The 2016 Thomas A. Dorsey Birthplace Festival encompasses 2 full days of music in the city that welcomed the birth of the Father of Gospel Music. Thomas A. Dorsey was born on July 1, 1899 in Villa Rica, Georgia. He developed a reputation as a Blues songwriter and pianist working with Ma Rainey and others before making a vow to serve the Lord with his gifts and talents. Professor Dorsey would merge the secular with the sacred and call it Gospel music. Composing over 400 compositions, he would see his works recorded by Elvis Presley (Peace In The Valley) and serve as the anchor of the civil rights movement. His most recognized composition, Precious Lord, Take My Hand, popularized by Mahalia Jackson was a favorite of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I’ve been around Gospel music all of my life”, says Villa Rica Mayor Shirley Marchman. I grew up in Villa Rica, attending the church that Dr. Dorsey and his family attended, the Mount Prospect Baptist Church and Gospel Music has played a tremendous part in my life, as it has touched many people across the country and the world. We are proud of the efforts of Professor Dorsey and grateful that we can do our part to make sure that his legacy lives on so that others may enjoy the fruit of his labor.”
The 2 day festival features Blues, Jazz and Gospel music with performances from Eric Ayers and the Thomas A. Dorsey Birthplace Gospel Choir, Gospel music sensation and Stellar Award winners Lisa Knowles and the Brown Singers, Minister Eddie Robinson and others. The festival is free and open to the public.
GOSPELflava joins others across the country wishing a Happy 91st birthday to the Gospel music legend and iconic pastor, preacher civil rights leader and humanitarian, the founding pastor of Chicago’s Fellowship Baptist Church, the one and only Reverend Clay Evans.
It wouldn’t be enough to just mention Rev. Evans without hearing him sing a hymn of the church as only he can:
Yolanda Adams and Kirk Franklin will be on hand to pay homage to the reigning Queen of Gospel , Pastor Shirley Caesar as she is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on June 28th by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
“We are proud to welcome the Reigning Queen of Gospel Shirley Caesar to our famous Walk of Fame. She is known as a musical trailblazer who has influenced a wide range of artists across genres. Her career has made an indelible mark on American music and the sounds of gospel,” stated Leron Gubler, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce President and CEO.
Pastor Caesar joins only 3 other Gospel legends Mahalia Jackson, Reverend James Cleveland and Pastor Andrae Crouch with the with the 2,583rd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame .
Fred Hammond took to social media to introduce Father Jesus Spirit, the new single from his forthcoming album Worship Journal Live. The new disc, the follow up to his 2014 hit CD I Will Trust was recorded last month in front of a standing room only crowd, marking Hammond’s first live recording in 17 years. Worship Journal Live hits stores and digital outlets on September 30th.
Hammond will introduce the music of the new album to audiences as he brings his ever popular Festival of Praise Tour to some 40 + cities across the US starting with the inaugural stop being October 5th in Las Vegas, Nevada. Joining him on the tour this year is Hezekiah Walker, Israel Houghton, Regina Belle, Karen Clark Sheard, Casey J, and comedian Earthquake.
The sheer power of GOSPEL music is felt through the song Necessary, recorded by Charlotte, NC based Dennis Reed and GAP some nearly 10 years ago. The song had a resurgence thanks to Fantasia posting a video in rehearsal performing the song with members of the group. Fortified by the video that has had over 10 million views and performances during her concert stops, Necessary has made its way from #11 into the top spot on the Digital Download Gospel Songs chart, selling some over 3,000 + downloads.
Just in case you’ve been out of the country and on an internet fast, here’s a lyric video for Necessary
Father’s Day 2016 will go down in history as the First Baptist Church of Glenarden, (the church home of Stephen Hurd and Anthony Brown) hosted a Father’s Day Concert that touted the reunion of Men of Standard after a 7 year hiatus. It was indeed a great moment as Lowell Pye, Isaac Carree and Bryan Pierce took to the stage to take us down memory lane. The icing on the cake was the addition of Zacardi Cortez (you can only imagine the utter pandemonium, right?!?!?!?!)
The gentlemen quickly but effectively ran through a number of their hits including the Winans’ Trust In God, Yet Will I Trust In Him, Anointed Song, In Your Will, Latter Rain and I Made It. The songs had huge impact on the audience as the guys ministered messages of faith and inspiration in the music. We can only hope that this is the start of a tour and a possible CD in the works.
While we wait on the Men of Standard recording, you can prepare yourself as Bryan Pierce is set to record in August at Mount Zion in Greensboro, NC.
The Godfather of Gospel Music, the late Reverend Timothy Wright organized the Timothy Wright Concert Choir in 1976. For some 2 decades, the choir set a standard for “Sing on Sunday Morning Music” releasing chart topping hits that included Who’s on the Lord’s Side, Testify, Jesus Will, Let Us All Go Back and others.
Continuing to build upon the strong foundation laid by his father, Pastor David Wright will bring together the famed choir on the day after what would have been his Dad’s 69th birthday for a reunion and live recording on Saturday, June 18th at the Christ Fellowship Church in Brooklyn, New York.