Gospel Music

Denise Josiah – Songs For the Heart

Denise Josiah Songs For the Heart JoDah Ministries, LLC (2016) www.jodahministries.org By Bob Marovich Denise Josiah titled her debut album Songs For the Heart, but it could easily have been titled Songs From the Heart. The ten lovingly intimate sacred selections on the CD were penned or arranged over a period of more than twenty years by the singer, her husband Dr. Donnell Josiah, or written together. Born on the beautiful island of Saint Maarten but now residing in Maryland, Denise is a worship singer whose light soprano is thickened with resonant echoes of alto, no doubt the result of ...

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Pastor Van D. Roberson Passes Away

Zadella “Mama” Curtis informed JGM that Pastor Van D. Roberson has passed away. In addition to pastoring the Shiloh Baptist Church in Bryan, Texas, Roberson was a gospel singer in the traditional-quartet style, honed, no doubt, from his years as a member of the Roberson Brothers, which started out prior to 1961 as the Israelite Voices of Peace.  He was also part of the Pastors Chorus of Bryan/College Station, Texas; they recorded the single, “Good to Me,” in 2012. Roberson also sang with the Mighty Clouds of Joy’s Joe Ligon on the 2012 Mother’s Day single, “Momma Remembered.” Below is ...

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LaVarnga Hubbard Calls On Her Chicago Mass Choir Family for “Worthy”

By Bob Marovich Lady LaVarnga Hubbard, known as the Duchess of Gospel Music, has been a member of the Chicago Mass Choir since it was the Ecclesiastes Community Choir, under the leadership of the late James C. Chambers. Her lead on Chicago Mass’s “Call Him Up” has ensured the song a place in the choir’s repertory. So when it was time for her to release solo music, all Hubbard had to do was call up her extended Chicago Mass Choir family. That’s what she did for her latest single, “Worthy.” “Worthy” was written especially for her by Grover Lafayette Simmons, whose ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: August 15, 2016

“And We’re Going On!” Shonda English www.shondaenglish.com A high-octane percussive arrangement propels this shoulder-shaking handclapper about the higher wages and benefits available for workers in the Master’s Vineyard, and how we may not have long to earn those resources. If the listener didn’t get the point in the first portion of the song, English digs deeper into her low register to shout, growl, and evangelize the meaning during the breathless vamp. Originally from Boston but now living in South Carolina, English is no stranger to traditional gospel music.  She worked with the late Margaret Allison of the Angelic Gospel Singers ...

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Documentary Featuring the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project Needs Your Help

By Bob Marovich When his mother passed away in 2004, filmmaker David Licata began to ponder life’s timeless questions: What is our purpose on earth? What do we want to leave as a legacy? The result is a forthcoming documentary, A Life’s Work. Licata’s first feature-length project (he has completed two short films) showcases how several individuals have answered this question–by tackling a project so immense that they will not be completed in their lifetimes. After more than a decade of interviews and filming, A Life’s Work is in its final phases of production, with completion anticipated for the first quarter of ...

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47th Annual GMA Dove Awards Nominees Announced Today in Nashville

Lauren Daigle leads with 6 nominations, including Artist of the Year; Hillsong UNITED and Chris Tomlin garner 5 Songwriter Jason Ingram scores 7 nods, including Song of the Year Awards to be held live Tuesday, October 11 at Lipscomb University and will air on TBN on Sunday, October 16 NASHVILLE, Tenn. (August 10, 2016) – The Gospel Music Association (GMA) announced today the nominees in 44 categories for the 47th Annual GMA Dove Awards. The awards show will take place on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena in Nashville at 6:30 p.m. CST. Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) ...

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Howard Gospel Choir – Glorious God

Howard Gospel Choir of Howard University Glorious God Howard Gospel Choir (2016) www.howardgospelchoir.com By Bob Marovich It might surprise some that, prior to the late 1960s, college and university music departments sniffed at starting a gospel choir. In a reprise of the early twentieth century church’s disdain for the gospel music of Thomas A. Dorsey, colleges treated the vernacular sacred music with arrogance and condescension. It took a dedicated group of students, Melanie Russell-Lee, the Reverend Rosalind Thompkins-Lynch, and Richard Smallwood among them, to persuade their alma mater, Howard University, that a gospel choir was not only a good idea, it would serve ...

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Groundbreaking Collection of One-Of-A-Kind Sacred Recordings Set for September 30 Release

CHAMPAIGN, IL & LOS ANGELES, CA (TUESDAY, AUGUST 9, 2016) — Archeophone Records (www.archeophone.com) today announced that its highly-anticipated book and CD compilation, Waxing the Gospel: Mass Evangelism and the Phonograph, 1890-1900, will be released on September 30, 2016, and made available via all major brick and mortar and online retailers. With 102 tracks—nearly four hours of audio—on three CDs housed in a beautifully illustrated 408-page hardback book, Waxing the Gospel is an unprecedented exploration of the earliest days of recording. It chronicles in words, images, and ancient sounds how tradition and technology merged in three distinct areas of recording ...

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Bill Moss Jr. Live With Third New Hope: Songbook of Praise & Worship

Bill Moss Jr. Live with Third New Hope Songbook of Praise & Worship Salathiel Records www.billmossmusic.com By Bob Marovich Motor City singer-songwriter Bill Moss Jr.’s newest release, Songbook of Praise & Worship, is exactly what it is advertised to be. It’s a collection of ready-to-learn P&W songs rendered by Moss and a small but melodious choir from Detroit’s Third New Hope Baptist Church, where the album was recorded live on December 20, 2015. Besides offering a collection of P&W songs, each distinct from one another and all suitable for devotionals, the album contains a thematic undercurrent: the restorative property of ...

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