Breaking News

Troy Ramey, Popular Quartet Lead Singer, Passes Away

By Bob Marovich The Journal of Gospel Music learned that Troy Ramey, longtime lead singer for the Soul Searchers of Atlanta, Georgia, has passed away. More details will be forthcoming as they are made available. Formerly a house painter, Troy Ramey was first lead for the Soul Searchers since the early 1960s, when they would appear at Bro. Esmond Patterson’s WAOK Gospel Caravan programs. The group first recorded for the local Atlanta label Ziontone and later signed with Musicor, where their 1972 hit, “Great Change,” put the quartet on the national map. By 1976, the group was recording albums and singles for ...

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Long-Awaited Aretha Franklin “Amazing Grace” Documentary Makes World Debut at 2018 DOC NYC

NEW YORK, NY, November 5, 2018 – Amazing Grace, a long-awaited documentary featuring Aretha Franklin’s signature performances at New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, will make its world debut at the 2018 DOC NYC, America’s largest documentary film festival. It was announced today that the film will be presented Monday, November 12th at 6:45 pm and 9:00 pm at the SVA Theatre on 333 West 23rd St, NY, NY. Tickets are available at Docnyc.net. The live performances, ranked among Ms. Franklin’s finest, were originally recorded and filmed during a church service in Watts on January 13 and 14, ...

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Congratulations to the 49th Annual GMA Dove Awardees

The Journal of Gospel Music congratulates all of the 49th Annual GMA Dove Awards nominees and winners! Special congratulations to awardees who have been featured on JGM: Southern Gospel Artist of the Year: Gaither Vocal Band Gospel Artist of the Year: Tasha Cobbs Leonard Contemporary Gospel/Urban Recorded Song of the Year: “Won’t He Do It” – Koryn Hawthorne and Roshon Fegan, (writers) Loren Hill, Makeba Riddick, Rich Shelton Traditional Gospel Recorded Song of the Year: “Close” – Marvin Sapp, (writers) Aaron Lindsey, Marvin Sapp, Solomon Edwards Jr. Urban Worship Recorded Song of the Year: “You Waited” – Travis Greene, (writer) Travis Greene ...

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Joel Smith Homegoing Services Posted

By Bob Marovich As many readers already know, gospel drummer, bass player, bandleader and producer Joel Smith passed away on September 8 at age 58. Smith cut his teeth on gospel music by accompanying his uncles Edwin and Walter Hawkins. In 1977, at age thirteen, he played drums on Edwin’s Wonderful album. That was only the first; Smith would participate on many other Edwin Hawkins albums, including the classic Christmas album for Birthright. He participated in Walter’s historic Love Alive series and accompanied Tramaine Hawkins on bass and drums for her solo recordings. Smith also played bass guitar on Kurt ...

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Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul and Gospel Singer

By Bob Marovich Aretha Franklin, the multi-GRAMMY Award-winning “Queen of Soul,” went on home to be with the Lord today at age 76 after a struggle with pancreatic cancer. Born in Memphis but a longtime Detroit resident, Franklin was an accomplished gospel vocalist before and during her professional music career. In her early teens, she delighted the congregation of her father Reverend C.L. Franklin’s New Bethel Baptist Church with solo renditions of “Never Grow Old,” “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood,” and other gospel songs and hymns. Listeners heard a huge, expressive voice well ...

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GMA Announces Nominees for 49th Annual GMA Dove Awards, October 16 in Nashville

THE 49TH ANNUAL GMA DOVE AWARDS NOMINEES ANNOUNCED TODAY WITH TAUREN WELLS LEADING ARTIST NOMINATIONS WITH SEVEN AND ZACH WILLIAMS WITH SIX CORY ASBURY, TASHA COBBS LEONARD AND TOBYMAC HONORED WITH FIVE NODS EACH Awards to be held live Tuesday, October 16, at Lipscomb University and will air on TBN on Sunday, October 21 NASHVILLE, Tenn. (August 8, 2018) – The Gospel Music Association (GMA) announced today the nominees for the 49th Annual GMA Dove Awards, revealed exclusively on Facebook Live with the help of Travis Greene and Francesca Battistelli. The awards show will take place on Tuesday, October 16, ...

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RIP: Lavelle Lacy, Gospel Musician and Songwriter

JGM learned the sad news that Chicagoan and longtime gospel musician Lavelle Lacy has gone from labor to reward. The number of gospel artists he accompanied is numerous, and includes Inez Andrews, Rev. Maceo Woods and the Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir, Rev. Ernest Franklin, and the Starlight St. James Choir.  Lacy was part of a coterie of top-notch gospel musicians in Chicago who give your music special oomph. He also wrote songs for the likes of the Chicago Mass Choir, Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer Warriors, and Ricky Dillard and New G. Lacy was a featured keyboardist on the 2016 release of Lift Me Up: ...

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RIP: Stan Lewis, Record Company Owner

Stanley “Stan” Lewis, owner of Jewel Records, passed away July 14, 2018, at the age of 91. In 1948, he and his wife Pauline opened Stan’s Record Shop in Shreveport, Louisiana. One of their customers was a young Elvis Presley. From there, the Lewis’s built their enterprise into a mail order company, a distributor, and founded Jewel, Paula, and Ronn labels. Their labels featured a potpourri of American roots music, including blues, R&B, country, gospel, rock, and soul. More on Lewis’s life and many contributions to the record industry can be found in the obituary here: Stan Lewis. We at JGM ...

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Malcolm Williams & Great Faith, Jonathan J. Wimbush, Todd Curry Among Top Honorees at 10th Rhythm of Gospel Awards

By Bob Marovich Chicago’s Malcolm Williams & Great Faith walked off with no less than four honors, including Contemporary Choir of the Year and the coveted Rhythm of Gospel CD of the Year, during the 10th annual Rhythm of Gospel Awards this past week. Held in “Yeah That Greenville,” South Carolina, from June 20 to 24, the Rhythm of Gospel Awards celebrated its tenth anniversary with music showcases, awards ceremonies, banquets, and pageants. Other top honorees at the ceremonies included the remarkable holy hip hop artist Jonathan J. Wimbush with three awards; Ms. C. Ashley Brown-Lawrence, who picked up Contemporary Song ...

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RIP: Clarence Fountain, Last Original Member of the Blind Boys of Alabama

By Bob Marovich Clarence Fountain, the longtime lead singer and an original member of the Grammy Award-winning Blind Boys of Alabama, passed away this morning. He was the last of the original members of the group that was organized in 1944. Six sightless pupils, including Clarence Fountain, left the Alabama Institute for the Negro Deaf and Blind in Talladega, Alabama, in 1945 to pursue a career as a professional gospel group. Initially known as the Happy Land Singers, the group was among the early quartets to incorporate hard-singing gospel techniques into their rhythmic harmonizing. The bio from the National Endowment of ...

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