Gospel Music

TBGB Reviews…Fairest Hill

Unfinished BusinessFairest HillVision Productions 2007www.fairesthill.net Son of legendary Detroit gospel vocalist Tessie Hill and original member of the Followers of Christ quartet, Dr. Fairest Hill is now a motivational speaker and gospel singer. On his new project, Unfinished Business, Hill shines the spotlight on these two passions as a mighty band of musicians cranks out the jams behind him. The disc has a positive spin to it (pun intended), as Hill sings encouraging, uplifting messages between the beats. The best example is “Daddy Talk,” a rhythm-laced litany of phrases, one-liners, and couplets on how to live a happier and more ...

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Black Gospel Music Restoration Project Featured on NPR’s “Fresh Air”

Robert Darden, a Baylor University professor, former gospel editor for Billboard, and author of People Get Ready: A New History of Black Gospel Music, was a guest on NPR’s “Fresh Air” today. He spoke to host Terry Gross about the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project, housed at Baylor. Many of the recordings heard during the segment are from the collection of TBGB’s editor, Bob Marovich, who has been loaning 45 rpm discs to the project for digitization and storage since the middle of this year. More of Bob’s collection of approximately 18,000 gospel tracks can be heard on WLUW’s “Gospel ...

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Father of Beverly Crawford Passes Away

JDI Records informed TBGB that Bishop Walter Camps, Presiding Bishop of the Holy Temple of God and father of JDI recording artist Beverly Crawford, passed away. Please keep Beverly and her family in your prayers, as Christmas is a particularly difficult time to lose a loved one. More About Presiding Bishop Walter Camps Here is what JDI sent TBGB on Bishop Camps: Bishop Walter Camps Sr. was born July 2, 1933 in Jonesville, Florida. He is one of nine children born to the late Essie & Robbie L. Camps. At an early age, Bishop Camps was converted and baptized under ...

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CD Single Review: Lonna Hardin

“Tender Mercy”Lonna HardinFrom the Various Artists CD The New SoulRedeemed Soul.com 2007http://www.redeemedsoul.com/ Growing up in Texas and Michigan, Lonna Hardin sang. Sang in church, sang in the classroom, in high school hallways, at her commencement, everywhere. She soloed on a Charles Fold album, released an independent solo project in 1999, and is now a member of David V. Taylor’s Indianapolis-based Redeemed Soul.com label. Her single, “Tender Mercy,” is a smooth-running neo-soul track that summons the comfort of the Lord to heal the emotional wounds inflicted by a lost relationship. Her vocals express a quiet dignity while the guitars evoke a ...

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“Glory, Glory to the New Born King”: Gospel at Christmastime

Today, nearly every popular gospel artist has a Christmas project in his or her catalog. The Mississippi Mass Choir, Luther Barnes, and Yolanda Adams are among those releasing Christmas albums this season. But when did the tradition of gospel artists recording Christmas carols begin? One is inclined to answer that Mahalia Jackson set the standard in 1950 with her Apollo recording of “Silent Night,” but the tradition goes back much further, more than two decades before the release of Mahalia’s disc. In truth, Christmas recordings by African American sacred artists predate gospel by several years. The Elkins Mixed Quartette, also ...

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TBGB Reviews…The Frierson Brothers

Over There The Frierson Brothers Joyland Records 2007 www.joylandrecords.com The Frierson Brothers – Rev. Fredrick, Sr.; Rev. Franklin; and Joe, Jr. – hail from New Jersey, but on Over There, the quartet sounds as if it’s headquartered in the Carolinas. The song selection runs the gamut from the traditional (“Walk With Me,” a reorganizing of “In the Garden,” complete with standard quartet guitar chord intro and the bass singer intoning the familiar, “Well…”), to compositions by 1970s and 1980s stars Donnie Harper of the New Jersey Mass Choir (“These Are They”) and Harrison Johnson (his classic “I’ve Decided to Make ...

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The Sister Rosetta Tharpe Memorial Fund

Witness gospel music history — correction, American music history — being made as the Dixie Hummingbirds, Marie Knight, Odetta, the Huff Singers, and Willa Ward with the Johnny Thompson Singers perform for the Sister Rosetta Tharpe Memorial Fund. Music will be in the air and all around at this fundraiser, Friday, January 11, 2008 at 8:00 p.m. at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA. Proceeds will help purchase a long overdue memorial for Sister Rosetta Tharpe at Northwood Cemetery, and aid Community Music Scholarship Programs at Temple University and Settlement Music School. Applause to Dixie Hummingbirds biographer Jerry Zolten and ...

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Percy Bady: It’s a “Wonderful Life” in the Kingdom Biz

Gospel’s uber-producer Percy Bady is always busy Kingdom building with his songs and production. This time, however, the Kingdom he’s building is here on earth. It’s a brand new record company. And while Bady spends each Sunday afternoon sending the praises up, his partner in the business spends his Sunday afternoons taking defenders down. Kingdom Biz Records, a gospel artist development, production, and recording enterprise based in Chicago, is a joint venture between Bady and Chicago Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris. The company was formed as the result of a chance meeting of the two entrepreneurs. As musical director of ...

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Memphis’ WLOK – A Legend in its Own Time

While running in the St. Jude Memphis Marathon this past weekend, I passed the offices of WLOK 1340 AM, “A Family Tradition.” Headquartered in a diminutive building on a back street near Memphis’ bustling downtown, WLOK is just as important to the music history of Memphis as Elvis, Sun, Stax, Hi, the COGIC headquarters, Beale Street, W.C. Handy’s house, WDIA, and East Trigg Baptist Church. It has enough of a history, in fact, to merit its own historical marker. Most importantly, the gospel music emanating out of this storied institution Saturday was traditional to the core, what WLOK calls “Solid ...

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