Gospel Music

Victory for Traditional Gospel Music

What does Marion Williams have in common with the White Stripes, Michael Buble, Kelly Clarkson, and Coldplay? She’s in the top 50 of Amazon.com’s top music sellers as of August 6, 2005! Producer Anthony Heilbut’s recent interview on NPR’s “All Things Considered” provided some extra octane for Remember Me, a compilation of Williams’ later material, to rise to the top 50 on Amazon.com’s best selling music CD list. Better yet, it is the number one selling black gospel CD on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble’s on-line portal. Congratulations to Anthony and, posthumously, to Marion Williams. Would that she could witness ...

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“Gospel Memories” — Next Broadcast: Sunday, August 7

Hello, everyone! Just a reminder that “Gospel Memories” will be broadcast on Sunday, August 7 from 2:00 – 6:30 a.m. Central Time US on Chicago’s WLUW 88.7 FM. As always, it will be webcast live on www.wluw.org. Highlights of the August 7 Broadcast: — Words and Music with Anthony Heilbut, gospel music historian, author of the seminal work The Gospel Sound: Good News and Bad Times, and producer of several gospel music compilations. Anthony, who was interviewed recently by NPR on “All Things Considered,” will talk with “Gospel Memories” at 4:00 a.m. about his involvement in gospel music and his ...

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Young Men Sent – The Real Deal!

I had the opportunity to hear the vocal group Young Men Sent perform en vivo at a recent meeting of the Chicago Area Gospel Announcers Guild. To me, the litmus test of any vocal group is its ability to harmonize without help from the endless number of levers, switches, and knobs on the recording board. And I am pleased to write that these four young men — who go by their first names or nicknames Stefano, Alfonz, J me, and Big L and are decent, good guys — blended together very well, guided only by a soundtrack tape. Young Men ...

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CD Review: Hymns To Hang On To — Bishop James Dixon II & the Community of Faith Mass Choir

Hymns To Hang On ToBishop James Dixon II & the Community of Faith Mass ChoirBlackberry Records BBD-16482005 “Whatever happened to the hymns?” ruminates Bishop James W.E. Dixon II in the first seconds of this new project from Blackberry Records. The hymn book is to the musician, he remarks, as the Bible is to the preacher. Dixon then declares that this recording session will provide “a fresh presentation of the classic hymns….old songs in new clothes.” Thematically, Hymns To Hang On To delivers on its promise: the soloists, choir and band present old-line hymns with a contemporary arrangement. Track by track, ...

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Gospel Music Film Due in Theaters in October

TBGB brings to your attention a film with a gospel music soundtrack and theme that is due out in October. The Gospel will feature gospel superstars such as Donnie McClurkin, Fred Hammond, Martha Munizzi, and music by Kirk Franklin. Hey, is it possible we might be previewing this film next month at the Gospel Announcers Guild session of the Gospel Music Workshop of America, same as we did last year when the folks who put together Ray previewed it for the Gospel Announcers Guild audience? One can only hope! To learn more about The Gospel, go to www.gospelmovie.com.

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CD Review: Gospel Superstars – SoulLink Live 2

Various Artists: Gospel Superstars – SoulLink Live 2MCG Records2005MCG7037www.mcgrecords.com Based on the success of its first SoulLink Live CD, MCG Records (part of the Malaco Music Group) has released the second compilation of quartet cuts under the SoulLink moniker. Like its predecessor, this volume also comes from the marathon six-hour “keep the tape running” recording session that took place in Atlanta’s Earthlink Theater between December 4, 2003 and the early morning hours of December 5, 2004 (and they say rock bands have stamina!). According to MCG, this historic session has produced two more CDs of material to be released later. ...

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CD Review: When Gospel Was Gospel

When Gospel Was Gospel – Various Artists Shanachie SH 60642005www.shanachie.com I am often asked to recommend a CD that will introduce the uninitiated to the sound of black gospel music. It’s not as easy as it sounds; some compilations are too facile while others are too esoteric to recommend. Thanks to Anthony Heilbut and Shanachie Records, it’s now easy to recommend one gospel primer: When Gospel Was Gospel. What’s particularly great about When Gospel Was Gospel is that it doesn’t just focus on male quartets, or female groups, or mixed ensembles, or choruses and soloists: it gives the listener a ...

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CD Review: Remember Me – Marion Williams

Remember Me – Marion WilliamsShanachie SH 60632005www.shanachie.com “I was born to sing the gospel and I sure do love my job.” So sings Marion Williams on “Born to Sing the Gospel,” a track from Remember Me, a selection of the former Ward Singer’s solo performances from 1968 to 1992. One listen to this CD will be sufficient to convince you of the above statement’s undeniable truth. The incomparable Marion, with her four-octave vocal range and multi-colored, multi-textured delivery, was matched only by Mahalia Jackson as the world’s greatest gospel singer. Indeed, Rolling Stone suggests she could be the greatest singer ...

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Three Legendary Gospel, Spiritual Selections Inducted into the National Recording Registry

The Summer 2005 issue of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) newsletter announced that the third annual induction of fifty sound recordings for the National Recording Registry included three gospel and spiritual selections: “Down by the Riverside,” Sister Rosetta Tharpe (Decca, 1944) Peace Be Still, James Cleveland and the Angelic Choir (Savoy, 1962) Tuskegee Institute Choir Sings Spirituals, Tuskegee Institute Choir under the direction of William Dawson (Westminster, 1955) The public nominates recordings for the Registry, and a group of advisors meet in Washington to make final recommendations to the Librarian of Congress on which recordings should be added ...

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CD Review: Mahalia Jackson – Not Forgotten

The Forgotten RecordingsMahalia JacksonAcrobat CD ADDCD 30062005www.acrobatmusic.net Unpack your bags. Cancel your reservation. You don’t need to travel to Paris and sort through boxes of dusty, used vinyl in record boutiques to own the music on Mahalia Jackson’s famous Vogue LPs. Acrobat Records of England has felt your pain and released a two-CD compilation of all her enigmatic and elusive Vogue recordings. For the uninitiated: in the 1960s or 1970s, the French Vogue label released three LPs of Mahalia Jackson recordings that seemingly hadn’t been heard before. They could not be found on any of her previous LPs or singles. ...

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