As Evangelist Dorothy Norwood releases her 52nd recording project on her DNMG label with distribution from Echopark/JDI, the disc receives a warm reception from gospel music fans and makes its debut at number 2 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums Chart. The CD also bows at number 57 on the Billboard Top 200. Journey surpasses her other top seller “Live featuring Northern California G.M.W.A. Mass Choir” which was #3 on the Gospel Albums chart in January 1992.
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Earnest Pugh draws people into the presence of the Lord on his new EP, Just Worship hitting retail and digital outlets September 2nd. Pugh is assisted by veteran producers Michael Bereal (Beverly Crawford, Norman Hutchins, and Judith Christie McAllister) and Grammy Award winner Cedric Thompson (Donald Lawrence, Stephanie Mills, Karen Clark-Sheard) in the creation of the disc that features music culled from the many worship experiences from Pugh’s live concerts.
A CD release celebration will be hosted by Pastor Keion Henderson and the Lighthouse Church family, where Earnest serves as Worship Pastor. Joining in the night of praise are Deric Lewis of Austin and Keith Williams and the Lighthouse Church Radical Praise Choir.
GOSPELflava got an opportunity to talk to Bryan Andrew Wilson about the release of his latest CD, The One Percent. Released in June, the disc made its debut at #18 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart fueled by the success of the lead single Turning Away. Wilson opened up about his beginnings, the people who have influenced his life and ministry and much more.
GOSPELflava: Take us back to the beginning and how this all started.
BAW: Growing up everything I knew was church. I grew up as a kid in the Church of God In Christ in Chicago, Illinois in the 5th Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction (for authenticity). You know typical church kids, we would go to church and then come home and have more church. I would be outside singing to the grass every day before I went to school and when I got home from school with the paper towel roll serving as my microphone and I would be singing and shouting on the side of my house. One day my neighbor said, you know somebody needs to put that boy on tv or do something with him, so a video tape was made of me at church. The neighbor’s daughter was attending Jackson State University and had become affiliated with the Mississippi Mass Choir. She presented the tape to Jerry Mannery, he heard the tape and loved it immediately, they invited me to come down and sing. I sang His Eye Is On the Sparrow, they tweaked it a little bit and we recorded it for the debut project of the Mississippi Children’s Choir and it took off from there and as they say the rest is history. I got into the Malaco family, continued travelling in the COGIC conventions and Holy Convocations. I got to know James Moore and he took me under his wing and mentored me and that’s how it all began. (more…)
Legendary Songwriter and Charlotte-area resident Melvin Crispell has passed away unexpectedly. It is believed that Crispell passed from complications connected to his diabetes, during a minor surgery.
Melvin Crispell was most widely known for his ground-breaking and prolific skill on a church organ. Gospel artists worldwide have taken to social media to express this enormous loss. Yolanda Adams remarked via twitter “Melvin Crispell is a legend whose music influenced choirs & musicians. His legacy will live on through the music God birthed through him.” And that music is ringing out today in celebration of the life and musical legacy. Songs like “Jesus Is My Help” recorded by Hezekiah Walker, and “Wonderful Is Your Name” recorded by Walker as well as Juanita Bynum. There are countless songs recorded by James Hall Worship & Praise, among them “Caught Up” and “He Took My Place”, from Crispell’s early days and life in New York.
BET Blogger Torrence Glenn paid tribute to the mastery and majesty of Crispell’s works here: RIP: Professor Melvin Crispell
What a banner year it has been for Tye Tribbett! The Motown Gospel artist took home a Grammy Award for Gospel Song of the Year and for Best Gospel Album. This was followed by high profile performances of his Billboard smash single “He Turned It” on UNCF’s ‘An Evening of Stars and Celebration of Gospel and an appearance on 106 & Park. Adding to this streak is Tribbett’s first nomination for Best Gospel Artist for the 2014 BET Awards.
Tribbett hosts his first mentorship clinic for aspiring singers and songwriters this weekend.
Thomas A. Dorsey III is leading efforts to preserve the history and legacy of his grandfather through the organization of the Thomas A Dorsey Project. Widely regarded as the Father of Gospel Music, Thomas Dorsey a noted blues musician who found God in the midst of personal tragedy combined elements of the blues with spiritual lyrics and personal life experiences to form Gospel music. Dorsey composed over three hundred songs, including Precious Lord, Take My Hand, a favorite of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr which was sung at his funeral by Mahalia Jackson and recorded by Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Aretha Franklin, Candi Staton, Al Green and others. Dorsey was featured in the documentary Say Amen Somebody with Mother Willie Mae Ford Smith, Sallie Martin, The Oneal Twins & The Barrett Sisters.
The Thomas Dorsey Project aims to increase awareness of Thomas A. Dorsey’s contributions to the rich tapestry of American culture and expose new generations of singers, songwriters, musicians and music lovers over the world to his works.
What a weekend it was for Zacardi Cortez. The soulful singer paid tribute to gospel legend Daryl Coley covering the Coley classic Jesus Saves at the annual BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Luncheon and then performed his latest hit “1 on 1” on the 29th annual Stellar Awards on Saturday evening. Cortez garnered praise from fans and fellow comrades in the Gospel community.
“Zacardi is the best singer in America today,” says Worldwide Music, Inc. CEO Kerry Douglas. “I have no doubt that he will be one of the biggest artists the gospel world has ever seen.” “1 on 1” is now #1 on this week’s Mediabase Gospel chart and remains at #2 for the sixth week on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart. Cortez’ forthcoming CD “Reloaded” will be released in March.
“Monday Night Live,” with noted pastor and teacher Paula White and “Gospel According to Dorinda” with Grammy Award winning singer and evangelist Dorinda Clark Cole are new shows being added to the programming lineup of the Word Network.
2013 has been a year of expansion for the Light Records recording artist and member of the legendary Clark Sisters. Cole’s Singers and Musicians Conference grew to include regional conferences in additional cities across the US. In related news, Cole’s syndicated radio program Serving Up Soul will be re-branded as the Dorinda Clark Cole Show beginning in January, 2014. Clark is currently in the studio working on music for her upcoming solo project.
“I am intentional about my music having a message that points to the goodness of God, and to His grace,” says Johnson – who will record by the name She’nice. “I’m beyond excited to be a part of the RCA Inspiration family.”
“Vocally, She’nice is amazing. She is a young girl with an old soul, so she brings a uniquely youthful dynamic to the genre,” says RCA Inspiration Head of A&R Stanley Brown. “I was first intrigued by She’nice when I saw her on TBN. She talked about having a love for hymns. I thought it was fascinating that a young woman had such a deep appreciation for Gospel music tradition. Putting her touch on that foundation will make She’nice stand out in the genre.”