Gospel Music

Dixie Hummingbirds named 2006 Artists of the Year

TBGB just learned from The Belle Report that the iconic gospel quartet the Dixie Hummingbirds will receive the 2006 Artists of the Year Award from Pennsylvania’s 2006 Governor’s Awards for the Arts. The Governor’s Awards for the Arts honors outstanding artists, arts organizations and patrons of the arts in Pennsylvania. The Belle Report notes that “Governor Rendell will present the awards at 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, June 20, at The F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County. The ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will include presentations and special performances. A ticketed reception ...

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CD Review: La Varnga G. Hubbard – Nobody Else Compares to You

Nobody Else Compares to YouLa Varnga G. HubbardLA Sing Management 2006 This is the best gospel album I’ve heard this year. And it’s not on a major label. In fact, it’s not really attributable to any label. It’s independently produced. But to paraphrase the title, nothing else compares to it. Nobody Else Compares to You makes up in musical energy what it lacks in top-shelf packaging and marketing. La Varnga Hubbard is well schooled in Chicago gospel and it shows in her irrepressibly sassy, raw-throated vocals. Mix the spunk of Evangelist Shirley Caesar with the metabolism of the Warriors’ Dianne ...

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DeNetria Champ Sings Flawlessly!

TBGB note: I’ve been a strong supporter of DeNetria Champ for some time, and now that she’s received Oprah’s attention, perhaps this will be her season! Let’s hope! DeNetria Champ Sings Flawlessly!by Sheilah Belle (from The Belle Report) Richmond, VA — JDI Recording artist DeNetria Champ, stopped by St. Paul’s Baptist Church on yesterday. Known for her hit single, “I Really Love You,” and to many sounding like Aretha Franklin, Champ actually sounds even better than her hit song. Before ending the song, Champ said, “Everyone thought it was Aretha, but praise be to God, He blessed me with an ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: May 1, 2006

“Get Ready For Your Miracle!”Norman HutchinsFrom the forthcoming album Where I Long to BeJDI Records 2006www.jdirecords.com When Pastor Norman Hutchins sings “God’s Got a Blessing (With My Name on It),” he is not kidding. The prolific Hutchins has already left an indelible mark on gospel music with a string of hits, and “Get Ready For Your Miracle!” is certain to be another chart topper for the JDI recording artist. The song’s mid-tempo churchy vibe is topped with a healthy portion of Hutchins’ always-energetic personality and charm. The combination is sure to satisfy urban and traditional gospel fans alike.

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Jessy Dixon to Celebrate Chicago Songwriters, Publishers on TV Show

From Sounds of Inspirationby Effie RolfePublished in the Chicago DefenderApril 28, 2006 Jessy Dixon presents Liberty Baptist and Friends in a Live TV Taping on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. The legendary singer Dixon started his career singing and playing with Rev Milton Brunson and the Thompson Community Singers. Reflecting on the genesis of the television production, Dixon stated “the concept was birthed as I traveled around the world. So many people sang songs and people did not who wrote the songs—they thought they were public domain or unknown artists. This (television production) is really to bring awareness about black gospel ...

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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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