Gospel Music

RIP Madeline Thompson, Ward Singer, GMWA Honoree

By Robert M. Marovich Eric Maurice Clark shared the sad news that gospel singer Madeline Thompson has passed away. Clark had interviewed Thompson for the February 2021 issue of his Inside a Gospel Music Historian’s World magazine. From Philadelphia, Madeline sang with her sister Julia in a duo called the Thompson Sisters. They even sang with the Imperial Gospel Singers at one point. In 1960, Mother Gertrude Ward wanted the two young ladies to join the Ward Singers; the departure of several foundational members to form the Stars of Faith left a gaping hole in the national gospel group. Only ...

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Debbie Cochran – Simplify

Debbie Cochran Simplify Go Time Records (release date: April 2, 2021) www.debbiecochran.com By Robert M. Marovich Simplify is an apt title for Christian country singer Debbie Cochran’s latest offering. She delivers a breezy album of earnest originals in her no-nonsense vocal style. Consciously or not, a thematic thread runs through the album that likens spirituality and the spiritual realm to elements of an idyllic rural America. “Just Like Old Times” for example, sees death as a journey to a “heavenly reunion,” complete with relatives sitting around the dinner table reminiscing about the good old days. “Blackberry Jam” is an evocative ...

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“Into This Place” – Bradie Frink & Ordinary People

“Into This Place” Bradie Frink & Ordinary People www.bfop.vision By Robert M. Marovich “Into This Place” is an antidote for the sameness of much P&W music. This lovely, liquid praise ballad, set in a minor key, benefits from a tender lead feature from Terrell Carter and sumptuous harmonies from Bradie Frink & Ordinary People, their singing anything but ordinary. The song has character, the production has crispness, and the musicians accompany the singers rather than compete with them. Originally from Washington, DC, and now living in North Carolina, Bradie Frink Jr. has served as the minister of music at numerous ...

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Derrick “Doc” Pearson – A Family Man

Derrick “Doc” Pearson A Family Man I AM Music Company (release date: May 7, 2021) www.iammusiccompany.com By Robert M. Marovich Bassist, arranger, and songwriter Derrick “Doc” Pearson has graced the e-pages of JGM in the past with inspirational smooth jazz projects such as 2018’s I Still Do: Songs for a Biblical Marriage, and initially with his 2015 release, No Greater Love. Pearson’s latest offering, A Family Man, follows in the footsteps of I Still Do in its thematic anchoring, its mix of bass-driven smooth jazz from a team of top-flight musicians representing the DMV area, and equally smooth vocals. This ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 10, 2021

“He’s Way Ahead of You” Denita Gibbs DGW Entertainment (release date: March 6, 2021) www.denitagibbs.com By Robert M. Marovich Now THIS is the Denita Gibbs I remember from her 2013 CD, Without You. The Birmingham, Alabama, native’s declarative vocals on “He’s Way Ahead of You” are locked in from the very start when she sings: “This world is crazy / Spinning out of control / People do the wildest things / And try to rob you of hope.” Having painted the painful scene, Gibbs then reminds the listener to refrain from bitterness because God promised that He’ll never leave you ...

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“My Help” – Angela Moss Poole feat. Micah Stampley

“My Help” Angela Moss Poole feat. Micah Stampley 141st Lane Music/DarkChild Gospel www.angelamosspoole.com By Robert M. Marovich Singer-songwriter Angela Moss Poole puts one of her favorite Scriptures, Psalm 121, to music, and invites gospel crooner Micah Stampley along for the journey. The message is simple, the melody is appealing, and the arrangement fits the message. It blends gospel hymnody and contemporary sounds with skill. Angela and Micah duet through the entire selection, building the temperature to sizzling as they go along. They should do more songs together in the future. A native of Miami, Dr. Angela Moss Poole earned a Bachelor ...

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DeWayne Harvey Knows Firsthand “What the Lord Allows”

By Robert M. Marovich “He may not come when you want Him, but He’s always right on time.” This church aphorism could be Pastor DeWayne Harvey’s personal motto. The early 2010s were a busy time for the Tallahassee, Florida, minister, entrepreneur, singer, songwriter, and producer. His 2011 release, The Report of the Lord, featuring the praise team from his Greater Blessings Tabernacle of Faith Church, was doing well. The album’s singles, “Whose Report” and “Celebrate,” were burning up gospel radio. Harvey also wrote and produced Angela Spivey’s 2012 album, He Keeps His Promise, for his Innovative Records imprint. So by ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 3, 2021

“Be Alright” Friends aka Anointed Friends Thompson Records (release date: March 15, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich In “Be Alright,” the female quartet Friends (aka Anointed Friends) deliver a simple song of reassurance and encouragement to a driving countrified beat. The ladies pepper their lyrics with familiar church aphorisms (e.g., “He may not come when you want him but He’ll be on time”) and tag on an old-fashioned vamp designed to rouse anyone not already out of their seats. It all sounds straight out of the South, but the quartet actually hails from the New York City metropolitan area. Organized ...

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RIP: Columbus Gregory – St. Louis gospel announcer, co-founder of Redi-Soul Records

By Robert M. Marovich JGM was saddened to learn of the passing on April 14, 2021, of St. Louis gospel radio announcer Columbus Gregory. He was 90 years old. In addition to more than a half-century on St. Louis radio, Gregory co-founded Redi-Soul Records, an independent label also based in St. Louis. Using saxophonist Oliver Sain’s legendary Archway Studio, Redi-Soul recorded many local artists in the 1970s, most notably the Williams Singers, who would sign with Checker Records, and the Gregory-Aires. I was honored to interview Gregory for my “Gospel Memories” radio show in May 2009. This article on the ...

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