Gospel Music

TBGB Pick of the Week: January 22, 2006

“Looking for You”Kirk FranklinFrom the Gospocentric CD Hero2005 Gospel disco? The sacred lyric has been embraced by blues, jazz, soul, funk, RnB, doo-wop, so why not disco? So must have thought baseball-capped gospel superstar Kirk Franklin, as he all but hangs a mirror ball and lights the dance floor on “Looking for You.” The song features a metronomic thumping beat and syncopated whistles reminiscent of the days of big ‘dos and bell bottoms. Yet as frightening as this might sound, Kirk pulls it off in his signature creative way by mixing in a healthy dose of urban gospel testimony. “Looking ...

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CD Single Review: Martha Munizzi — “No Limits”

Martha Munizzi“No Limits”From the CD, No LimitsIntegrity Gospel 2005 Having heard golden-haired and silky-voiced Martha’s spectacular talent on display both live and on her CD package of marvelously-interpreted holiday songs, I know of and respect her vocal talent. Her upcoming single, “No Limits,” however, is an ironic title for a track that is simply not her best work, or at least not deserving of single status. It opens with buzzing and groaning guitars arranged more like a fanfare for the opening sequence of a sports talk program than a gospel song. A background ensemble provides the song’s melodic and lyric ...

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Essential Gospel – Classic Recordings: No. 129

“Rough Side of the Mountain”Rev. F.C Barnes & Rev. Janice BrownConsolating Sound (AIR) 1983 “Rough Side of the Mountain” was an early home run for then-fledgling, now major indie Atlanta International Records (AIR), when the company was doing business under the Consolating Sound imprint. The recording’s irresistible sing-along chorus and windshield-wiper tempo accompany Reverend F.C. Barnes and Rev. Janice Brown of the Red Budd Holy Church in Rocky Mount, NC. The two ministers harmonize like a hip version of the Consolers. The overall groove of “Rough Side” gives the listener the feeling that the Reverends have not only made it ...

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“Another Soldier Gone” — Wilson Pickett dies of heart attack at 64

From The Hollywood Reporter — January 19, 2006. TBGB NOTE: Wilson Pickett’s gospel career, which has been glossed over in much of the reporting on his death today, included a short stint with an early iteration of the Violinaires; Pickett can be heard with the quartet on its 1957 Gotham single, “Sign of the Judgement”/My Work Will Be Done.” In addition, Pickett assumed lead duties on the Spiritual Five’s “Christ’s Blood”/”Call Him Up” for Peacock in 1963. By Chris Morris Singer Wilson Pickett, the soul titan whose gutsy ’60s hits earned him the nickname “the Wicked Pickett,” died Thursday of ...

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Legendary Caravans To Be Honored at Quartet Convention

From The Belle Report: January 17, 2006 Legendary Caravans To Be Inducted Into The Hall of FameAt 14th Annual American Gospel Quartet ConventionJanuary 21, 2006 at the East Birmingham Church of God in Christ (COGIC) by Bil Carpenter On Saturday, January 21, 2006, the 14th Annual American Gospel Quartet Convention (AGQC) will induct the legendary Caravans into the organization’s Hall of Fame. The female group was second only to the Clara Ward Singers in popularity in the 1950s. During that period, they enjoyed massive gospel hits such as “Mary, Don’t You Weep,” “Walk Around Heaven All Day,” “Sweeping Through the ...

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NPR’s “All Things Considered” Features Story on Pilgrim Baptist Church

Read about and hear the excellent story Michele Norris of National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” did on the legacy of Chicago’s Pilgrim Baptist Church, which fell victim to a devastating fire last week. Featured guest on the January 12, 2006 NPR segment is Robert Darden, author of the gospel music history, People Get Ready : http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5152069

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TBGB Pick of the Week: January 8, 2006

“Born Blessed”Jimmy Hicks and the Voices of IntegrityFrom the CD Born BlessedWorldwide Music, Inc. 2006 This traditional gospel track has swagger! The lead vocalists strut vocally around a choir whose flamboyant, broad-brush strokes of sound are what happens when you combine the enthusiasm of a downhome church chorus with the dramatic flair of the African American spiritual choirs of the Thirties and Forties. “Born Blessed” is a Broadway Big Production Number in a choir robe. Outstanding!

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Pilgrim Baptist Church: “We Will Survive”

TBGB: Contributions to help Pilgrim Baptist Church rebuild can be sent to: Pilgrim Baptist Church, c/o Amalgamated Bank, 1 W. Monroe, Chicago 60603 Upbeat congregation vows to rebuild January 8, 2006From the Chicago Sun-Times BY DAVE NEWBART Staff Reporter Advertisement A congregation that just lost its 115-year-old landmark building could be grim at the first official church function to follow. Not members of Pilgrim Baptist Church in Bronzeville. Less than 24 hours after a spectacular fire gutted their historic building — the birthplace of gospel music — many congregants were upbeat about the future of the church. “We’re going to ...

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Pilgrim Baptist Church, “Birthplace of Gospel Music,” Destroyed by Fire

The story below comes from ABC News, January 6, 2006. TBGB adds that the funeral of Thomas A. Dorsey’s wife Nettie and infant son Thomas Jr. was held at Pilgrim in 1932. Months later, Dorsey would write the now-standard gospel hymn, “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” as a response to his devastating loss. This song rings in my ears as I see photos of this terrible fire. And to suspect that some of Dorsey’s artifacts were destroyed in the blaze is almost too much to bear. If there was ever a need for a permanent site for gospel music’s most ...

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Lou Rawls Dead at 72

The story below comes from the New York Times: January 7, 2006. TBGB adds that Rawls’ earliest foray into pop music came not too long after Sam Cooke’s, in 1958 with the Pilgrim Travelers, when the gospel quartet recorded as The Travelers for Andex Records. Rawls’ unmistakable cry-tinged voice leads the Travelers’ beautiful doo-wop ballad, “Why.” Lou Rawls, Singer of Pop and Gospel, Dies at 72 By BEN RATLIFF Lou Rawls, the smooth-voiced, enduring singing star whose career traced a line from gospel to jazz and pop, died early yesterday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was ...

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