylings of Kristle Murden. AND THE WORLD HAS NEVER BEEN THE SAME SINCE. Kristle would go on to record I Can’t Let Go,  her solo debut for Light Records and continue a long association with the Andrae Crouch Singers (Just a Matter of Time, Jesus, Come Lay Your Head on Me, Come Closer to Me, He’s the Light) .  While we were consumed with the unexpected release of another female phenom, Howard Smith (another Andrae Crouch alum) informed us that Kristle has new music in the marketplace.  Turn it Over is the new single and it is available via digital outlets.  Especially for the GOSPELflava family, here’s a snippet:

 

Jubilee Showcase 50th Anniversary Celebrated on PBS

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Jubilee ShowcaseLong before the days of Bobby Jones Gospel, Sid Ordower hosted a groundbreaking gospel music television program that aired from 1963 to 1984 on WLS Channel 7 in Chicago featuring some of the biggest names in gospel called Jubilee Showcase. The Emmy Award winning weekly show will celebrate its 50th anniversary during a Public Broadcasting System (PBS) Pledge special on WTTW, the Chicago PBS affiliate, on October 10, 2013 at 9 P.M. CST, then began to air nationally on PBS stations throughout the United States beginning in December 2013.

The pledge program, hosted by Clifton Davis will present historic footage of The Staple Singers, The Soul Stirrers and The Caravans and others.  “I love gospel music,” Davis says of his decision to host the program. “I love historic gospel music. Every time we review this on television, a new generation has a chance to be introduced to something that inspired us back then.”

March On – Mahalia, Martin and the Civil Rights Movement

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s iconic I Have a Dream speech, GOSPELflava remembers the impact of Mahalia Jackson and Gospel Music in the civil rights movement. (more…)

EMI Gospel Celebrates 20 Years of Donald Lawrence and The Tri-City Singers

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Its hard to imagine that its been 20 years since Donald Lawrence and The Tri-City Singers burst onto the scene with A Songwriter’s Point of View.  The singing aggregation was  warmly received and set a standard endearing themselves as one of Gospel Music’s most beloved artists.

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We Remember James Cleveland

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Gospelflava remembers the King of Gospel, Reverend James Cleveland on what would have been his 81st birthday.  Reverend Cleveland was born on December 5, 1931 in Chicago surrounded by the major gospel influences of all time namely, Thomas Dorsey, the Father of Gospel Music, Roberta Martin, famed gospel composer and Mahalia Jackson. It would be Roberta Martin that a young Cleveland would pattern his playing style after.

Cleveland relocated to Detroit to take on minister of music duties for Reverend CL Franklin (father of Aretha Franklin) and the New Bethel Baptist Church and later the Prayer Tabernacle Church under Reverend Charles Craig Sr.  It was at Prayer Tabernacle that James would record with the Voices of Tabernacle his first hit, The Love of God.

Cleveland signed with Savoy Records and in 1962 began a successful pairing with Reverend Lawrence Roberts and the Angelic Choir of the First Baptist Church of Nutley, NJ.  These albums produced such hits as Christ Is the Answer, So Good, How Great Thou Art, My God Can Do Anything and Peace Be Still.  James would later go on to found the Cornerstone Church in Los Angeles, Ca and his famed Southern California Community Choir and his greatest contribution, the Gospel Music Workshop of America.

 

 

Mississippi Mass Choir, Mosie Burks and Chad Johnson

Monday, November 12th, 2012

In 1988, Frank Williams, member of the Jackson Southernaires and executive for Malaco Records set out to form a choir using Mississippi singers and musicians.  The auditions resulted in over 100 singers coming from across the state and after hours of intensive rehearsals, The Mississippi Mass Choir recorded their first album and video on October 29, 1988.  The project hit #1 on the Billboard charts within 5 weeks of its release  in 1989 and rode the charts for 45 weeks, garnering the choir top honors at GMWA and the Stellar Awards as well as Soul Train and Dove Award nominations.  (more…)

A Thursday Take Me Back With Byron Cage and Derrick Brinkley

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

In 1986, (unofficial Commissioned member) Derrick Brinkley recorded a solo album for Tyscot Records.  The Grammy nominated Glorious Day LP was an extension of the Commissioned ministry with Mike Brooks, Fred Hammond and Mike Williams playing and Karl Reid and Keith Staten doing background vocalsThe album  included a number of radio hits including The Race, the title cut and a fan favorite Say Yes penned by Darryl Ford.

Fast forward to 2009 when Byron Cage (a Detroit native) gets the idea to “blow the dust off” and do a cover of Simply Yes on his Faithful To Believe CD. The song got a new “Sunday Church Suit and Bowtie” with a churchy organ intro and reworked to “make you sit up and take notice” choir arrangement. You knew it was church when the shout breaks out at the end.

 

Now with all this Say Yes going around, you know we would be remiss if we left out the quintessential GOD WANTS A YES, courtesy of James Hall and WAP

 

Tuesday Throwback: Please Touch Somebody – Rev. Clay Evans and the Fellowship Baptist Church Choir of Chicago

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

 

 

It should be duly noted that this author is a firm believer that nothing beats an original.  Let the record reflect there are some exceptions.  Rubenstein McClure and The J.C. White singers introduced us to Lord Touch Somebody via their 1977 release Reflections of Divine Love in 1976.  THEN THERE WAS REVEREND CLAY EVANS AND THE FELLOWSHIP BAPTIST CHURCH CHOIR of CHICAGO.   In a few words, it was joy to partake in their musical expression via their weekly What a Fellowship Hour telecast and broadcast. With Karen Hull on lead, Royal Mickey Warren on the organ, Reginald McCracken directing and the majestic glory of the 200 voice choir this was the essence of Sunday night church service; the results of which can be heard in this recording.