Gospel Music

The Gaithers and Southern Gospel: Homecoming in the Twenty-First Century – Ryan P. Harper

The Gaithers and Southern Gospel: Homecoming in the Twenty-First Century. By Ryan P. Harper. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2017. 326 pp. (printed casebinding). Index. ISBN 978-1-4968-1090-8. $65 By Bob Marovich Rarely have television programs or video franchises received the microscopically detailed analysis that ethnographer Ryan P. Harper gives the Gaither Homecomings in The Gaithers and Southern Gospel. Despite its title, The Gaithers and Southern Gospel is neither a history of Bill and Gloria Gaither nor of southern gospel, although the narrative references significant facts in the histories of both. Instead, it is an examination of how the popular ...

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RIP Dr. Rodena Preston, Musician, Director, GMWA Executive

By Bob Marovich JGM was saddened to learn from Gayle Lecus and others in Southern California today that Dr. Rodena Preston has transitioned from earthly labor to heavenly reward. Rodena’s music career was fostered by her mother, Mrs. Robbie Preston-Williams, who had her daughter playing piano at age three. By age nine, Rodena was accompanying the junior choir at the Victory Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Her brother, Billy Preston, went on to play the organ and achieve success as an organist and vocalist in both the gospel and pop music worlds. Later, Rodena joined the Ladies of Song and was the ...

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Jennifer McGill – Unbreakable

Jennifer McGill Unbreakable Lifetime Impact Music (release date: August 11, 2017) www.jennifermcgill.com By Bob Marovich If the original Mickey Mouse Club gave us Annette Funicello (okay, and Jimmy Dodd), the All-New Mickey Mouse Club produced a passing parade of pop singers. Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, and Ryan Gosling, are just a few. Jennifer McGill is another Mouseketeer alumna who has broken out on her own. But rather than try to top the pop charts, McGill set her sights as high as Heaven: she is a worship leader and Christian singer. She released her debut solo album, Unbreakable, last month. ...

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Royce Lovett – Love & Other Dreams

Royce Lovett Love & Other Dreams Motown Gospel (release date: July 14, 2017) www.motowngospel.com By Bob Marovich Royce Lovett is one of the most distinctive voices on the Motown Gospel roster. Not surprisingly, his new album, Love & Other Dreams, is as artistically unpredictable as its creator. The guitar-playing Tallahassee, Florida, singer-songwriter splashes a palette of neo-soul on coded messages about survival in modern society. The album feels like a somnambulant journey of a soul gasping, as if drowning, for the oxygen of freedom. Where can lung-expanding oxygen be found?  Lovett answers on the album’s hypnotic current single, “Up for Love:” it’s in the clouds, where there are ...

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48th Annual GMA Dove Awards Nominees Announced

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (August 9, 2017) – The Gospel Music Association (GMA) announced today the nominees for the 48th Annual GMA Dove Awards. The awards show will take place on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena in Nashville at 6:30 p.m. CST. Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) will exclusively air the awards show on Sunday, October 22, reaching over 100 million viewers in the U.S., plus global and multi-platform distribution. Voting for the final winners will run August 21 through August 28. Zach Williams and Lauren Daigle lead artist nominations with five, followed by Chris Tomlin, Crowder, Kirk Franklin ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: August 7, 2017

“Holy Ghost Fire” The Victory Travelers From their EP Amazing By Bob Marovich The drive-tempo “Holy Ghost Fire” has been in the Victory Travelers’ repertory for decades. Although the Chicago-based quartet has recorded it several times throughout the years, this latest version, from the group’s Amazing EP, presents the song as current congregations and program attendees are hearing it: extended and extraordinary. Deacon Reuben Burton, one of the quartet’s founding members, duets with Cherrod Gilbert on this no-nonsense rouser about the power of the Holy Ghost. The guitar encircles the singers with curlicue licks as they work themselves into a ...

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Dana Fields: “All I Had Were Songs and a Dream”

By Bob Marovich In her kitchen washing dishes one day, Dana Fields began to sing a line in unscripted devotion to God: “I will praise you, simply because of who you are. / In worship I adore you, I will lay my life before you. / At the altar of your throne, I bow to you and you alone.” The lyric and accompanying melody became the anchor for “Simply Because,” one of the ten songs on A Personal Experience. Released last September, the album entered the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart for one week in June 2017. The album’s charting took Fields by surprise: “I had ...

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Derrick “Doc” Pearson – I Still Do: Songs for a Biblical Marriage

Derrick “Doc” Pearson I Still Do: Songs for a Biblical Marriage I AM Music Company (release date: April 7, 2017) www.iammusiccompany.com By Bob Marovich Love songs have become quite popular in gospel music. Perchance inspired by Kim Burrell’s 2011 The Love Album, or Fred Hammond’s 2012 2-CD release, God, Love, and Romance, several artists have written and recorded songs about Bible-based love. Some even make for good wedding ceremony material. One of the most popular essays on the Journal of Gospel Music is a list of gospel songs fit for a marriage ceremony. I Still Do, Derrick “Doc” Pearson’s new collection of songs about marriage, ...

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Le’Andria Johnson’s “Bigger Than Me” Fits Her Past, Present, and Future

By Bob Marovich Rome wasn’t built in a day.  The world took a little more time to create. Some music albums take many months to produce. Not Le’Andria Johnson’s latest album, Bigger Than Me. She told JGM it took less than a week. “We were just sitting in a creative space, [producers] Claude Kelly, Chuck Harmony, and myself,” Johnson explained, “and we were talking about life’s struggles and life’s difficulties.” The discussion naturally led to a conversation about God and how He’s bigger than any problem. Eureka moment. Bigger Than Me. “That matches us perfectly,” she said. “We did every song ...

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Australia’s “Greatest Voice” Dr G Yunupingu dies

Pete Miles of “The Gospel Show” ON pbsfm 106,7 Melbourne Australia, sent JGM the sad news that Dr G Yunupingo has died at the age of 46. JGM reviewed Dr G Yunupingo’s album in December 2015:  http://journalofgospelmusic.com/reviews-2/gurrumul-the-gospel-album/ More information can be found in this article: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/07/26/australias-greatest-voice-dr-g-yunupingu-dies In respect to indigenous culture, no photos of the deceased are shown.

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