Gospel Music

Margaret “Babe” Allison & the Angelics: Touch Me Again (review)

Margaret “Babe” Allison & the AngelicsTouch Me AgainMalaco Records 2008www.malaco.com For 86 years old, Margaret Allison is remarkable. She’s still singing, and sounding pretty good, too. She still possesses much of that piercing, plaintive voice that was the force behind the Angelic Gospel Singers, the sweethearts of the gospel circuit. But the fact that Allison is still vibrant in the 21st century is not surprising. God has smiled on her and on the Angelic Gospel Singers since 1949, when the group’s very first record, “Touch Me Lord Jesus,” not only became an instant gospel hit, but a gospel classic. The ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: May 19, 2008

“Oh How Precious”Kathy TaylorFrom the CD The Worship Experience Katco Music Group 2008www.kathytaylorlive.com Houston’s own Kathy Taylor is already a familiar name to those who have followed her various projects with Favor, the group she founded, with the most recent being Taylormade on Al “The Bishop” Hobbs’ Aleho International label. She has been a featured soloist on GMWA recordings, shared the stage with Maya Angelou, and sang for Queen Elizabeth during Her Excellency’s visit to Houston. Now how many people can claim that! Taylor latest single, “Oh How Precious,” is a traditional piece reminiscent of the Pentecostal treatment of the ...

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Light’s Gospel Legacy Series: The Winans & Vickie Winans

Among the first Gospel Legacy CDs Light Records released this year were tributes to the Winans, the Detroit family that was to the Eighties what Andrae Crouch and the Hawkins Family were to the Seventies. The Winans, like Crouch and Hawkins, employed the medium of contemporary music to express a spiritual message. Although disparaged at the time by some traditionalists, what these artists did was very much in keeping with gospel’s time-honored tradition of taking the mountain to Mohammed, instead of the other way around. The Winans The Winans brothers – Marvin, Carvin, Michael and Ronald – encapsulated lyrics of ...

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Regina Belle – Love Forever Shines: The Backstory

Special thanks to Jason Rubley (Rubes Marketing), Ruben Rodriguez and Pendulum Records for this well-written press release on Regina Belle’s Love Forever Shines, released this past Tuesday (May 13). It’s not without some measure of fear and trepidation that gospel music puts checks and balances on reverse crossover artists. After all, for every general-market hopeful with pure, Christ-honoring motives, there’s always a controversial artist—good-intentioned, but ultimately far from the integrity, character, and value system required to represent Jesus to the church and to the world. Four-time GRAMMY®-winning R&B/Pop songstress Regina Belle is a different story. Even as the New Jersey ...

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Joyce “Dottie” Rambo Dies in Tour Bus Crash

Gospel music singer and songwriter Joyce “Dottie” Rambo was killed Sunday morning, May 11, when her tour bus crashed on Interstate 44 near Mount Vernon, Missouri. Rambo was on her way to a Mother’s Day performance in Texas at the time of the crash. According to www.dottierambo.net, the force of high winds pushed the bus off the road, down an embankment and into a median. The singer-songwriter was accompanied on the bus by her manager, Larry Ferguson and his wife Judy, their two sons Pierce and Christian, the bus driver Ronnie Meadows and Chris Barnes, Larry’s assistant. The survivors sustained ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: May 12, 2008

“Lead Me to the Rock”Rev. Stefanie R. Minatee & JubilationFrom the CD The Launch Out Projecthttp://www.jubilationinc.com/ When I reviewed Rev. Stefanie R. Minatee and Jubilation’s The Launch Out Project in November 2006, I commented that “Lead Me to the Rock,” featuring soloist and Stellar Award nominee Min. Nancey Jackson-Johnson, was the crème-de-la-crème of the album. To quote: “I didn’t know this much emotional energy could be expended in a single song. This track and its reprise are alone worth the price of the CD.” “Lead Me to the Rock” has not only been chosen as the project’s debut radio single, ...

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When the Church Becomes Your Party – Deborah Smith Pollard

Deborah Smith Pollard, associate professor of English literature and humanities at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, is also a successful gospel concert producer and host of a popular Sunday morning gospel show on Detroit’s FM 98 WJLB. Add “author” to her list of accolades. When the Church Becomes Your Party is Pollard’s behind-the-scenes look at contemporary gospel music, the first book (to my knowledge) to focus its lens exclusively on the multi-faceted gospel scene of today. According to the press release, “Although the flashy clothing, informal language, and elaborate stage presentation found in some of the newest gospel music may surprise ...

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Lighten the Load Gospel Contest – deadline looms: May 13

As the Helen Robinson Youth Chorus sang, “Time is Winding Up!” The 2008 Lighten the Load Gospel Contest is seeking Gospel Choirs that are affiliated with a church and would be interested in submitting music for the contest. The areas in the program are as follows: * Atlanta, GA* Birmingham, AL* Chicago, IL* Philadelphia, PA* Jacksonville, FL* Los Angeles, CA* St. Louis, MO It’s not to late to enter the 2008 Lighten The Load Gospel Contest. Your church can win one of fourteen $2000 cash awards plus the opportunity to be featured on the inspirational CD which inspires and raises ...

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Elmo Franklin of the Mighty Clouds of Joy Passes Away

Gospel music authorities Rev. Lawrence Roberts and Gregory Gay informed TBGB that Elmo Franklin, an original member of the Mighty Clouds of Joy of Los Angeles, California, passed from labor to reward last week. Franklin, Willie Joe Ligon, Richard Wallace and Johnny Martin were the four founding members of the Mighty Clouds of Joy. The quartet formed in the mid-1950s as a hard-shouting quartet in keeping with the style of the times, and through the intercession of RnB artist turned gospel DJ Brother Henderson, came to the attention of Peacock Records. There the quartet churned out hit after hit. Working ...

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Light’s Gospel Legacy Series: The Hawkins Family & Tramaine Hawkins

Light Records released two more Gospel Legacy reissue CDs last week, and this time the focus was on the Hawkins Family. In 1968, Edwin Hawkins single-handedly, though quite unexpectedly, changed the sound and expanded the popularity of gospel music with the release of the Northern California State Youth Choir (COGIC) vanity album, Let Us Go Into the House of the Lord. Local radio picked up on one of the album’s tracks, a thoroughly modern arrangement of the old hymn, “Oh Happy Day,” and the rest is history. As Bernice Johnson Reagon expressed simply but profoundly in the final segment of ...

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