Gospel Music

Freeman Wilson, Co-Founder of Philadelphia Mass Choir, Dead at 66

A nicely written article from the Philadelphia Daily News. By JOHN F. MORRISONmorrisj@phillynews.com THEY CALLED Freeman Wilson Jr. the “Teddy Pendergrass of gospel music.” They also called him a “miracle,” because when he was born in 1941, he weighed just 2.5 pounds and there was considerable doubt that he’d survive. But survive he did, and he became an important force in the world of gospel music in Philadelphia and around the country. Freeman Wilson, an ordained elder in the Pentecostal faith, a former cosmetologist and supervisor for the old Philadelphia General Hospital and at a drug-treatment center, died Dec. 16. ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: December 31, 2007

“Family (There’s a Healing)”Donald Lawrence Introduces The MurrillsQuiet Water Entertainment 2007 Supported by Stellar Award-winning gospel artist Donald Lawrence (left), the Murrills deliver a slow, contemplative call-and-response paean to the imperative of family strength and personal forgiveness. The delicate melody tugs at the heartstrings while the lyrics remind us that “Life is too short/Make a choice to be happy.” Sound advice for the New Year. The full project is due out in 2008. In the meantime, Happy New Year! TBGB is always glad when you stop by!

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CD Single Review: Major Choirboy

“I Found a Friend”Major ChoirboyGospel Management Group 2007www.choirboyonline.com Trained at the world-class Berklee School of Music, Major Choirboy asserts that he wants to establish “a new brand of sophisticated gospel music.” If so, “I Found a Friend” is an excellent start, because it’s anchored in cool combo jazz, not generic-sounding smooth jazz. Major Choirboy’s pleasant, resonant voice is supported by a female vocal trio called the Angels and a warm but complex acoustic piano-led jazz combo, which brings Vince Guaraldi to mind. As the vocals build with gospel intensity, the accompaniment (especially piano and drums) delivers a fireworks display of ...

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TBGB Reviews…Sister Elizabeth Eustis

Walk With MeSister Elizabeth EustisDelmark 2000www.delmark.com New Orleans may be known for giving birth to jazz, but Crescent City musicians and vocalists also made important contributions to gospel music. Mahalia Jackson, Helen Robinson, the Jackson Gospel Singers, Zion Harmonizers, the Greater St. Stevens Choir, and many more from New Orleans praised the Lord in song. So did Sister Elizabeth Eustis. Sister Eustis can be heard on Walk With Me, a release of her May 2, 1962 recording session at 2nd Mount Olive Baptist Church in New Orleans. At the time, Paul Affeldt released just four tracks from the session on ...

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Chicago Choir Director’s Death a Mystery

From the Chicago Sun-Times: SOUTH SIDE Deacon at Trinity United Church of Christ found shot multiple times in his home on Sunday December 26, 2007SUN-TIMES STAFF REPORTS Chicago Police were searching for answers Tuesday about who shot and killed a beloved choir director and teacher in his South Side home. Meanwhile, funeral arrangements were set for Donald Young, who for two decades directed the choir at Trinity United Church of Christ, a high-profile African-American church. Donald Young, Choir Director of Trinity United Church, was found murdered. U.S. Sen. Barack Obama attends the church, at 400 W. 95th St. in the ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: December 24, 2007

“His Glory”Calvin Suggs & FriendsFrom the CD CelebrateMCG Records 2007http://www.calvinsuggs.org/ North Carolina’s Calvin Suggs, former leader of the Carolina Spirituals, teams up with fellow quartet singer Luther Barnes of the Sunset Jubilaires on “His Glory,” a lovely, unpretentious gospel ballad. While the title track is the touted single from Suggs’ CD Celebrate, “His Glory,” with solid song construction and excellent vocal contributions from the singers, sounds like a hit. In addition, it is sufficiently traditional to please quartet fans, but contemporary enough to satisfy the urban inspirational crowd.

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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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