Gospel Music

Stepping Up and Stepping Out – Clarence Fountain, Sam Butler and the Boys

Clarence Fountain, Sam Butler and the BoysStepping Up and Stepping OutTyscot Records (release scheduled for August 25, 2009)www.tyscot.com The story is well known among gospel quartet enthusiasts. Clarence Fountain has left the Blind Boys of Alabama. For the second time. This time, however, it seems final. In a 2008 article written by Lee Hildebrand for Living Blues, five-time Grammy winner Fountain is reported to have said about the quartet he co-founded in 1939, “I wouldn’t sing with ‘em if they were the last group in the world.” Sam Butler, who joined the Blind Boys in 1972 as singer and guitarist ...

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Chicagoan Jennifer Hudson Sings at MJ Memorial

Chicago is proud of her daughter, Jennifer Hudson, who sang for the late Michael Jackson’s memorial service today in Los Angeles. She gave his song, “Will You Be There,” even more of a gospel feel than it already had. TBGB mourns the loss of Michael Jackson, a life cut short way too soon. He is now resting with the angels. At peace. At last. Photo: MTV

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“Hold On” – Minister Sean Hardin & Obadiah

“Hold On”Minister Sean Hardin & ObadiahFrom the Nu House Records CD Been Goodwww.nuhouserecords.com Sean Hardin is a product of Detroit’s active and multi-faceted gospel scene. An alumnus of the Deitrick Haddon camp, Hardin cut his gospel teeth singing background for Haddon and then worked in A&R for the artist’s ManHaddon Entertainment company. Now it’s Hardin’s time to go solo. “Hold On,” a single from Hardin’s debut solo album, Been Good, is a live track – and Hardin’s favorite – with a thumping bass line and steadily rolling tempo. The performance moves the hometown audience to hand-clapping from the first note, ...

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Ed Hall of Fairfield Four Dies

Jerry Zolten informed TBGB that Edward Hall, current member of the Fairfield Four, passed away in Nashville, Tennessee. Zolten noted that Hall was “a pioneering African American radio personality,” and sang formerly with the “Fireside Singers, the Fairfield Four’s auxiliary ‘juniors.'” Photo: Keith Case

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“Before They Were Famous” – A Gospel Memories July Fourth Special

Listen to the “Gospel Memories” radio program on Chicago’s 88.7 WLUW Saturday morning, July 4, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. Central Time for a special treat: Before They Were Famous! Enjoy rare, early recordings by… Gospel legends, such as James Cleveland (Gospelaires), Mahalia Jackson (1937), Alex Bradford (Willie Webb Singers) and the Staple Singers… Today’s stars, such as Yolanda Adams (with the Southeast Inspirational Choir), Vanessa Bell-Armstrong (w/Mattie Moss Clark), Evelyn Turrentine-Agee (with the Gospel Warriors), J Moss, the Winans (as the Testimonial Singers), Dr. Charles G. Hayes and the Warriors (“Father Hayes Specials,” pre-Checker and Righteous), and the Williams ...

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Washington Phillips – What Did He Play?

Current scholarship suggests that the lithe, celestial, tinkling notes Washington Phillips played to accompany his singing on 1927-29 Columbia recordings were not produced by a dolceola. What, then, did he play? Was it a phonoharp? A celestaphone? Was it a homemade instrument, as some claim? Possibly an amalgam of two fretless zithers that enabled “Wash,” an itinerant preacher, to extend the range of the instrument beyond its usual two octaves? Sadly, the original instrument Phillips played for the recording sessions seems not to have survived, or at least nobody knows where it is. One thing experts agree on: it wasn’t, ...

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Calvin Bridges – Gospelphyed

Calvin BridgesGospelphyedPneuma/Spirit Recordings 2009www.calvinbridges.org If you don’t think you know who Calvin Bridges is, I’ll bet you know his songs. “I Can Go to God in Prayer.” “So Much to be Grateful For.” The list goes on. In his hometown of Chicago, Bridges is a fixture, known for gospel music composition and arranging, singing and performing, and for being one heck of a nice guy. Gospelphyed is his latest release, and while it does include the work of a couple other songwriters, it is essentially a showcase for Bridges’ own songs and arrangements, old and new. He is backed by ...

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