Breaking News

Yvonne Staples of the Staple Singers Passes Away

By Bob Marovich Bill Carpenter, co-founder of Capital Entertainment in Washington, DC, and a longtime friend of and spokesperson for the Staples Family, informed JGM of the passing of Yvonne Staples. She died at her home in Chicago today, Tuesday, April 10, at age 80. Born in Chicago on October 23, 1937, Yvonne was initially a reluctant singer. She didn’t join her family’s group until some years after its founding. While not a lead singer, Yvonne’s baritone contributed greatly to the Staples’ distinctive harmonies. She is present for the Staple Singers’ late 1950s selections on Vee Jay Records, their songs of social significance for ...

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JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise Leaves 2018 Stellar Awards with Six Trophies, Travis Greene with Four

By Bob Marovich With six awards, JJ Hairston led the pack at the Stellar Awards ceremonies in Las Vegas this past weekend (March 23-24). Singer-songwriter Travis Greene took home four honors, including Artist of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year. Hairston and his Youthful Praise choir took home CD of the Year for You Deserve It, while the title track won Song of the Year. The ensemble also won Choir of the Year and Contemporary Choir of the Year. Tasha Cobbs Leonard took home three Stellars, including Albertina Walker Female Vocalist of the Year and Contemporary CD of the Year ...

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Kurt Carr Looking to Add Two Millennials to His Kurt Carr Singers

Houston, TX – Grammy Award winning recording artist Kurt Carr is looking to add two new voices to his acclaimed Kurt Carr Singers. In preparation of his forthcoming album, Bless Somebody Else, Carr is looking to bless two aspiring artists looking for an opportunity in Gospel Music by having them join his collective of singers. “It’s been said that millennials don’t go to church and have drifted from God, but I don’t believe that is true. So, I have decided to search for two exceptionally-gifted millennial singers who have a serious desire to worship God in song,” said Carr. The ...

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RIP: Ann Yancy, Chicago Gospel Music Pioneer

By Bob Marovich Dennis Cole of the Chicago Alliance informed the Journal of Gospel Music that Ann Yancy passed away March 12, 2018, at the age of 87. Affectionately known as “Mama,” Ann Yancy was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on October 29, 1930. After moving to Chicago, she became a member of Greater Harvest Missionary Baptist Church when it was pastored by the Reverend Louis Boddie. She sang in the Sylvia Boddie Gospel Singers and traveled and sang with such Chicago gospel pioneers as R.L. Knowles, the Robert Anderson Singers, Willie Webb, and the Roberta Martin Singers. Ann met her husband, ...

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RIP: Clay Graham of the Pilgrim Jubilees

By Bob Marovich The Journal of Gospel Music learned that Mr. Clay Graham of the legendary gospel quartet the Pilgrim Jubilees has passed away. One of thirteen children born to Columbus and Josephine Chandler Graham, Clay Graham was born August 26, 1936. He would go on to fame as lead singer and sermonette spinner for the Pilgrim Jubilee Singers. Formed in 1944 in Houston, Mississippi, the Pilgrim Jubilee Singers (later shortened to the Pilgrim Jubilees, or the “Jubes”) began as a family quartet consisting of brothers Theophilus “Hoppy” Graham and Elgie C. B. Graham, cousin Monroe Hatchett and cousins-in-law Willis ...

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GMA Announces Hall of Fame Inductees and Honor Recipients

GMA FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES AND HONORS RECIPIENTS FOR 5TH ANNUAL GMA HONORS AND HALL OF FAME CEREMONY Ceremony will take place Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena NASHVILLE, Tenn. (February 16, 2018) – The GMA (Gospel Music Association) Foundation announced its inductees and honorees for the 5th Annual GMA Honors and Hall of Fame Ceremony set for Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena. This year’s GMA Hall of Fame inductees include CCM artist Carman, award-winning Southern Gospel artist Karen Peck Gooch, legendary Gospel family group The Staple Singers and acclaimed producer ...

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RIP: Dr. James C. McLean of the Bethlehem Gospel Singers

Angelo Breeden and Archie Swindell Jr. informed JGM that Dr. James C. McLean, a founding member of the Bethlehem Gospel Singers, passed away in a Charlotte, North Carolina, hospital yesterday evening, February 5, 2018. Hailing from Laurinburg, North Carolina, the Bethlehem Gospel Singers were organized in the late 1950s by Dr. McLean and Archie Swindell Sr. The group enjoyed recording success on Hoyt Sullivan’s HSE label starting in 1969, making noise in 1972 with their two-part “My Bible is Right.” Listen to the track below and please keep Dr. McLean’s family, friends, and fans in prayer.

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RIP, Ronald Greer; Wrote Book on Roberta Martin Singers

By Bob Marovich JGM is saddened to report the passing of Mr. Ronald Greer of Bay City, Texas. He passed away in his sleep sometime last night or early this morning. Ron was the number one fan of the Roberta Martin Singers. Over the years, he kept in touch with the Martin Singers’ manager, Eugene Smith. Before Eugene passed, he shared with Ron many stories about the Roberta Martin Singers. Many went into Ron’s book, Only a Look, a history and appreciation of the pioneering gospel group. Subsequent to the publication of Only a Look, Ron helped secure a place for the Roberta ...

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CeCe Winans Wins Big at Grammy Awards

Congratulations to the winners in the 60th Grammy Awards Gospel and Christian categories: Best Gospel Performance/Song: “Never Have to Be Alone” — CeCe Winans; Dwan Hill & Alvin Love III, songwriters Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song: “What a Beautiful Name” — Hillsong Worship; Ben Fielding & Brooke Ligertwood, songwriters Best Gospel Album: Let Them Fall in Love — CeCe Winans Best Contemporary Christian Music Album: Chain Breaker — Zach Williams Best Roots Gospel Album: Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope — Reba McEntire

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Edwin Hawkins’ “Oh Happy Day” Back on Billboard Charts, Hits #1

From a press release: A week after the death of four-time Grammy® Award-winning recording artist, Edwin Hawkins, The Edwin Hawkins Singers’ 1969 million-seller, “Oh Happy Day,” has charted at #1 on Billboard Magazine’s Gospel Digital Song Sales chart for the issue week ending January 27, 2018. The classic song had a 999% sales increase following worldwide news coverage of the celebrated artist’s passing from cancer last week and it also amassed over 173,000 streams during the same period. In recent months, Hawkins and his management team had begun to plan activities surrounding the 50th anniversary of “Oh Happy Day” which was ...

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