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Journal of Gospel Music’s Best of 2016 Lists

By Bob Marovich As is our custom for this time of year, the Journal of Gospel Music presents its “best of” lists in the category of CDs, songs, and historical releases. The recordings were not necessarily chosen as “Best of 2016” based on sales, chart status, promotion, voting, fan popularity, number of likes or retweets, committee decisions, throwing darts, reading tea leaves, arm twisting, flipping coins, or anything other than 1) JGM was serviced with the music for review and 2) JGM believes the selections best represent gospel/sacred music as an art form. The top selections in Best CDs and ...

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Jekalyn Carr Launches Support Movement for Sheila Belle of “The Belle Report”

For Immediate Release: ATLANTA, GA (Thursday, December 15, 2016) – – Recording artist Jekalyn Carr has launched a support movement for Richmond, Virginia based nationally syndicated radio personality Sheila Belle as she battles the winning fight against cancer. Carr was inspired to spearhead this support movement after attending Belle’s event last weekend in Richmond called “The Gift” – an event for cancer survivors. She was moved by hearing the winning stories from the survivors as well as Sheila Belle. Watch Jekalyn’s support movement video here: www.facebook.com/jasonmauricehardy/videos/10100700900092599/ Carr is calling a call to action to her fellow recording artists, radio announcers/PDs, ...

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Joe Ligon of the Mighty Clouds of Joy Passes Away: Homegoing Details Announced

By Bob Marovich (UPDATED 12/17/16) Gospel quartet legend Willie Joe Ligon passed away on Sunday, December 11. Homegoing and memorial details are at the bottom of this report. Born October 11, 1936, in Troy, Alabama, Ligon migrated to Los Angeles at age 14 and met his future mates in the Mighty Clouds of Joy in the mid-1950s while attending Jefferson High School.  Like top quartets such as the Blind Boys of Mississippi, the Blind Boys of Alabama, and the Gospelaires of Dayton, the Clouds incorporated the growls, shouts, and rasp of African American preachers into their singing, a style sometimes referred ...

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Kirk Franklin Scores Another “Victory” at Soul Train Awards

Dallas, TX (November 29, 2016) – Gospel mega-star Kirk Franklin celebrated a win in the category of Best Gospel/Inspirational Song for his #1 hit “123 Victory” at this year’s Soul Train Awards, which recently aired on BET and CENTRIC. Marking his sixth Soul Train Award win, “123 Victory” is Franklin’s buoyant hit anthem from his chart-topping album LOSING MY RELIGION, which also features the smash single “Wanna Be Happy?” Franklin also released another version of the acclaimed anthem early this fall, topping the Gospel charts again with the creation of “123 Victory Remix” (feat. Pharrell Williams). LOSING MY RELIGION also ...

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Eric Allen Byrd, Member of Golden Crowns, Passes Away

The Gospel Division of Sharp Records informed the Journal of Gospel Music yesterday that Eric Allen Byrd of The Golden Crowns of Louisville, Kentucky, has passed away. Allen was the quartet’s manager, lead and background vocalist, and songwriter for many years. First organized in Bowling Green, Kentucky, as the Shanklin Brothers, the Golden Crowns made one 45 each for the Wonderful and BJ labels.  In 2015, the Golden Crowns signed with Sharp Gospel. See JGM‘s review of their 2015 release, Come Too Far, here. JGM extends its condolences to the family, friends, and fans of Eric Allen Byrd.

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Australian Choir Debuts Journal of Gospel Music in Print Form

Many thanks to Mrs. Jade-Lori Crompton Haggis  and the Joyful Noise Choir, Inc. of Western Australia for converting some of the Journal of Gospel Music’s most popular artist interviews of the past several years into a stunning print souvenir magazine. This combined magazine and program will be available for attendees of a forthcoming gospel music festival in Perth, Western Australia. Entirely Jade-Lori’s vision and her handiwork, along with some ninja superstar designers, this Aussie Exclusive represents the first time in JGM‘s 12-year history that it has been transformed from digital to  print. Looks mighty nice, too! Featured inside are our interviews with ...

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Who’s the Voice On BET’s “Joyful Noise?” It’s Liz Black of WBLS!

PRESS RELEASE: When Black Entertainment Television (BET) premiered its new weekly musical television program “Joyful Noise” a couple of weeks ago, Liz Black’s Twitter page buzzed with friends and fans asking if that was her voice opening the show and introducing its host Tye Tribbett. It was indeed the legendary New York City area radio personality who hosts “Sunday Praise” on the Big Apple’s WBLS 107.5 and also on its sister station WLIB 1190 AM. “It’s very exciting,” says Black. “I’ve been doing radio for years but this feels like a totally new adventure for me and I’m loving every ...

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eOne Music Nashville Appoints Gina Miller to VP/GM of Urban Inspirational

NASHVILLE, TN (October 5, 2016) – Entertainment One Music Nashville (eOne Music Nashville) announces the appointment of Gina Miller to VP/General Manager of Urban Inspirational, promoting the veteran music executive from her previous role as VP National Promotions and Label Relations for eOne Music Nashville. Joining the Nashville-based division 12 years ago beginning with an unconventional internship at Light Records then serving in various roles from radio and retail to marketing, sales and more, Miller will helm an award-winning roster of hit artists that span a wide range across the genre, from traditional and contemporary gospel, to praise and worship, ...

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Gospel Vocalist Lecresia Campbell Passes Away

By Bob Marovich JGM learned today that powerhouse gospel vocalist Lecresia Campbell passed away on September 29. Born in Chicago, Campbell was the lead singer on Walt Whitman & the Soul Children of Chicago’s 1990 gospel smash, “Perfect Praise (How Excellent).” She earned a bachelor’s degree in Applied Voice at Tougaloo College and went on to teach elementary school for eight years. She also was background vocalist for Vanessa Bell Armstrong and sang alongside many others in the gospel industry. In 2008, Campbell recorded a solo album, Even Me, which earned her a Stellar Award nomination for Best Female Vocalist ...

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Temple University Libraries honors Dixie Hummingbirds Guitarist Howard Carroll September 29

Philadelphia, PA, September 1, 2016 – September is Gospel Music Heritage Month, and on Thursday, September 29 at 2:00 p.m., the Blockson Collection of Temple University Libraries will present “Gospel Gold: The Golden Era of Gospel Music,” honoring legendary Dixie Hummingbirds guitarist Howard Carroll. Hosted by Gospel Highway Eleven (WNAP 1110 AM) Radio DJ Linwood Heath, the program will include gospel music by the Sons of the Birds and special guest speaker, the Reverend Joe Williams. Howard Carroll, affectionately known as the “Father of the Gospel Music Guitar,” is the oldest living member of the Dixie Hummingbirds gospel group. Mr. ...

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