Gospel Music

RIP: Duranice Pace of the Pace Sisters

By Robert M. Marovich JGM was saddened to learn of the passing of singer Duranice Pace of the Pace Sisters on January 14, 2021, at age 62. Born May 13, 1958, in Atlanta’s Poole Creek community to Murphy and Bettie Ann Pace and brought up in the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), Duranice was one of nine sisters who comprised the Stellar- and Grammy-nominated Anointed Pace Sisters. The sisters began singing in church, in local talent shows, and participated in COGIC national conventions, where in the 1970s they won Best Gospel Group. They also toured nationally with their uncle, ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: January 11, 2021

“Forgive Me” Toneisha Harris Connected Sound Music Group (release date: October 1, 2020) By Robert M. Marovich Toneisha Harris makes as transparent a confession of sin as one is likely to hear on “Forgive Me.” Harris’s impassioned and melismatic pleas are set to a soulful rhythm section that receives dramatic emphasis from insistent piano triplets. Her mea culpas buckle the walls of her prayer closet. The runner-up in 2020’s The Voice vocal competition on NBC, Toneisha Harris was first heard by JGM in 2007 as a featured vocalist on Bruce Parham’s single, “Call Jesus.” We called her “spectacular” then and ...

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“Get Right Church”- The Gospel Legends

“Get Right Church” The Gospel Legends From the OTH Records CD Just One Touch (release date: December 11, 2020) www.thegospellegends.com By Robert M. Marovich One day about fifteen years ago, I was at the Gospel Music Workshop of America when someone handed me an invitation to meet a group called the Gospel Legends at their booth in the exhibitors’ hall. Intrigued, I accepted the invitation, expecting to shake hands with a group of seniors from various veteran quartets. I’m sure the Gospel Legends of South Carolina smiled at the surprise on my face when I laid eyes on a group ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: January 4, 2021

“God is Working” Deon Kipping The Underestimated Group (release date: November 20, 2020) www.deonkipping.com By Robert M. Marovich “That Dude” Deon Kipping, the singer-songwriter responsible for JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise’s 2005 hit, “Incredible God, Incredible Praise,” delivers a heartwarming new gospel ballad called “God is Working.” The song’s image is of a God who never rests in service to his people. When things look grim and we don’t have all of the answers, Kipping sings, remember that God is working “behind the scenes.” The main line is “Just before you start to fall apart / Remember God does all ...

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“He Picked Me Up” – The Highway QCs featuring Spencer Taylor Jr.

“He Picked Me Up” The Highway QCs featuring Spencer Taylor Jr. Ruffboyzmusic Group, LLC / Overboard Records 2020 By Robert M. Marovich The Highway QCs under “The Godfather” Spencer Taylor Jr. have not only entered their eighth decade of spreading the good news through quartet harmony, they show no signs of slowing down. Taylor assumes the second lead on the effervescent single, “He Picked Me Up.” It’s full of energy, optimism, and zest—just what we need to get through the tough times. The single is another example of the noise Jontee Ruffin’s Ruffboyzmusic Group and Darrell Jay Jones’ Overboard Records ...

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Geneatha Wright – In the Room

Geneatha Wright In the Room Godfather Records (release date: October 22, 2020) By Robert M. Marovich Reverend Timothy Wright and First Lady Betty Wright may be gone, but their music and pastoral legacies live on through family members, their son John David and his wife, Geneatha, in particular. Geneatha (nee Doughtry), a singer before she joined the Wright family, has maintained a fairly consistent, if somewhat protracted , recording schedule, releasing Just As I Am in 2013, In His Presence in 2017, and re-issuing the song “Everything Will Be Alright” from her 2013 album in response to the pandemic. All ...

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Another Soldier Gone – Sister Rosetta Davis (Charles Fold Singers)

By Robert M. Marovich JGM learned that Sister Rosetta Davis, a longtime member and beloved soloist of the Charles Fold Singers of Cincinnati, Ohio, passed away during the 2020 Christmas holiday. A firebrand of a singer, Davis started her singing career at a young age. In the 1950s, she was billed as the Little Blind Girl on what may have been her first single, “There is a Fountain” / “I Know My Robe is Going to Fit Me Well,” on Hilltop Records. Davis’s work with the Charles Fold Singers was robust, including solo turns on the choir’s recordings and especially ...

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RIP: Pastor Steve Hawkins

By Robert M. Marovich A. Jeffrey LaValley informed JGM of the passing of his friend, gospel singer and pastor Steve Hawkins. Born in Waco, Texas, on Valentine’s Day, 1953 (“That’s why I’m such a sweetheart!” he chuckled during our 2014 interview), Hawkins was raised in Cleveland, Ohio, where his father was pastor of the Jerusalem Church of God in Christ. As a youngster, Hawkins learned the finer points of singing from his mother. His uncle and aunt, Dorothy and Lawrence Abrams, took him on the road to open for the Original Five Blind Boys, in which Lawrence was a member ...

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How Gospel Music Influenced Mainstream Hits

By Cecille Richman, Guest Contributor While many might say that gospel music is incredibly niche, the opposite is actually true. Formed out of a mixture of African American folk music and religious hymns, it’s a soulful genre that has inspired countless others. Genres now considered foundational to American popular music, including soul, blues, and R&B, can all trace their history back to gospel. The recent launch of Legacy Music Group is proof of gospel music’s incredible influence and popularity. Hundreds of popular artists have made use of gospel music or gospel musical influences in their discographies. In a ZenBusiness guide ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: December 21, 2020

“Silent Night”HamiltonesFrom the Young Vintage CDA Hamiltone Christmas (release date: November 30, 2017)www.watchtheton3s.com By Robert M. Marovich Although labeled a soul and R&B group, the Hamiltones of North Carolina sound for all the world like a gospel quartet on “Silent Night.” From converting the song’s 6/8 time signature to 12/8 to the shouting vocals, gritty guitar work, adlibbing, and crackling vinyl intro, this is old school quartet, I don’t care what anybody says. Then again, the Grammy-nominated trio has been featured on albums by Anthony Hamilton, PJ Morton, Jonathan McReynolds, and Tori Kelly, so there’s that. Released in 2017, the ...

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