Gospel Music

Essential Gospel – Classic Recordings: No. 133

“I Know the Lord”Rev. Lawrence Roberts and the Angelic ChoirSavoy 4169 (also on Savoy LP MG 14049)1961 And you thought the Angelic Choir was charged up on “Peace Be Still!” Listen to this November 1961 recording, one of the Angelic Choir of Nutley, New Jersey’s first discs, delivering its most joyously enthusiastic pre-“Peace Be Still” performance, and tell me it isn’t one of the most powerful versions of “I Know the Lord Laid His Hands on Me” that you’ve ever heard. The record is a scorcher because of Roberts’ take-charge shouting lead, the choir’s ebullient singing and hand clapping, and ...

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Sony and JDI ink new exclusive distribution deal

From a press release distributed by JDI Records: Sony BMG Red Distribution, the world leader in the distribution of music and JDI Records, #1 fastest growing gospel record company in the world (Billboard Magazine) have entered into a long-term exclusive distribution deal to distribute JDI’s stellar roster of artists including, 8 time Stellar award & Dove Award nominee Rev. Norman Hutchins, 3 time Stellar nominee DeNetria “Aretha” Champ, Soul Train Award nominee Chester D.T. Baldwin, Grammy nominee Minister Timothy Britten, just to name a few! Beginning with the 2nd Quarter release of “Where I Long To Be” from JDI powerhouse ...

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Dr. Charles Fold Passes Away

This message comes to TBGB from Al “The Bishop” Hobbs via Tammy Taylor: To the GMWA family and Gospel music lovers everywhere, I have just been informed by the Chairman of the GMWA, Albert L. Jamison, Senior, that our Board Member and beloved President of the Chapter Representatives, Dr. Charles Fold, passed away early this morning. GMWA members and most in the gospel industry were aware of his failing health over the past several months but had heard the good news of his recuperation. Today, shock and sadness will invade our humanness for it is for certain that we shall ...

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Thousands of Pentecostals Expected to Return at Azusa Centennial

From Elder Mack C. Mason’s “The Gospel Trade” Monthly Newsletter: Over 150,000 people from around the world will descend on the city of Los Angeles later this month (April 25 – 29) to commemorate the 100 Year Centennial of the 1906 Azusa Street Revival. Although the 312 Azusa building is no longer there, the original meeting site, the Bonnie Brae House, remains an important piece of the history. The house is maintained by Bishop Charles E. Blake and First Jurisdiction of Southern California COGIC. There will be an opening prayer followed by a march to Azusa Street. Various services and ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: April 3, 2006

“Walk Around Heaven”Sweet BettyFrom the album Live and Let LiveMusic Maker 2006www.musicmaker.org “Walk Around Heaven All Day” is a gospel music masterpiece recorded in 1964 by the famous Caravans, though it was really a showcase for the solo vocal prowess of Cassietta George. Four decades later, Duluth, Georgia native Sweet Betty closes her full-length blues CD, Live and Let Live, with a version of “Walk Around Heaven” that she dedicates to her mother, Montine Echols. While the mood of both versions is of solitary contemplation, Betty replaces Cassietta’s youthful power and passion with a head-shaking world-weariness and a palpable resignation ...

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Letting Their Voices Be Heard – from Chicago Tribune

From the Chicago Tribune (3/31/06) History museum’s program explores the role of gay men in gospel music and the church By Natalie Y. MooreSpecial to the Tribune Published March 31, 2006 Growing up in rural North Carolina, E. Patrick Johnson sang in his church choir. Well into his teens, he had a soprano voice and enjoyed belting out gospel solos. It was a safe place for him, a place where it was OK to be different in terms of what is or isn’t masculine. “We didn’t really know about our sexuality at that point. We knew we were different,” said ...

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Lionel Darty of the Savettes Goes Home

From a press release courtesy of Black Gospel Promo: It is with grief that the Family and Friends of Mr. Lionel Darty inform you of his transition from Labor to Reward, which occurred on Friday, March 24, 2006. Mr. Darty was a partner of Sweet Rain Records and was affectionately known as a member of The “Original” Choir Boys Production Team. He was also a charter member of The Savettes of Philadelphia. The Home Going service will take place on Friday, March 31st at the Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ, 6401 Ogontz Ave. (Ogontz and Stenton Ave), Philadelphia, ...

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CD Review: Gene Viale – The Early Years

The Early YearsGene Viale3rd Generation Records 2006www.geneviale.net Gene Viale entered the gospel music consciousness in 1964 when James Cleveland overheard him singing Charles Watkins’ “Heartaches” in his trademark delicate-as-a-butterfly-wing tenor. Cleveland immediately found a spot for the young unknown in his Cleveland Singers and recorded Viale singing “Heartaches” with the full ensemble. Viale’s membership also gave the Cleveland Singers the distinction of being one of the first black gospel groups to integrate. After his work with Cleveland, Viale recorded a fine solo album, What Color is God, for Checker. Ironically, while the title track was socially responsible and forward-thinking, some ...

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Essential Gospel – Classic Recordings: No. 132

“I’ve Tried”Mighty PilgrimsFinch 1102361971 This record is about as close to perfect as any gospel quartet record I’ve ever heard. Each vocal stanza, each achingly beautiful and tight harmony run, each fervent foray into the vocal stratosphere by the lead vocalist are performed with precision while maintaining a mood of easy, lazy informality. Although it was recorded in 1971, “I’ve Tried” by the Mighty Pilgrims sounds as if it was waxed ten years earlier. It’s a variation on the lyrics of the classic “When I’ve Done the Best I Can,” but without the original melody and performed in early 1960s ...

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CD Review: Austin Family & Friends

Experience the ImpossibleAustin Family & FriendsJCA Records 2005www.jamesaustinjr.com Experience the Impossible is a locally-produced album by the family and friends of Rev. James C. and Vernesta T. Austin, the pastor and first lady respectively of St. Luke Church of God in Christ in Chicago. Reading COGIC and music in the same sentence usually brings to mind an exuberant, frenetic style of gospel, but the Austin Family’s sound is different from that. It is quieter and more delicate, a musical cousin of the work of Andrae Crouch, also from a COGIC family. This fresh-faced project by the young Austin Family is ...

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