Gospel Music

33rd Stellar Gospel Music Awards in Las Vegas Saturday, March 24

(CHICAGO) – Feb. 27, 2018 – Central City Productions announces a dazzling line-up of performers for the 2018 Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards, including the reunion of contemporary gospel music’s favorite sister act, Mary Mary (Erica Campbell and Tina Campbell), and the Stellar Award’s debut of rapper, actor, and television personality Snoop Dogg, performing songs from his new gospel album “Songs of Love” at this year’s show. Celebrated as a “transcendent night of gospel music,” the 33rd Annual Stellar Awards promises to surpass its ‘stellar’ reputation, featuring performances by the genre’s hottest acts. Performers scheduled to appear include: Tasha Cobbs ...

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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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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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JGM Pick of the Week: January 16, 2018

“He Rose” Brent Jones From the EchoPark JDI Entertainment album Joy Comin’ (release date: August 12, 2014) By Bob Marovich Calling “He Rose” a “good old Baptist song,” Brent Jones and his choir offer a good old Easter Sunday song that works for any time of the year. This bouncy and muscular outing finds Jones leading the big-voiced choir in collective enthusiasm about Jesus’s victory over death during the Passion and, in rising, cleansing the sins of humanity. By the conclusion, Jones has the soprano, alto, and tenor sections singing in contrapuntal harmony (it’s so good they could have reprised this ...

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Norris Garner – Don’t Stop the Praise

Norris Garner Don’t Stop the Praise Norris Garner Music (2015) By Bob Marovich A North Carolinan by birth but a resident of California’s Bay Area, Norris Garner is a choir man. He has written, sung with, accompanied, directed, and taught choirs at the Gospel Music Workshop of America, the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses, and in Europe. So while Garner’s 2015 Don’t Stop the Praise is billed as a solo album, it features a talented background vocal ensemble that supports Garner and his guest soloists with plenty of polish. The ensemble consists of Tony and Toni McFarland with Blessed Union from ...

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A New Year’s Message to Gospel Artists

By Bob Marovich (I posted this initially on Facebook but had an inquiry to place it on the Journal, so here it is, verbatim). Based on what I read in the gospel section of the 2017 year-end Billboard issue, I believe the gospel music industry can be disrupted by an artist or artists who do the following: Set excess to the side – tone it down – we know what the band sounds like. We want to hear more of YOU. Focus more on the streets of gold than the red carpet. Humility and Integrity should be your motto. Never ever settle ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: December 19, 2017

“This Far” Half Mile Home (release date: September 29, 2017) www.halfmilehome.com By Bob Marovich Half Mile Home’s single, “This Far,” sounds global and acts local. The opening church phrases, cloaked as they are in expansive Take 6-like harmonies, sound as if they are coming from a choir loft, signifying a call for communal faith and encouragement. But when the music slides into an intimate R&B groove, you realize the message is far more personal. The song, different from the track of the same name from their 2010 project Change My Lyfe, was inspired by two tragedies that forever changed the life of Half Mile Home’s Todd ...

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“Silent Night” – Pastor Alyn E. Waller

“Silent Night” Pastor Alyn E. Waller From Christmas with Pastor Alyn E. Waller (release date: November 27, 2017) By Bob Marovich Don’t let the introductory avalanche of synthesized sound stop you from hearing Pastor Alyn E. Waller’s affecting take on this timeless carol. He improvises skillfully—not too much, not too little—to excavate the gospel within the soul of this simple melody. The dreamy sax that you hear leading the interlude becomes the second voice on the second verse.  Nicely done. Dr. Waller is Senior Pastor of Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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