Prayer List

RIP Lee Williams of the Spiritual QCs

The Journal of Gospel Music was saddened to learn of the passing of Lee Williams, quartet legend and leader of the Spiritual QCs. Below is a brief bio of Williams and the group that I wrote back in 2019: Born July 28, 1946, and raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, Lee Williams began singing gospel at the tender age of seven. He was encouraged to do so by his uncle, Mitchell Thornton, who was part of a quartet called the Gospel Stars. Soon, Lee and his three brothers were performing as the Gospel Stars Juniors. Thornton formed another quartet called the Spiritual ...

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RIP Gospel Radio Icon Connie Denell Cato-Dickerson, 65

Nashville, TN — Legendary Stellar Award and NAACP Award-winning radio announcer Connie Denell Cato-Dickerson was the pride of Nashville. The daughter of radio legend Evelyn Cato, the first black female disc-jockey in the Southeast, Denell started as a sports reporter for her school newspaper while attending Riverside High School in Chattanooga, TN. She worked for two local Chattanooga radio stations, WNOO AM and WNTP, hosting the Quiet Storm shows before attending the famed Morris-Brown College, a historically black college in Atlanta, GA. Denell went on to attend Georgia State University and worked at the local Atlanta radio station WAOK FM ...

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RIP: James Lott, Minister of Music and Utopia Music Group CEO

From a Press Release: James Lott, beloved Minister of Music for Sweet Holy Spirit Church and CEO of Utopia Music Group LLC, made his transition Saturday, June 5, 2021. To say the Gospel Music Industry is shocked and saddened would be an understatement. God called his dedicated servant home after a lengthy illness. The void left by his physical presence will be deeply felt and hard to fill. Please keep James’ family, Bishop Larry D. Trotter, Sweet Holy Spirit Church, and Utopia Music Group in your prayers. Their current recording project “Alright” will continue forward and a new CEO will ...

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RIP B.J. Thomas, Grammy Award-Winning Christian Singer-Songwriter

By Robert M. Marovich Although he may be best known for recording chart-topping classics like “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” “Hooked on a Feeling,” and “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song,” singer-songwriter and country-pop artist Billy Joe “B. J.” Thomas was also a born-again Christian who sang and recorded religious songs. Thomas, who passed away May 29, 2021, at age 78, released his first of several gospel albums, Home Where I Belong (Myrrh), in 1976. Despite a Grammy nomination for “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” the golden phonograph statuette eluded Thomas until 1977, when ...

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RIP Madeline Thompson, Ward Singer, GMWA Honoree

By Robert M. Marovich Eric Maurice Clark shared the sad news that gospel singer Madeline Thompson has passed away. Clark had interviewed Thompson for the February 2021 issue of his Inside a Gospel Music Historian’s World magazine. From Philadelphia, Madeline sang with her sister Julia in a duo called the Thompson Sisters. They even sang with the Imperial Gospel Singers at one point. In 1960, Mother Gertrude Ward wanted the two young ladies to join the Ward Singers; the departure of several foundational members to form the Stars of Faith left a gaping hole in the national gospel group. Only ...

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RIP Pervis Staples, Co-Founder of the Staple Singers

From a press release: Pervis Staples, a co-founding member of the legendary gospel group, the Staple Singers, passed away suddenly on May 6, 2021 at his home in Dolton, Illinois, according to Adam Ayers, a member of Mavis Staples’ 525 Worldwide Music management team. He was 85 years old. Beginning in 1956 with “Uncloudy Day” on Chicago’s Vee-Jay Record label and stretching into the early 1980s, the Staple Singers were one of the most influential acts in gospel, soul, and social protest music. Their signature songs such as “Uncloudy Day,” “Why Am I Treated So Bad,” “Respect Yourself” and “I’ll ...

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RIP: Columbus Gregory – St. Louis gospel announcer, co-founder of Redi-Soul Records

By Robert M. Marovich JGM was saddened to learn of the passing on April 14, 2021, of St. Louis gospel radio announcer Columbus Gregory. He was 90 years old. In addition to more than a half-century on St. Louis radio, Gregory co-founded Redi-Soul Records, an independent label also based in St. Louis. Using saxophonist Oliver Sain’s legendary Archway Studio, Redi-Soul recorded many local artists in the 1970s, most notably the Williams Singers, who would sign with Checker Records, and the Gregory-Aires. I was honored to interview Gregory for my “Gospel Memories” radio show in May 2009. This article on the ...

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RIP: Carman, GMA Gospel Music Hall of Famer

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (February 16, 2021) – GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame member, CARMAN, passed away Tuesday, February 16, 2021, at a Las Vegas, Nevada hospital, after fighting a series of complications resulting from surgery to repair a hiatal hernia. Carman Dominic Licciardello, known to fans worldwide as “Carman,” was 65. Born January 19, 1956 in Trenton, New Jersey, Carman began his musical career playing drums in his mother’s band at the age of 15. Carman holds the world record for having the largest audience to see a single Christian artist. He set the record for the largest concert ...

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RIP: Dr. Douglas Miller, Singer, Songwriter, Choir Director

By Robert M. Marovich The Journal of Gospel Music was saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Douglas Miller, a choir director, singer, songwriter, and contributor to the International Music Department of the Church of God in Christ. The following is a brief bio I wrote for the Malaco Music Group website. UPDATE: Special thanks to Dr. Miller’s sister, Pastor Sylvia Miller Allen, for providing updates and corrections to the bio. Dr. Douglas Foster Lane Miller was born on New Year’s Eve, 1949, in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, to Theodore and Naomi Miller. They were active in the local First Born ...

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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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