Prayer List

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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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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RIP: Ora Watkins-Jones (Southwest Michigan State Choir of COGIC)

By Robert M. Marovich Marcel West of Detroit informed JGM of the passing of Mother Ora Watkins-Jones, stalwart lead vocalist for the Southwest Michigan State Choir of the Church of God in Christ, under the direction of Dr. Mattie Moss Clark. Of a choir with more than 100 members, a few names stood out from the pack. Rose Marie Rimson-Brown. LaBarbara Whitehead. Vanessa Bell Armstrong. The Clark Sisters. Donald Vails. And Ora Watkins-Jones. Mother Watkins-Jones is perhaps best known for her vocal contribution, with Rimson-Brown (who passed away earlier this year), on the Southwest Michigan State Choir’s first radio hit, ...

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Virtual Celebration of Life for Troy Douglas Clark Set for December 4

GOSPEL MUSIC LEGENDS EARNEST PUGH & JUDITH CHRISTIE MCALLISTER WILL HOST VIRTUAL CONCERT CELEBRATING LIFE OF TROY DOUGLAS CLARK Troy Douglas Clark, a behind-the-scenes music industry veteran who worked as both a talent manager and background vocalist, died of liver failure on November 25, 2020, at 3:30 PM PT at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys, CA. Two of Clark’s longtime industry friends, recording executive Neily Dickerson and singer Earnest Pugh, have announced a virtual concert celebrating Clark’s life. Pugh and Judith Christie McAllister and Pugh will host the virtual Facebook Live concert Friday, December 4, 2020 at 9 PM ...

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RIP: Louise McCord-Williams, Soloist, Member of Voices of Tabernacle and Roberta Martin Singers

By Robert M. Marovich Marcel West of Detroit informed JGM that gospel singer Louise McCord-Williams passed away on November 3, 2020. For many years, McCord was a member of, and frequent soloist with, Detroit’s famed Voices of Tabernacle Choir, under the direction of Rev. James Cleveland. Among the songs she led or helped lead were “Down by the Riverside” (with Hulah Gene Hurley), “Yes God is Real,” “Jesus Be a Fence Around Me” and, with Rev. Cleveland, “There is No Greater Love,” “He’ll See You Through,” and “Plenty Good Room.” In 1966, McCord, a mezzo-soprano, was invited to join the ...

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Bishop Rance Allen Passes Away at 71

From a Press Release: Bishop Rance Allen, of the Grammy® Award nominated inspirational soul and gospel trio, The Rance Allen Group, has passed away at the age of 71. “While recovering from a medical procedure at Heartland ProMedica [in Sylvania, OH], Bishop Rance Allen passed away around 3 AM this morning,” said Allen’s wife of 49 years, Ellen Allen, and his manager, Toby Jackson, in a joint statement. “I wasn’t expecting to hear this news this morning,” said Tyscot Records President, Bryant Scott, who was nearly speechless upon hearing of the singer’s death. “This is a great loss to us ...

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RIP: Rev. John Wilkins, Gospel Singer and Musician

By Bob Marovich Gospel music collector and enthusiast John Glassburner informed JGM that the Reverend John Wilkins, son of blues singer Robert Wilkins, passed away October 6 at age 76 after a two-month battle with COVID-19. Bob Mehr of the Memphis Commercial Appeal does a far better job than I could writing Rev. Wilkins’ obituary, so please read it here:https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2020/10/06/rev-john-wilkins-obit-dies-memphis-music-blues-gospel/5902177002/ Here is a video of Rev. Wilkins cutting a 78 RPM record for The 78 Project: Here is JGM‘s review of Rev. Wilkins’ five-star album, You Can’t Hurry God (Fat Possum Records, 2010): http://journalofgospelmusic.com/gospel/reverend-john-wilkins-you-cant-hurry-god/. JGM sends its condolences to Reverend Wilkins’ ...

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RIP: Verline Rogers (Meditation Singers)

By Bob Marovich JGM was saddened to learn from Laura Lee and Marcel West that soprano Verline Rogers of the Meditation Singers passed from labor to reward on August 27, 2020, after an extended illness. She was living in Las Vegas at the time of her passing. Rogers was a member of the Meditation Singers of Detroit, a female group headed by Ernestine Rundless. She appears to have joined the group sometime in the early 1960s and recorded with them throughout the decade. In addition to Rogers, other members of the group over the years included R&B stars Della Reese ...

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RIP: Bernard Pinder (Newberry Singers, Utterbach Ensemble)

Willy Leiser and Linwood Heath informed JGM that Bernard Pinder has passed away. Here is a brief bio, courtesy of andre-café.com: Bernard Pinder is an anointed gospel singer whose gift has allowed him to travel extensively across the country as well as overseas. Bernard has sung before some of the most influential people in the world today, yet is as excited about singing at the smallest storefront church, as he is to sing before great men. It is a blessing to hear Bernard sing and he is an undisputed favorite in the Delaware Valley. His life is devoted to the worship ...

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