Prayer List

RIP Elder Arlester Washington, Gospel Singer and Pastor

By Bob Marovich The Journal of Gospel Music is saddened to learn of the transition of Elder Arlester Washington, gospel artist and pastor of Now Faith Worship Center in Lexington, Kentucky, as a result of a two-vehicle collision on Tuesday, April 9. Originally from Madisonville, Kentucky, Pastor Washington migrated to Chicago, was a member of the Gospel Crystals and the Chicago Gospel Cavaliers, and traveled with the Caravans and Jessy Dixon. He founded the Anointed Central Kentucky Mass Choir in 1990. Funeral Services are taking place THIS weekend: 1) Visitation: Friday, April 12th from 5:00-7:00pm. After the visitation will be ...

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RIP Marlowe Cribbs, Chicago-based Gospel Songwriter, Singer

JGM learned the shocking news that Marlowe Cribbs passed away. Here is Marlowe’s bio, courtesy of his website: “Raised in the home of a former Blues musician and influenced by Gospel music at an early age, M. E. Cribbs had no choice but to develop an eclectic musical ear. This would serve him greatly as he excelled in his musical ventures. He is considered a lyricist of the highest order and with artists, such as The Chicago Mass Choir, Dorinda Clark-Cole, New Direction, Reed’s Temple Choir, and Mark Hubbard & The United Voices in his clientry, this has been proven ...

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Joel Smith Homegoing Services Posted

By Bob Marovich As many readers already know, gospel drummer, bass player, bandleader and producer Joel Smith passed away on September 8 at age 58. Smith cut his teeth on gospel music by accompanying his uncles Edwin and Walter Hawkins. In 1977, at age thirteen, he played drums on Edwin’s Wonderful album. That was only the first; Smith would participate on many other Edwin Hawkins albums, including the classic Christmas album for Birthright. He participated in Walter’s historic Love Alive series and accompanied Tramaine Hawkins on bass and drums for her solo recordings. Smith also played bass guitar on Kurt ...

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RIP: Lavelle Lacy, Gospel Musician and Songwriter

JGM learned the sad news that Chicagoan and longtime gospel musician Lavelle Lacy has gone from labor to reward. The number of gospel artists he accompanied is numerous, and includes Inez Andrews, Rev. Maceo Woods and the Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir, Rev. Ernest Franklin, and the Starlight St. James Choir.  Lacy was part of a coterie of top-notch gospel musicians in Chicago who give your music special oomph. He also wrote songs for the likes of the Chicago Mass Choir, Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer Warriors, and Ricky Dillard and New G. Lacy was a featured keyboardist on the 2016 release of Lift Me Up: ...

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RIP: Stan Lewis, Record Company Owner

Stanley “Stan” Lewis, owner of Jewel Records, passed away July 14, 2018, at the age of 91. In 1948, he and his wife Pauline opened Stan’s Record Shop in Shreveport, Louisiana. One of their customers was a young Elvis Presley. From there, the Lewis’s built their enterprise into a mail order company, a distributor, and founded Jewel, Paula, and Ronn labels. Their labels featured a potpourri of American roots music, including blues, R&B, country, gospel, rock, and soul. More on Lewis’s life and many contributions to the record industry can be found in the obituary here: Stan Lewis. We at JGM ...

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RIP: Clarence Fountain, Last Original Member of the Blind Boys of Alabama

By Bob Marovich Clarence Fountain, the longtime lead singer and an original member of the Grammy Award-winning Blind Boys of Alabama, passed away this morning. He was the last of the original members of the group that was organized in 1944. Six sightless pupils, including Clarence Fountain, left the Alabama Institute for the Negro Deaf and Blind in Talladega, Alabama, in 1945 to pursue a career as a professional gospel group. Initially known as the Happy Land Singers, the group was among the early quartets to incorporate hard-singing gospel techniques into their rhythmic harmonizing. The bio from the National Endowment of ...

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Pastor C. James Starks, Patriarch of the Starks Family, Makes His Transition

(Detroit, MI)  Members of the Gospel Music community at large offer prayers and condolences to the Starks family in the untimely passing of the family patriarch, Elder C. James Starks, on Monday, April 14. A loving and devoted husband, father, spiritual leader, and “man by example,” Pastor Starks was a mentor and inspiration to many, both young and old. “Dad was my hero,” said multiple Dove and Stellar Award-nominated composer and producer Derrick Starks. “I would not be the man or the musician I am today had it not been for his example. Over 54 years of marriage and 80 ...

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Yvonne Staples of the Staple Singers Passes Away

By Bob Marovich Bill Carpenter, co-founder of Capital Entertainment in Washington, DC, and a longtime friend of and spokesperson for the Staples Family, informed JGM of the passing of Yvonne Staples. She died at her home in Chicago today, Tuesday, April 10, at age 80. Born in Chicago on October 23, 1937, Yvonne was initially a reluctant singer. She didn’t join her family’s group until some years after its founding. While not a lead singer, Yvonne’s baritone contributed greatly to the Staples’ distinctive harmonies. She is present for the Staple Singers’ late 1950s selections on Vee Jay Records, their songs of social significance for ...

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RIP: Ann Yancy, Chicago Gospel Music Pioneer

By Bob Marovich Dennis Cole of the Chicago Alliance informed the Journal of Gospel Music that Ann Yancy passed away March 12, 2018, at the age of 87. Affectionately known as “Mama,” Ann Yancy was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on October 29, 1930. After moving to Chicago, she became a member of Greater Harvest Missionary Baptist Church when it was pastored by the Reverend Louis Boddie. She sang in the Sylvia Boddie Gospel Singers and traveled and sang with such Chicago gospel pioneers as R.L. Knowles, the Robert Anderson Singers, Willie Webb, and the Roberta Martin Singers. Ann met her husband, ...

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