Breaking News

Hillsong UNITED Earns Five Dove Awards

By Bob Marovich Hillsong UNITED was a big winner at the 45th Annual Dove Awards, held in Nashville, Tennessee, yesterday evening. The group took home Artist of the Year and its song, “Oceans (Where Feet May Fall),” scored four Dove Awards, including Song of the Year and Worship Song of the Year. Tamela Mann took home the Gospel Performance of the Year for her cover of MercyMe’s “I Can Only Imagine.” Hezekiah Walker scored Contemporary Gospel/Urban Song of the year for “Every Praise,” and Tye Tribbett’s Greater Than received Contemporary Gospel/Urban Album of the Year. Erica Campbell’s “A Little More Jesus” was ...

Read More »

Coming April 2015: A City Called Heaven: Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music

Journal of Gospel Music Editor-in-Chief Bob Marovich has written the definitive history of gospel music from Chicago, the genre’s birthplace.  Available from the University of Illinois Press starting in April 2015. Read more here: UI Press | Robert Marovich | A City Called Heaven: Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music.

Read More »

R.I.P. Gospel Quartet Singer Charles Johnson

Rev. Joe Williams informed the Journal of Gospel Music yesterday of the passing of Charles Johnson. Johnson was a gospel quartet singer and recording artist who worked with the Sensational Nightingales and Gospel Consolators, and fronted his own group, Charles Johnson & the Revivers. Johnson died of a massive heart attack in Durham, North Carolina. Read more at Gospel Music Fever by clicking here.

Read More »

Nash Shaffer Jr., Organist, Gospel Announcer, Historian, Passes

JGM received word today from the Chicago Area Gospel Announcers Guild that Bro. Nash Shaffer Jr. passed away after an extended illness. Shaffer’s “Sunday Morning Golden Gospel” radio program was a staple of the Chicago airwaves for many years. His love for, and knowledge of, classic gospel music was limitless. He grew up around the greats and accompanied many of them on organ, sometimes at a moment’s notice. He appeared on the “Jubilee Showcase” television program numerous times and was featured on In The Right Hands (The Sirens Records), along with fellow keyboard wizards Geraldine Gay Hambric and Jessy Dixon. ...

Read More »

Lecrae’s Billboard 200 Success No “Anomaly”

By Bob Marovich, Editor-in-Chief Christian rapper Lecrae has done what, to my knowledge, no gospel artist has ever accomplished: hit number one on the Billboard 200 – the list of the biggest-selling albums of the day. This would be a noteworthy achievement at any time, but it is particularly striking today, when gospel music sales have been lukewarm, to say the least. It’s one thing to top the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart, where you are competing with other similarly selling albums. It’s quite another when you are competing with uberpopular, well-marketed mainstream artists such as Maroon 5, Wiz Khalifa, and Ariana ...

Read More »

45th Annual GMA Dove Awards – Nominees

Congratulations to all of the nominees for the 45th Annual Gospel Music Association Dove Awards. The GMA Dove Awards ceremony will be held at Allen Arena of Lipscomb University, Nashville, Tennessee, on Tuesday, October 7, 2014. Here are some of the nominees (from the GMA website): Gospel Performance of the Year “Every Praise” – Hezekiah Walker, RCA Inspiration, (producer) Donald Lawrence “Help” – Erica Campbell (ft. Lecrae), My Block Inc., (producer) Warryn Campbell “I Can Only Imagine” – Tamela Mann, TillyMann Music Group, (producer) Myron Butler “I Love The Lord” – Natalie Grant, Curb Records, (producer) Bernie Herms “If He ...

Read More »

St. Louis Christian Rapper Offers Young Adults a Platform to be Heard

Thi’sl Partners with Local and National Media to Host Community Open Forum St. Louis, MO—August 14, 2014—This Friday, August 15 at 7 p.m. the only forum held in St. Louis to give youth and young adults an opportunity to speak out about the Michael Brown case takes place at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church (5515 Dr Martin Luther King Dr, St Louis, MO 63112). “So many people are mocking protestors and young people who’ve reached their boiling point without seeking understanding. This is a chance for them to candidly and peacefully speak their mind,” Thi’sl said. St. Louis GRAMMY Award-winner, ...

Read More »

Gospel Community Mourns Loss of Al “The Bishop” Hobbs

By Bob Marovich On Tuesday, July 29, members of the Gospel Announcers Guild of the Gospel Music Workshop of America saluted their longtime friend and leader, Al “The Bishop” Hobbs, with a special musical program at the GWMA Convention in Atlanta, Georgia.  Among the performers were Rev. Milton Biggham, Dottie Peoples, and Dorothy Norwood.  Two of his children were present for the tribute. It was the first year Hobbs, struggling with cancer, was unable to attend the annual Gospel Announcers Guild convention, for which he has served as chairman for many years.  Nevertheless, he called in frequently from his home in ...

Read More »

Phyllis Brown of Chicago’s Brown Sisters Dies

By Bob Marovich The Journal of Gospel Music learned today from Chicago Area Gospel Announcers Guild President Yvonne Wesley-Seabrooks that Phyllis Brown of Chicago’s beloved Brown Sisters has passed away. According to the Brown Sisters website, Phyllis was the group’s bookkeeper.  It was a fitting responsibility, since she had worked in accounting for TransAmerica for more than two decades.  In addition to singing with the group, Phyllis attended the Pillar of Truth COGIC, led by her father, Pastor Ben Brown. The Stellar-nominated Brown Sisters of Chicago made the Billboard charts with “Awesome God,” a single from their 2009 Live in Chicago album on ...

Read More »