Gospel Music

Essential Gospel – Classic Recordings: No. 134

“Use Me, Lord”Drinkard SingersFrom A Joyful Noise RCA Victor LSP-18561958 American music owes an enormous debt of gratitude to the Drinkard Family for nurturing the musical talent of its kinfolk Dee Dee and Dionne Warwick, Cissy Houston and her daughter Whitney, and adopted daughter Judy (Guions) Clay. Imagining how popular music would have developed without these famous singers is like imagining the cityscape of Chicago without its most popular skyscrapers. Before the various family members’ chart-topping days, the Drinkard Singers were first and foremost a gospel-singing family. They held court at gospel programs and wowed audiences at Newport. “Use Me, ...

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Johnson Appointed Executive Director, Gospel Division – Malaco Music Group

From a Malaco Records press release: Jackson, MS. April 25, 2006-The Malaco Music Group is proud to announce the appointing of D.A. Johnson to the newly vacated post of Executive Director of its Gospel Division. The position, formerly held by Jerry Mannery, is a natural step up for Johnson, who has been serving the company since 2003 as Marketing and Promotions Director and before that served as National Promotions Director at Savoy Records, in New York City, also for the Malaco Music Group. “D.A. has been with the company a long time, is dedicated to excellence and always has a ...

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Music Industry Exec Jerry Mannery Leaves Malaco Records

From a press release by OwensMorris Communications: CHICAGO – OwensMorris Communications announced today that Jerry Mannery will join the marketing communications agency on May 1 as Client Service Director, Entertainment Marketing Division. Mannery will provide grassroots and entertainment marketing services for the agency’s clients including TV One, ExxonMobil and Darden Restaurants. Mannery has enjoyed a 20-year tenure with Malaco Music Group in Jackson, MS, and for the past 13 years as Executive Director of the Gospel Division. A Detroit native, Mannery grew up in Florence, MS. He majored in Journalism and English Literature at Tougaloo College and Jackson State University. ...

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R.I.P Irma Gwynn

TBGB learned from Tony Heilbut, who heard from Roberta Martin Singer Eugene Smith, that Sister Irma Gwynn passed away this morning, April 23. Gwynn was a featured soloist with Chicago’s famed First Church of Deliverance choir and was featured on Heilbut’s All God’s Sons and Daughters album on Spirit Feel. More details on the homegoing services to follow in a future blog entry. WLUW’s “Gospel Memories” radio show will rebroadcast its interview with Sister Gwynn on May 7. Go to www.gospelmemories.com for information on the rebroadcast.

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CD Review: Martha Munizzi – No Limits…Live

No Limits…LiveMartha MunizziIntegrity/Columbia 2006www.marthamunizzi.com Martha Munizzi has gone from the hottest blue-eyed gospel singer on the circuit (one of the finest since Gene Viale) to one of the hottest gospel singers, period. Having watched the Florida-based performer work her magic at the Chicago Gospel Fest a couple of years ago, I know firsthand that she can turn a crowd into believers with her own blend of CCM, Praise & Worship, and Gospel performance techniques. So a live project is the best way to enjoy Martha, as she is at her best in front of an appreciative crowd. On No Limits…Live, ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: April 17, 2006

“Follow Me”VirtueFrom the forthcoming CD TestimonyIntegrity Gospel 2006www.integritygospel.com With nearly ten years of recording and a handful of albums under its belt to show for it, the female ensemble Virtue — gospel music’s answer to Destiny’s Child — is set to release its sixth project, Testimony, this June. “Follow Me,” an early single from the new album, showcases the Virtue sisters (Karima Kibble, Ebony Trotter, and Heather Trotter) singing with their signature go-girl confidence. Plus, the effervescent hand-clapping beat propelling them has the vitality to stimulate the muscles of even the most staid believer. This single is sure to pick ...

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CD Review: Vashawn Mitchell – Believe in Your Dreams

Believe in Your DreamsVashawn MitchellTyscot 2005www.tyscot.com If the walls of Bishop Larry Trotter’s Sweet Holy Spirit Church on Chicago’s southeast side could talk, they’d sing. And shout. Sweet Holy Spirit has hosted many of the city’s – and the country’s – finest gospel programs and performances. Several artists have also employed the church’s “wall of sound” ambience for their live albums. Vashawn Mitchell’s Believe in Your Dreams is one of the latest recording projects to use these hallowed halls to full effect. TBGB has already written about Mitchell, a multi-talented gospel artist who has accomplished plenty in his young life ...

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The Blind Boys of Alabama Step In to Aid New Orleans

From The Belle Report: Mills River, NC – Grace Community Church in Mills River and Greater New Zion Baptist Church in Fletcher are sponsoring a benefit concert next month featuring four-time Grammy-winning artists the Blind Boys of Alabama. The proceeds of the May 4 concert will be split between Desire Street Ministries, which is working to rebuild its urban work in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, and One Youth at A Time, an Asheville organization focused on mentoring and tutoring underserved youth. The Blind Boys of Alabama have been performing soul gospel music since the first version of the group ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: April 10, 2006

“If My People”Donny JonesFrom the album The ReactionDamazing Works 2006www.myspace.com/damazingworks From the Forties to the Seventies, gospel music had a more powerful social conscience and sense of history than it does today. Quartets in particular sang about the derring-do of African-American heroes such as Mary McLeod Bethune and Dory Miller, and decried in direct language the devastating impact of war, poverty, violence, and political and racial prejudice on society. Most of these issues are still with us, yet it is difficult to find any artists – gospel or otherwise – who are willing to take a stand, sing courageously about ...

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Essential Gospel – Classic Recordings: No. 133

“I Know the Lord”Rev. Lawrence Roberts and the Angelic ChoirSavoy 4169 (also on Savoy LP MG 14049)1961 And you thought the Angelic Choir was charged up on “Peace Be Still!” Listen to this November 1961 recording, one of the Angelic Choir of Nutley, New Jersey’s first discs, delivering its most joyously enthusiastic pre-“Peace Be Still” performance, and tell me it isn’t one of the most powerful versions of “I Know the Lord Laid His Hands on Me” that you’ve ever heard. The record is a scorcher because of Roberts’ take-charge shouting lead, the choir’s ebullient singing and hand clapping, and ...

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