Individually, Lisa Wright and Theresa Bailey have enough credits to set up shop as a writing machines anywhere on the planet. It was their coming together, however that set them on a new path. Lisa was fully involved in the process and making plans to record a solo project. At the behest of her producer, she met with 2012 GMA Immerse Female Songwriter of the Year winner Theresa Bailey to come up with some new material. Upon hearing the musical collaboration, Lisa’s producer was blown away. The end results gave credence to the undeniable fact that the sovereign God had orchestrated this meeting and set these two minstrels on a divine path. AsOne was born.
Now knowing God was in the plans, Lisa and Theresa fully accepted the call and mandate to be shining examples of the message of reconciliation through the power of Jesus Christ. “You have to come to the conclusion that you can do nothing in and of yourself”, states Lisa. “We are here and we are open and ready to be used by God as an interracial duo to impact and bless the nations.” Their sights are set on tearing down boundaries and racial divides to minister the love of God to a hurting world. Fueled by the April release of their ever popular praise anthem and radio single Hero, their 8 song self titled disc produced by Paul Wright hits stores on Tuesday, June 23rd. The CD presents a diverse musical offering drawing from both ladies musical experiences and influences. In addition to Hero, the listener is treated to stellar work from the ladies alongside Lamar Campbell’s Spirit of Praise Choir, Take 6’s Mark Kibble and rapper Da TRUTH.
The second annual Chicago Gospel Music Awards will present lifetime achievement awards to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Mavis Staples, Gospel luminaries Rev. Maceo Woods and Apostle Richard D. Henton in addition to honoring Chicago Gospel singers, songwriters and musicians in eleven categories on Friday, June 19th.
Performances will come from Bishop Larry Trotter and the Sweet Holy Spirit Combined Choirs, Stellar Award winner Tiff Joy, Paul Porter, Chicago Mass Choir and a special performance by the Thompson Community Singers Reunion Choir with special presentations from BET host Dr. Bobby Jones, Bebe Winans and Maurette Brown Clark.
Fountain of Life Records recording artist Ashford Sanders will delight audiences as he hits the stage in the inspirational drama Lord, Why Can’t I Do Right written by Richard Torrence. The Sunday Best Season 5 fan favorite can’t wait to take the stage. “I’m good in the sense that all you have to do is give me a place to sing, but NOW I get a stage, lights, and a band??? You need to watch out and then pray when the music starts I’m able to stay in character. Real talk, we are REALLY going to have a great time.” The play will also feature the comedic stylings of Shelly Garrett (Beauty Shop), comedian Don DC Curry and Dee Dee Simon.
Catch the play in the following cities
June 25th – Clarksdale Civic Center, Clarksdale, Ms
June 26th – Perot Theater, Texarkana, Tx
June 27th – Strand Theater, Shreveport, La
June 28th – Statehouse Convention Center, Little Rock, Arkansas
You cannot mention Chicago Gospel without a mention of the Godfather of Gospel Preaching, the Rev. Clay Evans. For some 5 decades, the What A Fellowship Hour reached thousands of home weekly via radio and television and featured the preaching of Evans and the melodic sounds of the 200 voice Fellowship Baptist Church Choir. We were on hand for his 85th birthday (check out the photos here), and this weekend everyone is all excited as friends from across the country gather to celebrate the 90th.
Producer/Singer/Songwriter and Fountain of Life Records CEO Pharis Evans Jr. (who features his famous uncle on his new single All My Help) shared these sentiments, “Reverend Clay Evans is a religious icon”, says master producer/songwriter and Fountain of Life Records CEO (and nephew) Pharis Evans, Jr. “He is an inspiration to so many. A man of great wisdom, candor and great humor, he motivates us to keep moving and trust God with everything. At 90, he can go into any church, anywhere on the planet on any given Sunday and simply say, “My, My, My” or “Can I get a witness” and the church will go in. ”
Fountain of Life is preparing for the reissue of some early recordings of Rev. Evans and the choir as well as a previously unreleased track. In the meantime, catch the spirit of Fellowship in the following throwback clip.
The blessings keep flowing on Tamela Mann. This Place, the current single from her Best Days CD takes its place and marks the third consecutive number 1 single on the Billboard Gospel Radio chart. Her fist single, Take Me to the King, penned by Kirk Franklin held on to the top spot on the Gospel radio chart for 24 weeks easily earning gold certification from the RIAA and is well on its way to platinum status. The second single, I Can Only Imagine spent 13 weeks at #1 and also received an RIAA gold certification.
Gospel music fans can’t get enough of Marquis Boone Enterprises latest signee Briana Babineaux. The internet sensation’s debut single I’ll Be The One was released on June 9th and made its way to #5 on the iTunes Christian/Gospel Top Songs.
“All of this is very exciting and unexpected,” said the 20 year old University of Louisiana college student. “None of this was planned. A friend of mine put a tape of me singing a song on You Tube and then all of these incredible things began to happen and I’m humbled by all of them.”
Be sure to catch Briana on the upcoming season of Bobby Jones Gospel airing this fall.
You Shall Live, the 10th solo album from Marvin Sapp made its debut atop the Billboard Gospel Charts this week. This marks the fourth #1 album debut for the two dozen Stellar Award winner. “I am humbled that so many people still believe in the practical musical message that my team and I have shared over the years……………….Words can’t express the appreciation that I feel, ‘ Sapp noted.
International recording artist Micah Stampley is set to record a live EP/DVD recording on June 26, 2015 in Dallas, Georgia at Oasis Family Life Church.
Billed to be an evening of worship, Stampley will introduce new worship anthems penned by he and his co-writer wife Heidi, as well as others. He will also revamp some of his most well-known songs from his previous five recordings. A multi-camera DVD shoot will be directed by award winning director and actress Kim Fields of Facts of Life and Living Single fame. This will be the initial phase of several projects that the “Holiness” singer and his wife are producing.
Music City showed itself hospitable hosting the live recording of Same Seed’s Jesse White on Sunday, June 7th at the Temple Church. The guest list included a number of Gospel personalities including Dr. Bobby Jones, San Franklin Jackson and Nashville Super Choir’s Dr. Everett Drake along with the Gospel executive branch being represented by Roderick Jemison and Tammy Taylor. Demetrus Alexander Stewart served as the host for the night’s festivities and admonished the attendees to prepare themselves for a night of anointed music and powerful praise.
The heavens opened as Benita Washington led the people into worship and Jesse took the floor backed by Pastor Victor Wynn and the Temple Church Praise Choir. The music of the disc gives a wide array of Gospel sounds including an impassioned pipe organ solo from Nathan Burbank on Come Thou Fount. Another of the evening’s highlights came as Jesse was joined by his twin Jeffrey at the mic to the glow of adoration from their parents listened intently and taking the moment in. Look for the album release in the 4th quarter of the year.
Many are familiar with Jonathan Dunn as pastor and worship leader, but most know the Cincinnati native via the prolific songs he has written for his own projects and those for Byron Cage, Amber Bullock, Tamela Mann and Marvin Sapp. On June 9th, the world awaits to hear the release of Keep My Mind. The new EP features more of the distinctly anointed and life changing music that has flowed from his pen including a re release of Oil from his 2004 Another Level CD.