Author Archives: Bob Marovich

The Robert Broussard Story

Partly based on telephone interviews with Robert Broussard in 2005 By Opal Louis Nations Robert Broussard is sadly one of the unheralded baritone shout leads from gospel quartet’s Golden Age. He led the jubilee-rooted Ever Ready Gospel Singers of Shreveport in 1953-1954, then switched to Nashville’s famous Skylarks Quartet near the close of 1954. He denies ever recording with the Skylarks after 1957 despite the fact that Hayes & Laughton in their Gospel Records 1943-1969 discography have him down as a member in the group on the November 15th, 1962, August 4th, 1965, and January 1967 Nashboro studio dates, and ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: August 30, 2021

“UWait2021” Walter Barnes Jr. & Men of Ministry From the Barnyard Records CD Nothing Shall Separate (release date: May 28, 2021) www.BarnYardRecordsllc.com/ By Robert M. Marovich What immediately struck me about “UWait2021” was not its bouncy tempo, its spirited vamp, or its earnest message of encouragement—all important—but the fact that Walter Barnes Jr. & Men of Ministry has that rarest of rarities: a bass singer. Said bass singer adds a nice touch, too. Bring bass singers back to quartet! The song was originally released as “U Wait” on the quartet’s self-titled 2008 album. Naturally, since things do not seem to ...

Read More »

RIP Lee Williams of the Spiritual QCs

The Journal of Gospel Music was saddened to learn of the passing of Lee Williams, quartet legend and leader of the Spiritual QCs. Below is a brief bio of Williams and the group that I wrote back in 2019: Born July 28, 1946, and raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, Lee Williams began singing gospel at the tender age of seven. He was encouraged to do so by his uncle, Mitchell Thornton, who was part of a quartet called the Gospel Stars. Soon, Lee and his three brothers were performing as the Gospel Stars Juniors. Thornton formed another quartet called the Spiritual ...

Read More »

Pastor David Wright & NY Fellowship Mass Choir – Miracles

Pastor David Wright & NY Fellowship Mass Choir Miracles Godfather Records (release date: July 15, 2021) www.gracetabernacle.info By Robert M. Marovich For fans of contemporary gospel choirs, and especially for those who wonder where the choir went (it hasn’t gone anywhere) Pastor David Wright & NY Fellowship Mass Choir’s new release, Miracles, will delight. Although the audience is mostly inaudible, Miracles was recorded live in Brooklyn’s Christ Fellowship Baptist Church. The husky-voiced Wright, son of the late Reverend Timothy and Betty Wright, has loaded his new album with feature vocalists. For example, the opener, “Justified,” written and led by David ...

Read More »

Imari Tones – Nabeshima

Imari Tones Nabeshima Sliptrick Records (release date: July 6, 2021) www.imaritones.net By Robert M. Marovich “Japanese Traditional Christian Metal” are four words you rarely see joined together, unless you know about the Imari Tones. Nabeshima is the trio’s latest release, a two-CD set of songs in Japanese and English that combine Japanese Samurai and Christian imagery and beliefs. This trio (two men and one woman) doesn’t fool around. They rock relentlessly. Lead singer Tone wails, shouts, and evangelizes in a high-pitched tenor voice. Snarling guitars, thumping bass, and pounding drums ricochet off the walls, and for Nabeshima, that means for ...

Read More »

RIP Gospel Radio Icon Connie Denell Cato-Dickerson, 65

Nashville, TN — Legendary Stellar Award and NAACP Award-winning radio announcer Connie Denell Cato-Dickerson was the pride of Nashville. The daughter of radio legend Evelyn Cato, the first black female disc-jockey in the Southeast, Denell started as a sports reporter for her school newspaper while attending Riverside High School in Chattanooga, TN. She worked for two local Chattanooga radio stations, WNOO AM and WNTP, hosting the Quiet Storm shows before attending the famed Morris-Brown College, a historically black college in Atlanta, GA. Denell went on to attend Georgia State University and worked at the local Atlanta radio station WAOK FM ...

Read More »

Ray Bady Named New Pastor of Valley Kingdom Ministries

From a press release: Apostle H. Daniel Wilson, Pastor of Valley Kingdom Ministries International (VKMI) in Chicago, and founder of the platinum-selling group, Shekinah Glory Ministry, has launched a year-long transition that will welcome Ray Bady as the 5,000-member church’s new leader in 2022. “I am not retiring,” says Apostle Wilson, who has been the church’s pastor for 37 years. “So many only see two paths for pastors, either dying or retiring. Neither of these are on my radar just now. I will not take these gifts of God to the grave. This is not my end. I’m just getting ...

Read More »

“Better” – Pastor Skylar Patterson & Predestined (feat. Minister Lisa Knowles Smith)

“Better”Pastor Skylar Patterson & PredestinedFeat. Minister Lisa Knowles SmithFrom the CD Testify (release date: September 25, 2020) By Robert M. Marovich Although the group’s name suggests a male-led small choir that sings contemporary gospel, Pastor Skylar Patterson & Predestined is a quartet with meaty old-school harmonies and a wicked kick drum anchoring the rhythm section. Their single, “Better,” came out last fall but is still, and probably always will be, relevant. Its message of hope and encouragement in the face of trials is amped up by featured vocalist and force of nature Lisa Knowles Smith. Not only does Smith help ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week August 23, 2021

“Redeemed” Denita Gibbs IndieBlu / eOne Music (release date: June 25, 2021) www.denitagibbs.com By Robert M. Marovich Denita Gibbs of Birmingham, Alabama (now living in Nashville), is an excellent gospel artist who has not gotten an even break since her 2013 project, the five-star Without You (Audiostate 55 Entertainment). For “Redeemed,” a jumping celebration of salvation, Gibbs employs the talented producer Sean D. Scales, who injects the arrangement with gallons of urban AC swagger. Perhaps this selection will not only express her joy at redemption but be redemptive for her career. She certainly deserves it. This woman can sing!

Read More »

JGM Founder inducted into Gospel Industry Network Hall of Fame

By Robert M. Marovich I was inducted into the Gospel Industry Network’s Hall of Fame last night along with such leading lights as Willie Rogers (Soul Stirrers), Jeral Gray (Chicago Mass Choir), and Dr. Joyce Logan (Gospel International). The program was part of the G.I.N.’s first-ever convention, which took place at Christ Unity Evangelistic Church on Chicago’s South Side. Some photos from the evening program: It was a great honor to be selected in this first class of honorees. I always say, nobody ever has to be nice to you, but it’s so nice to be nice. Thank you to ...

Read More »