Posts Tagged ‘mahalia jackson’

Lisa Knowles and The Brown Singers Headline Festival Honoring Thomas A Dorsey

Friday, June 24th, 2016

Thomas Dorsey ProjectThe 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 Lisa KnowlesRica, 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.

Pastor Shirley Caesar Honored In Hollywood

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Lady ShirleyMultiple Grammy winner Pastor Shirley Caesar was recently announced as a 2016 recipient of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  She is the 4th Gospel artist to receive the prestigious honor.   Eone VP/GM Phil Thorton shared these sentiments: “Entertainment One Music congratulates Pastor Shirley Caesar on this monumental achievement as an honoree on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for 2016! What a great blessing to be selected for this honor. Pastor Caesar’s incomparable style, personality and lifelong dedication to ministry have continued to impact and influence so many fans around the world, and we are thrilled to celebrate her upcoming 50-year anniversary and deliver new music to come.”

Bob Marovich Chronicles Chicago Gospel Roots In New Book

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Noted historian and host of Gospel Memories shines a bright light on the celebrated history of Gospel Music and its origins in the Gospel Music Capital of the City Called Heavenworld, Chicago, Illinois.  In the early days of Gospel Music, Chicago was the home to Thomas Dorsey, Sallie Martin, Roberta Martin, Mahalia Jackson, James Cleveland, Albertina Walker, Pops Staples and Sam Cooke.
“The challenge in writing A CITY CALLED HEAVEN was to tell as much of the Chicago story as possible, give it the scholarly treatment it deserves, and at the same time make it a pleasure to read,” Marovich shares.  “I also hope the book stimulates readers to learn more about the topics and people I’ve covered, and inspires other cities to examine their own rich African American sacred music traditions.”

New Life For Mahalia Movie Project With Bill Duke

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

MahaliaPlans to bring the life story of Mahalia Jackson to the silver screen advanced with the announcement of Bill Duke signing on to direct the film.  The director of A Rage In Harlem and Sister Act 2:Back In the Habit shared his thoughts: “Getting her story to the screen has been a passion project of mine for many years. When she sings ‘How I Got Over,’ it helps us all to believe that we can get over, too.”

Gospel Music’s first megastar, Jackson traveled across the world rightfully earning her the distinction as the world’s greatest Gospel singer. Her close association with Dr. King led to her unforgettable music performance at the March on Washington in 1963 and her influence on music landed her a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Mahalia Jackson Story, written by Ruth Ratny, based on the book Just Mahalia Baby will be filmed in Chicago and feature the music of Mahalia including Move On Up A Little Higher and Thomas Dorsey’s Precious Lord, Take My Hand.

Thomas Dorsey Project Honors Father of Gospel Music

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

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 FaThomas Dorsey Projectther 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.

I’ll Take You There Tells Mavis Staples Story

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

TakeyouthereChicago Tribune music authority Greg Kot grants us insider access behind the music and into the lives of one of the premiere family groups in Gospel music as told through the lens and perspective of music icon Mavis Staples.    I’ll Take You There: Mavis Staples, The Staple Singers, and the March Up Freedom’s Highway tells the story of Roebuck Staples, his life in Mississippi and relocation to Chicago, the birth of his children and their use of singing as a daily family activity after Pops returned home from a long day of work.  Kot takes us on an open ended journey covering 60 years of music, beginning with Mavis’ recollections of their first performance as a group in their aunt’s church (where they had only prepared one song and sang it again as the encore) to their first recording session arranged by Evelyn Gay.  Pops bluesy guitar  coupled with their carefully woven harmonies would land them a deal with the Vee Jay label and take the group on to various travels on the Gospel highway as they are introduced to the music giants of the day including Sam Cooke, Lou Rawls,  Reverend CL Franklin and daughter Aretha,  Mahalia Jackson, Bob Dylan and many more.  Pops and the Staple Singers would befriend and have close relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and their music would instill messages of hope and ignite passion and kindle the fire of the civil rights movement.

I’ll Take You There lives up to its title, taking us through the life changes and adjustments as the group grew in popularity, through the Gospel music years, transitioning into message music and the catapult into the heyday of the Stax and Muscle Shoals jubilee. We get to experience Pervis’ coming of age and leaving the group to pursue other interests including the management of the Hutchinson Sunbeams (who would go on to great success as the Emotions),  Mavis’ marriage proposal from Bob Dylan and her collaborations with Prince and Wilco’s Jeff Tweety, Pops’ Grammy win and BeBe and CeCe Winans pay homage to the group with the cover of I’ll Take You There.  Reading I’ll Take You There will engender a greater appreciation for the Staples and their sizable contributions to music and society as a whole.

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…)

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.

 

 

Happy Birthday Mahalia Jackson

Friday, October 26th, 2012

She was by far one of the most influential gospel singers of all time.  Recording over 35 albums, she was the recipient of a number of gold records including one for her 1948 recording of Move On Up A Little Higher, which went on to sell over 8 million copies.  She was a humanitarian, a civil rights champion working closely with Dr. Martin Luther King and Gospel’s first Superstar.  The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences created the Gospel Music or Other Religious Recording category for Jackson making her the first Gospel Music Artist to win the prestigious Grammy Award.   Gospelflava.com remembers the life and legacy of Mahalia Jackson.

 

 

Yolanda Adams Covers Ebony Mag as Mahalia

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

In celebration of its 65th  Anniversary, Ebony Magazine reflected on twelve of its most iconic covers. Editors gathered their favorite entertainers to pose in present-day recreations for a stunning look back at the past. 

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