Gospel Music

Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers – Somewhere Beyond the Blue

Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers Somewhere Beyond the Blue Billy Blue Records (release date: May 7, 2021) www.radioramblers.com By Robert M. Marovich On the eleven-track Somewhere Beyond the Blue, Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers offer southern gospel singing bluegrass style in the tradition of the Louvin Brothers, Carl Story, and the Lewis Family. Tight harmonies, dynamic banjo solos, and keening fiddle runs support southern gospel songs from the pens of such stalwart songwriters as Vep Ellis, Bill Anderson, and Marty Stuart. In general, the songs are sermonettes on the virtues of a good life and the promise of ...

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“I Will Call Upon the Lord” – Dr. E. LaQuint Weaver II & the Hallelujah Singers

“I Will Call Upon the Lord” Dr. E. LaQuint Weaver II & the Hallelujah Singers (release date: September 1, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Whenever I hear “I Will Call Upon the Lord,” the latest single from Detroit choir Dr. E. LaQuint Weaver & the Hallelujah Singers, I am reminded of the city’s iconic Joe Louis Fist sculpture. The song exemplifies in lyric and arrangement the majestic might of that fist. The song’s testimony to resilience “during these perilous times” and the choir’s steadfast faith in the Lord in the midst of their enemies are manifested in thunderous staccato singing ...

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R.I.P. Archbishop Carl Bean, Church Leader, Activist, and Gospel Singer

By Robert M. Marovich Eric Maurice Clark informed JGM that Archbishop Carl “Pops” Bean passed away on Monday, September 7, 2021, after a lengthy illness. Archbishop Bean was an openly gay man, the Presiding Prelate of Unity Fellowship Church, Inc., a denomination he founded in Los Angeles to provide a welcoming ministry for all, but especially for lesbian, gay, and bisexual African Americans. He organized the Minority AIDS Project in Los Angeles and worked tirelessly on behalf of LGBTQ people of faith. Bean’s 1977 single for Motown, “I Was Born This Way,” also the title of Bean’s 2010 autobiography, inspired ...

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Journal of Gospel Music Wins Rhythm of Gospel Award

The Journal of Gospel Music garnered its first competitive award on Saturday, September 4, when it received the Gospel Internet Promotion & Marketing Group of the Year Award from the Rhythm of Gospel Awards. The 13th annual Rhythm of Gospel Awards was held at the Guesthouse at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. Bob Marovich, founder and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Gospel Music, expresses his heartfelt thanks to Dr. Mark Rogers and the Rhythm of Gospel Awards team and to those who voted for the site. It’s especially meaningful coming from an organization that, like the Journal, supports the efforts of ...

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The Robert Broussard Story

Partly based on telephone interviews with Robert Broussard in 2005 By Opal Louis Nations Robert Broussard is sadly one of the unheralded baritone shout leads from gospel quartet’s Golden Age. He led the jubilee-rooted Ever Ready Gospel Singers of Shreveport in 1953-1954, then switched to Nashville’s famous Skylarks Quartet near the close of 1954. He denies ever recording with the Skylarks after 1957 despite the fact that Hayes & Laughton in their Gospel Records 1943-1969 discography have him down as a member in the group on the November 15th, 1962, August 4th, 1965, and January 1967 Nashboro studio dates, and ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: August 30, 2021

“UWait2021” Walter Barnes Jr. & Men of Ministry From the Barnyard Records CD Nothing Shall Separate (release date: May 28, 2021) www.BarnYardRecordsllc.com/ By Robert M. Marovich What immediately struck me about “UWait2021” was not its bouncy tempo, its spirited vamp, or its earnest message of encouragement—all important—but the fact that Walter Barnes Jr. & Men of Ministry has that rarest of rarities: a bass singer. Said bass singer adds a nice touch, too. Bring bass singers back to quartet! The song was originally released as “U Wait” on the quartet’s self-titled 2008 album. Naturally, since things do not seem to ...

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RIP Lee Williams of the Spiritual QCs

The Journal of Gospel Music was saddened to learn of the passing of Lee Williams, quartet legend and leader of the Spiritual QCs. Below is a brief bio of Williams and the group that I wrote back in 2019: Born July 28, 1946, and raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, Lee Williams began singing gospel at the tender age of seven. He was encouraged to do so by his uncle, Mitchell Thornton, who was part of a quartet called the Gospel Stars. Soon, Lee and his three brothers were performing as the Gospel Stars Juniors. Thornton formed another quartet called the Spiritual ...

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Pastor David Wright & NY Fellowship Mass Choir – Miracles

Pastor David Wright & NY Fellowship Mass Choir Miracles Godfather Records (release date: July 15, 2021) www.gracetabernacle.info By Robert M. Marovich For fans of contemporary gospel choirs, and especially for those who wonder where the choir went (it hasn’t gone anywhere) Pastor David Wright & NY Fellowship Mass Choir’s new release, Miracles, will delight. Although the audience is mostly inaudible, Miracles was recorded live in Brooklyn’s Christ Fellowship Baptist Church. The husky-voiced Wright, son of the late Reverend Timothy and Betty Wright, has loaded his new album with feature vocalists. For example, the opener, “Justified,” written and led by David ...

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Imari Tones – Nabeshima

Imari Tones Nabeshima Sliptrick Records (release date: July 6, 2021) www.imaritones.net By Robert M. Marovich “Japanese Traditional Christian Metal” are four words you rarely see joined together, unless you know about the Imari Tones. Nabeshima is the trio’s latest release, a two-CD set of songs in Japanese and English that combine Japanese Samurai and Christian imagery and beliefs. This trio (two men and one woman) doesn’t fool around. They rock relentlessly. Lead singer Tone wails, shouts, and evangelizes in a high-pitched tenor voice. Snarling guitars, thumping bass, and pounding drums ricochet off the walls, and for Nabeshima, that means for ...

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Ray Bady Named New Pastor of Valley Kingdom Ministries

From a press release: Apostle H. Daniel Wilson, Pastor of Valley Kingdom Ministries International (VKMI) in Chicago, and founder of the platinum-selling group, Shekinah Glory Ministry, has launched a year-long transition that will welcome Ray Bady as the 5,000-member church’s new leader in 2022. “I am not retiring,” says Apostle Wilson, who has been the church’s pastor for 37 years. “So many only see two paths for pastors, either dying or retiring. Neither of these are on my radar just now. I will not take these gifts of God to the grave. This is not my end. I’m just getting ...

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