Gospel Music

Gospel Memories: Sunday, February 4

Hello, gospel music mavens — the next live broadcast of “Gospel Memories” will be this Sunday, February 4 from 3:00 to 7:30 a.m. Central Time US on Chicago’s WLUW 88.7. Listen live anywhere in the world via the real-time webcast at www.wluw.org. Highlights of the February 4 Broadcast: — February 2007 marks the 100th birthday of Roberta Evelyn Martin (photo above). Roberta organized the original Roberta Martin Singers from a group of teenagers in Ebenezer MB Church’s junior chorus. Her songwriting, arranging and piano genius created a graceful, dignified ensemble sound that literally transformed the genre. Each of the Roberta ...

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TBGB Reviews Old Time Camp Meeting Songs – Volume III

Old Time Camp Meeting Songs – Volume IIIRev. Timothy Flemming, Sr.God’s Strength Records 2007 Buoyed by the success of Volumes I and II, the prolific Rev. Timothy Flemming, Sr. has released yet a third volume of Old Time Camp Meeting Songs. Recorded live at the Macon City Auditorium in Macon, Georgia, Old Time Camp Meeting Songs – Volume III reminds us that there was a soul-stirring sound in the church long before gospel music took hold. Rev. Flemming takes the listener way, way, way back, leading old fashioned, largely unaccompanied call-and-response congregational hymn and spiritual singing. Think Alan Lomax’s Library ...

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Allen & Allen & Allen & Allen & Allen & Allen

CD Review:Mega 3 CollectionsLight Recordswww.lightrecords.com Box sets have been a music industry staple for some time now. Not to be left out, Light Records added their own variation on the multi-disc set to the mix a few years ago by launching a series called the Mega 3 Collection. The 3-CD packs are reissues of three gospel or Christian rock albums from a Light Records artist’s back catalog. It’s an economical way to update your CD collection with items that may have eluded you. The liner notes are all but nonexistent, basically a track list with photos of the CDs reissued, ...

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Fire Destroys Home of Gospel Singer Ricky Dillard

by Sheilah Belle of The Belle Report (www.thebellereport.net): Fire early Tuesday, January 16, 2007 destroyed a home belonging to gospel singer Ricky Dillard, who was out of town. The six-bedroom, 5,000-square-foot house was “completely burned to the ground, from my understanding,” said Dillard’s manager, William Bogle. “It was certainly unfortunate but, more importantly, I’m glad he wasn’t in it.” Firefighters were called to the home around 3 a.m. and found the house already fully engulfed, said DeKalb County Fire Department Capt. Eric Jackson. No one was in the home and there were no injuries, he said. Bogle said Dillard was ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: January 22, 2007

“The Lord’s Prayer”First Church of Deliverance Choirand Bishop Otto T. Houston, IIIOn the CD God CanF.C.D. 2006 Former First Church of Deliverance Minister of Music Julia Mae Kennedy’s dramatic arrangement of Albert Hay Malotte’s “The Lord’s Prayer” finally gets the audio engineering it deserves. “The Lord’s Prayer” closes First Church’s latest project, God Can, in a triumphant explosion of sound. A lullaby of synthesized strings opens the song, but is soon clobbered by a bone-chilling tonic chord played on the Hammond organ. Since First Church pioneered the Hammond organ as accompaniment to gospel music in 1939, it’s no wonder the ...

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First-Ever Sister Rosetta Tharpe Biography Now Available

Shout, Sister, Shout! The Untold Story of Rock-And-Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta TharpeGayle F. Wald Beacon Press 2007www.shoutsistershout.net Despite Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s celebrated position as a gospel music pioneer, no author has taken on the role of her biographer until now. Thanks to Gayle Wald, Professor of English at George Washington University, the world can now read about the “swinger of spirituals” in greater detail than ever before. Shout, Sister, Shout! is the definitive portrait of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, a woman who emerged from rural poverty and the Pentecostal church to alter the sound and venue options of African American sacred ...

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Gospel Music Tributes to Martin Luther King

The larger record buying public might think Dion’s lachrymose “Abraham, Martin and John” was one of the few songs recorded to pay tribute to Martin Luther King. However, the black gospel music community knows there are more tributes and references to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in gospel music than for any other political or social leader in history except, of course, for Jesus. Most of the recordings were issued after King’s assassination in 1968. Columbia repackaged a handful of Mahalia Jackson recordings as a dedication album: Mahalia Jackson Sings the Best-Loved Hymns of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Columbia). ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: January 15, 2007

“Worldwide God”Prenestine Williams-PorterMotor City Praise Records 2006www.motor-city-records.com Prenestine Williams-Porter called on the estimable talents of fellow Detroiter “Queen of Quartet” Evelyn Turrentine Agee and Queen of Gospel Albertina Walker to accompany her on “Worldwide God,” the radio single and title track from her full-length project for James Render’s Motor City Praise Records. Though the rhythm track is modernistic, the singing is fiercely traditional, as one would expect from the members of this trio. The ladies make a superb trio, too, taking turns at call-and-response with a choir, and providing a litany of the various places on the map where Jesus ...

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Essential Gospel – Classic Recordings: No. 141

“Troubled”James Cleveland and the Cleveland SingersFrom Savoy LP MG142111968/69 If life is a ball game, as Wynona Carr sang, then James Cleveland was life’s great utility player. James was a creative composer, director, keyboardist, producer, preacher, m.c., and vocalist – whether solo, with a choir, or with a group. He even organized a namesake group, the Cleveland Singers, which was patterned, like so many other groups, after Roberta Martin’s aggregation of top talent. It was with one of the several iterations of Cleveland Singers personnel that James recorded “Troubled,” the musical equivalent of a relaxing soak in a bubble bath. ...

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TBGB Reviews…Still Standing

Still StandingBishop Paul S. MortonLight Records/Tehillah Music Group 2006www.fullgospelbaptist.org Still Standing is a collective sigh of relief and exultation set to music and lyrics, recorded a fragile year after Hurricane Katrina and the levee breach destroyed Bishop Paul S. Morton’s flagship Greater St. Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church in New Orleans. The water also ravaged members’ homes; destroyed their personal possessions; injured and killed men, women, and children; and scattered many of the 20,000-strong congregation across the land and country. While making the CD was therefore a cathartic and emotionally compulsory enterprise for Bishop Morton and his church, it is ...

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