Gospel Music

Chicago Gospel at Oscar Ceremonies

If you were among those who applauded Chicago’s Jennifer Hudson after her Oscar-winning, show-stopping performance of “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” in the musical Dreamgirls, you were applauding a 100 percent gospel performance with secular lyrics. Yesterday, Hudson’s singing at the 79th Annual Academy Awards ceremony once again demonstrated her gospel roots. And Chicago gospel at that, with its unbridled urban fortissimo and melismatic complexity that could pose a challenge for even the most skilled of music transcribers. Hudson, the former American Idol contestant and America’s newest rising star, honed her singing craft as a member of a ...

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RIP Howard “Slim” Hunt of the Supreme Angels

Henry Harrison of Down Home Gospel Productions informed me that Howard “Slim” Hunt, leader of the Supreme Angels, passed away Sunday, February 25. As more information becomes available, TBGB will pass it along. Meanwhile, a marvelous mini-autobiography of Hunt is available at http://www.malaco.com/Catalog/Gospel/Slim-The-Supreme-Angels/list.php.

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TBGB Pick of the Week: February 26, 2007

“Just For Who You Are”Earnest PughFrom the release Earnest Pugh Live – A Worshipper’s PerspectiveCrystal Rose Records 2006 On the relaxed “Just For Who You Are,” Memphis native Earnest Pugh sings at slow simmer until the recording’s latter moments, when he and the live audience together build the song’s intensity to the boiling point. As such, Pugh’s performance parallels a minister’s strengthening of his sermon from exposition to exhilaration. The energy of the spirit-filled audience, responding to Pugh’s passionate delivery, is enough to sell the song. Formerly, if only briefly, a member of O’Landa Draper and the Associates, Pugh now ...

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TBGB Reviews…Stellar Awards Hits 2007

CD Review Stellar Awards Hits 2007Various ArtistsLight Records 2007 While the WOW Gospel two-CD series has served as gospel’s de facto greatest hits compilation since its inception in 1997, Light Records’ Stellar Awards Hits 2007 is a shorter but equally enjoyable swatch of the past year’s gospel music highlights. Don’t expect to hear the fruits of those who walked away with Stellar hardware, though: the recordings included are simply representative of artists nominated for awards. Despite this general caveat, three 2007 awardees – Evangelist Shirley Caesar, Bishop G.E. Patterson and the Williams Brothers – are represented on the compilation with ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: February 20, 2007

“Blessed and Highly Favored”The Clark SistersFrom the upcoming release Live – One Last TimeEMI Gospel 2007http://www.theclarksistersreunion.com/ There’s not a young female gospel group out on the highway today that cannot – and does not – acknowledge the Clark Sisters as a source of inspiration. Though the late Mattie Moss Clark’s progeny has pursued successful solo careers, the sisters joined forces one last time for their first live recording since 1993. An early single from the project, due in stores April 10, is “Blessed and Highly Favored.” It’s a relaxed tempo outing that features the Clark Sisters’ tight harmonies and delightfully ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: February 12, 2007

“Traditional Praise and Worship”Rev. Oscar Hayes & Abundant Life FellowshipFrom Seasoned & Settled(Private Press) 2006(313) 867-9112 “Y’all don’t mind havin’ a little Missionary Baptist church for a minute?” Thus inquires Detroit’s Rev. Oscar Hayes, rhetorically of course, as he and his Abundant Life Fellowship launch into a nearly eight-minute medley of traditional sacred literature during one of its live performances. Songs such as “On the Battlefield,” “Have a Little Talk with Jesus,” and “Down by the Riverside” are accompanied by an infectious backbeat and a happily warbling Hammond organ. The singing group, including fellow Detroiter Darius “Scatman” Twyman (of Destiny), ...

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Brother Joe Watson of Mississippi Blind Boys Passes Away

From Mrs. Henry Thomas-Harrison of Down Home Gospel Productions in Chicago: Brother Joe Watson of The Blind Boys of Mississippi passed away Monday, February 5th, 2007 at 7:55 p.m. at Yale Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut. Brother Joe Watson joined the Blind Boys of Mississippi in 1975. He was 64 years old, the youngest in the group. His funeral will be Friday, February 16th in Kannapolis, North Carolina. Funeral services at: New Life Baptist Church1281 Biscayne DriveKannapolis, NCRev. Terry Moody officiating Another soldier gone home. RIP Joe Watson.

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Caravans Honored with Soul Train, Grammy Nominations

From a Malaco Records Press Release: Jackson, MS. February 9, 2007 – On February 6, 2007, Soul Train announced nominees for their 21st annual prestigious music awards among whom is found The Caravans, for their 2006 release Paved The Way, in the category of Best Gospel Album. The event takes place on March 17th at the Pasadena Civic Center in Pasadena, California and will then be broadcast through syndicated networks between March 17th and March 24th. Check local listings for dates and times. Paved The Way is also in the running for a Grammy Award; winners will be announced at ...

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Ernestine Rundless of the Meditation Singers Passes Away in Detroit

TBGB is saddened to report that Sister Ernestine Rundless, leader of The Meditation Singers, passed away on Wednesday, February 7, 2007 after a lengthy illness. Born May 4, 1914, Ernestine was one of the mightiest singers on the gospel highway. Her Meditation Singers once included Della Reese as a member and worked with James Cleveland for a time. Sister Ernestine’s impact on gospel music is incalculable. Condolences may be sent to her daughter, Laura Lee, care of:Swanson’s Funeral Home806 E. Grand BoulevardDetroit, MI (1-313-923-1122) Viewing – Friday Feb. 16thSwanson’s Funeral Home806 E. Grand Blvd.Detroit, MI Memorial Musical – Friday Feb. ...

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TBGB Reviews…Zie’l

CD Review: GenesisZie’lLight Records 2006www.myspace.com/officialziel Recall my blog entry from December 2005… http://blackgospel.blogspot.com/2005_12_01_blackgospel_archive.html…when I predicted that Zie’l would be a group to watch in 2006. Having heard the five women from Shreveport, Louisiana sing at the 2005 Gospel Music Workshop of America, I knew Zie’l exuded talent. They could present traditional and urban gospel with equal zest. For me, their live appearance was one of the finest surprise moments of the convention. Genesis, Zie’l’s 2006 release for Light Records in association with Gospel Warehouse Records, was clearly crafted to showcase the group’s urban gospel side. Producer Derek Clark of Hitland ...

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