Gospel Music

Classic Gospel – Essential Recordings: Week 112

“Couldn’t Hear Nobody Pray” Frederick ‘Nee’ Smith & the Sensational Gospel Light Rae Cox 144 early 1960s The Rae Cox and Enrica labels were formed by veteran jazz musician Teddy McRae and Eddie Wilcox sometime around 1959. The labels featured RnB, doo-wop, and a fair amount of gospel. It is even possible that the enigmatic Esquerita (aka Eskew Reeder) accompanied Rev. Willie Green and the Clovertones’ on their two-sider “Didn’t it Rain” (Enrica 122). Esquerita is also credited as accompanying Evangelist Rosa Shaw on a Rae Cox single, though my 45-rpm copy of Shaw identifies Robert Banks as the keyboardist. ...

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Souled Out ‘n Sanctified: Danny Brooks and the Rockin’ Revelators (HIS House) – a review

Souled Out ‘n Sanctified – Danny Brooks and the Rockin’ Revelators (HIS House) Fresh from his participation as a member of the NorthernBlues Gospel All Stars on the Juno-nominated Saved, Danny Brooks is back on the gospel highway with Souled Out ‘n Sanctified. From the cover photo of Beale Street interposed on a map of Southwest Tennessee to the first track “Soulsville” – a paean to Memphis – Brooks whets the listener’s appetite for his trademark blend of gospel, blues, and mountain music. Putting it another way: Brooks’ gritty, sandpaper-tough vocals are what you’d get if Bob Seger sang in ...

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Tracy Worth: Don’t Let Heaven Pass You By

 Tracy Worth: Don’t Let Heaven Pass You By Serenity SEL4602 (2004) Reviewed by: Bob Marovich www.island.net/~blues/gospel.htm For far too many musicians, being successful in contemporary urban gospel music means keeping up with the Joneses, or more appropriately, with the Kee’s, the Franklin’s, and the McClurkin’s.  While John, Kirk, and Donnie are talented artists and eminently worthy of emulation, there is no need for replication when a vast frontier of gospel music creativity awaits discovery.  Fortunately, some gospel artists – mostly women – are starting to chart this frontier with their own individual musical compasses.  Tracy Worth is one of these ...

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Week 111: The Cotton Brothers on Song Bird

WEEK 111: “Remember Me, O’ Lord”  Cotton Brothers   Song Bird 1017     1964 [available on CD: “Chosen Gospel Singers (1955-1963)/Cotton Brothers (1964-1969)” Pewburner 589] Those of you who have been following my essays for some time know that I have a penchant for doo-wop infused gospel.  These “gospel ballads” – distinct from gospel blues and the sanctified hard-singing style popular in the 1950s and 1960s – are soft, reflective love songs to the Almighty.  Arguably, it was this same amalgam of doo-wop and gospel that gave birth to the Impressions’ “For Your Precious Love” in 1958, and soul music in general. Here’s ...

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Introduction to “The Black Gospel Blog”

Hello, gospel music fans!  Bookmark this blog because in the days, weeks, and months to come, it will feature a continuation of the same essential black gospel information you have enjoyed at www.island.net/~blues/gospel.htm.  I’ll be passing along info on gospel pioneers, continuing the list of “Must Have” gospel songs from the beginning of recorded sound through today, discussing reissues of golden gospel as well as some of the best of the new sounds.  In the meantime, listen to Chicago’s WLUW 88.7 fm for “Gospel Memories” on Sunday, August 1 from 2:00 to 6:30 a.m. for great gospel, spirituals, and jubilees from a by-gone ...

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