Prayer List

Bill Hearn, Christian/Gospel Music Executive, Dead at 58

NASHVILLE, December 11, 2017—William Ray “Bill” Hearn, a highly admired and revered music industry executive who led the Nashville-based market-leading Capitol Christian Music Group (CCMG) as its Chairman & CEO, passed away yesterday at age 58 in Nashville, Tennessee. Hearn successfully combined an unwavering vision, a commitment to excellence, and an arsenal of exceptional talent to make CCMG the leader in the Christian/Gospel music industry. Hearn was instrumental in the formation and leadership of that company, having played a leading role in the sale and highly-successful transition of family-owned Sparrow Records – founded by his father, Billy Ray Hearn – ...

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RIP: Della Reese, Sang with Mahalia Jackson, the Meditation Singers

By Bob Marovich Although better known as a television actor and pop singer, Della Reese made her early foray into professional music as a gospel singer. As a teenager, she worked with Mahalia Jackson and, later, with Brown’s Inspirational Singers (Indianapolis) and the Meditation Singers (Detroit). Maureen O’Donnell’s obituary in the Chicago Sun-Times offers a look at the decades-spanning career of Della Reese. Read it here: Della Reese. The Journal of Gospel Music salutes the late Della Reese with this clip of her singing “Lonelyville” in the 1958 film, Let’s Rock.

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RIP: Pastor Shawn Jones

By Bob Marovich The Journal of Gospel Music was saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Pastor Shawn Jones of the Alabama quartet Shawn Jones and the Believers. Here is the group’s biography, from their Facebook page: “Pastor Shawn Jones (Formally of The Alabama Spirituals) & The Believers started singing in the year of 2000 at the First Baptist Church in Rockford, AL. They appeared on shows with gospel great like Lee Williams & The Spiritual QC’s, Rev. Andrew Cheers & The Song Birds, Darrell McFadden & The Disciples, Slim & The Supreme Angels, and Dorothy Norwood. “After a ...

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Yet Another Soldier Gone: RIP Kenny Taylor of Teemade Productions

By Bob Marovich The Journal of Gospel Music is saddened to hear of the passing of Kenny Taylor, one of gospel music’s finest and most professional consultants and promotional men. Kenny was someone you could trust that if he said he would do it, he would do it. Dependable, honest, and with integrity…that’s how I describe Kenny Taylor. Each year, he and his Teemade Productions of Washington, DC, would treat the Gospel Announcers Guild with a themed musical at the annual Gospel Music Workshop of America convention. He showcased the artists he was promoting but with a twist that put a ...

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Another Soldier Gone – RIP Dr. James B. Boyer of the Boyer Brothers

Gospel musician and group leader Kenji Bolden informed JGM of the passing of Dr. James B. Boyer, one half of the Boyer Brothers gospel duo. Dr. Boyer passed on May 10, 2017.  His brother, Dr. Horace Clarence Boyer, passed away July 21, 2009. Here is the information from Dr. Boyer’s obituary: The Reverend Dr. James B. Boyer was the Founding Pastor of the Fellowship Temple Church of God in Christ and Professor Emeritus at Kansas State University, both in Manhattan, Kansas. He was born April 3, 1934, in Winter Park, Florida, and was the third of eight children of Elder ...

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Bishop Willie A. Treadwell, Community Choir Founder, Passes Away

Chicago, IL, May 23, 2017: Chicago Gospel Music Legend Bishop Willie A. Treadwell, 86, transitioned from this world Sunday, May 21, 2017, at Generations at Oakton Place in Des Plaines, IL. He was born in Anniston, AL. on February 28, 1931, to the late David and Limmer-Jane Treadwell. Bishop Treadwell was drafted into the United States Army in 1952 where we fought in the Korean War. On April 9, 1955, Bishop Treadwell founded the Treadwell Community Singers with Frankie Marie Powell (Treadwell). During this time Bishop Treadwell served in ministry under the leadership of the late Pastor Governor Powell of ...

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RIP: Tommie TommyGunn1965 Gunn, Gospel Songwriter, Producer

From a press release: True aficionados of contemporary gospel will count among their favorites gospel greats like Marvin Sapp, Yolanda Adams, CeCe Winans, Fred Hammond, Martha Munizzi, Commissioned, Darwin Hobbs, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, etc. What some fans may fail to realize is that one of the greatest sonic architects of the genre was Tommie TommyGunn1965 Walker with more than 4 million in song sales to his credit. Sadly, Tommie passed away on February 3, 2017, at 51 years of age, surrounded by family. Tommie passed away after failing to emerge from a medically induced coma brought on by ...

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RIP: Tommy Cotton, Cotton Brothers Founder and Lead Singer

By Bob Marovich Cadillac James of the Cotton Family informed JGM that Tommy Cotton, founder and lead singer for the Cotton Brothers of Macon, Georgia, passed away February 9, 2017. Tommy Cotton was born September 24, 1937, in Marshallville, Georgia, the oldest boy in a family of 16 children. The Cottons worked share and provided field labor wherever needed. Some of the sons started an a cappella quartet group in the mid-1950s. Tommy, who was eventually named the group’s manager, was friends with fellow high school basketball team member Sylvester “Vessy” Huckaby, who served as a bodyguard for Otis Redding. ...

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Jekalyn Carr Launches Support Movement for Sheila Belle of “The Belle Report”

For Immediate Release: ATLANTA, GA (Thursday, December 15, 2016) – – Recording artist Jekalyn Carr has launched a support movement for Richmond, Virginia based nationally syndicated radio personality Sheila Belle as she battles the winning fight against cancer. Carr was inspired to spearhead this support movement after attending Belle’s event last weekend in Richmond called “The Gift” – an event for cancer survivors. She was moved by hearing the winning stories from the survivors as well as Sheila Belle. Watch Jekalyn’s support movement video here: www.facebook.com/jasonmauricehardy/videos/10100700900092599/ Carr is calling a call to action to her fellow recording artists, radio announcers/PDs, ...

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Joe Ligon of the Mighty Clouds of Joy Passes Away: Homegoing Details Announced

By Bob Marovich (UPDATED 12/17/16) Gospel quartet legend Willie Joe Ligon passed away on Sunday, December 11. Homegoing and memorial details are at the bottom of this report. Born October 11, 1936, in Troy, Alabama, Ligon migrated to Los Angeles at age 14 and met his future mates in the Mighty Clouds of Joy in the mid-1950s while attending Jefferson High School.  Like top quartets such as the Blind Boys of Mississippi, the Blind Boys of Alabama, and the Gospelaires of Dayton, the Clouds incorporated the growls, shouts, and rasp of African American preachers into their singing, a style sometimes referred ...

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