Gospel Music

Isaac Cates & Ordained to Participate in First-ever Vox Virtual Online A Cappella Festival

From Classical Movements: Vox Virtual is a first-of-its-kind online a cappella festival, August 22-29. It will bring together musicians representing cultures and traditions from around the world for a week-long program of free streaming concerts. The very unique part of the festival is each concert will be livestreamed free across all participating ensembles’ Facebook pages through cross-posting. In other words, when an artist or presenter posts a live video, it mainly reaches their audience. However, by having multiple pages going live with the same performance, the audience size increases substantially. It is a new model rather than simply sharing someone ...

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RIP: Sheila Burton, Mother of Half Mile Home’s Todd and Terence Burton

(Akron, Ohio) Todd Burton and Terence Burton, two-thirds of the contemporary gospel group Half Mile Home, mourn the passing of their mother, Sheila M. Burton, from complications resulting from breast cancer on Monday, August 3rd. They report: “The Burton Family is deeply saddened with the untimely passing of our beloved matriarch, Sheila Burton. Nothing in the world quite like a mother’s love, and we are grateful for all that she meant to us and the valuable life principles she instilled in us. We are convinced if ever we needed the Lord, we need Him now more than ever. “While facing ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: August 3, 2020

“God’s Power” Minister John Taylor Jr. John Jr. Gospel Productions, Inc. By Bob Marovich Minister John Taylor Jr. recorded this song in 2016, but it sounds as if it was recorded 50 years earlier. “God’s Power” is a reassurance to all those who are sick, especially Taylor’s mother, whose illness inspired Taylor to write the song. The sweet country melody comes from the southern gospel tradition, but Taylor’s expressive vocals and the background singers have gospel quartet stamped all over them. Born in Peoria, Illinois, adopted through Catholic Charities, and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, Taylor is the founder of John ...

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Elder Arlester Washington & the Anointed Central Kentucky Mass Choir – Thank You

Elder Arlester Washington & The Anointed Central Kentucky Mass Choir Thank You Time Now Records (2020) By Bob Marovich On the morning of April 9, 2019, Elder Arlester Washington was involved in a two-car accident that claimed his life. The tragedy devastated Lexington, Kentucky’s Now Faith Worship Center, where Washington was pastor. It also stunned the gospel music community. In addition to being a church leader, Washington had had a career in professional gospel music as a member of the Gospel Crystals and the Chicago Gospel Cavaliers. He had traveled with the Caravans and Jessy Dixon, and in 1990 founded ...

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RIP: Richard Wallace of the Mighty Clouds of Joy

By Bob Marovich JGM was saddened to learn from Debra Ligon and Libra Boyd’s post that singer and guitarist Richard Wallace of the Mighty Clouds of Joy passed away Monday, July 27, 2020. According to essays by Opal Nations, Richard Edward Wallace was born June 9, 1940, in Austin, Texas. He and his brother Lee O’Daniel migrated west to Los Angeles and, in 1956, joined the Stars of Bethel, a quartet that included cousins from Texas who had moved to LA ahead of them. The quartet later changed its name to the Stars of Bethlehem and cut an album for ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: July 27, 2020

“Jesus, Let Us Be One” Roscoe Robinson Savoy Records (original release date: March 1983, reissue 2020) By Bob Marovich “Problems all around us, everyone has an answer,” Roscoe Robinson rues. Seeking the true solution, the gospel and soul singing star not only reaches back for the Word, he also reaches back more than three decades into his own song catalog. On “Jesus, Let Us Be One,” originally released on his 1983 Savoy solo album He’s the One, Roscoe prays for unity in His name “and in your love.” Starting out slow and introspective, the song picks up steam courtesy of a ...

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“Love” – Donnell Russell & Free Worship

“Love” Donnell Russell & Free Worship feat. Jai Reed, Tonya Boyd Cannon, Cory Ricks & Caren Green The Rite Note Ent. (release date: June 5, 2020) www.donnellrussell.com By Bob Marovich Donnell Russell & Free Worship’s “Love” is a crossover single in lyric and melody. To a quiet storm R&B arrangement, the singers remind listeners that “when all hope is gone,” where there is “injustice and hatred,” love is the answer. The inevitable rap interlude portrays life without love. Short but smooth and brimming with talented featured soloists, “Love” is a song written with today’s problems in mind. It offers the ...

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“He’s Alive” – Tametre Lawrence (feat. Simply Praise)

“He’s Alive” Tametre Lawrence (featuring Simply Praise) From the EP He’s Alive (release date: May 2020) By Bob Marovich A dramatic piano introduction slips into a mid-tempo Latin beat and stays there on “He’s Alive,” a Holy Week song that compares Jesus’s rising from the dead to his living presence in Christian hearts. The minor-key piece is performed by Nashville singer-songwriter Tametre Lawrence and the Simply Praise Choir. Shifting back and forth from unison singing to harmony, the group delivers the song with the nervous energy of a young adult choir and the austerity of a senior choir. Of the ...

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RIP: Mother Rubenstein McClure

By Bob Marovich JGM was saddened to learn of the passing of Evangelist Mother Rubenstein McClure on July 18, 2020. Mother “Ruby” McClure was a member and lead soloist with the famous Radio Choir of Brooklyn’s Institutional Church of God in Christ, under the direction of J.C. White (“Stretch Out”). Her voice could be heard on the choir’s single, “Talk it Over with Jesus,” among other titles. She was also a prominent member of the J.C. White Singers, leading the single, “Someone to Lean On” (Zanzee, 1973). Her own solo album, Rubenstein, came out on Locus Records in 1979. On ...

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