Prayer List

Pastor Van D. Roberson Passes Away

Zadella “Mama” Curtis informed JGM that Pastor Van D. Roberson has passed away. In addition to pastoring the Shiloh Baptist Church in Bryan, Texas, Roberson was a gospel singer in the traditional-quartet style, honed, no doubt, from his years as a member of the Roberson Brothers, which started out prior to 1961 as the Israelite Voices of Peace.  He was also part of the Pastors Chorus of Bryan/College Station, Texas; they recorded the single, “Good to Me,” in 2012. Roberson also sang with the Mighty Clouds of Joy’s Joe Ligon on the 2012 Mother’s Day single, “Momma Remembered.” Below is ...

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Deacon Enoch Franklin, Last Surviving Member of the Gospel Clefs, Dies

Jr. Mack, a musician who has worked with groups from the Allman Brothers Band to the Sensational Six of Alabama, sent this message: I regret to inform you that Deacon Enoch Franklin from Colonia, NJ, has passed away. Enoch was the last surviving member of the Gospel Clefs from Newark, NJ. That’s Enoch singing the first verse of “So Good” and “I Prayed And Got Religion” (The Gospel Clefs / Savoy MG-14053). He also sang “The Lord Saved Me” from The Clefs Savoy MG 14023 album. He is heard again as the second lead singer on “Out Of The Fiery ...

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RIP Rev. Johnny “Hurricane” Jones

From Lance Ledbetter of Dust-to-Digital: Rev. Johnny L. ‘Hurricane’ Jones: 1936-2015 Sad news to report: early Monday morning we lost a gospel music legend. Rev. Johnny L. Jones succumbed to what his family believes was a brain aneurysm. It was one of our greatest honors to work with Rev. Jones on his 2009 album Jesus Christ from A to Z and the 2010 double-album The Hurricane That Hit Atlanta, which the New York Times described in the following way: “Some of these tapes are woolly, with errant screams from the congregation, feedback from the church amplifiers and rough edits, but ...

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RIP Nathan Murphy: Sang with James Herndon, Had Own Group

By Bob Marovich Dwayne Lightsey informed JGM this morning that Nathan Murphy, a gospel singer formerly with the James Herndon Singers and organizer of his own Nathan Murphy Singers, passed away August 17, 2015. The James Herndon Singers were organized in the late 1960s by Caravans accompanist James Herndon.  Members of the group besides Murphy included, at one time or another, Caravans alumnae Josephine Howard and Delores Washington, Luella Hunt, and the Helen Robinson Youth Choir’s Roxie Bibbs.  The Herndon Singers’ hit, “Oh Lord Have Mercy,” was reported to have been one of the best selling gospel records of 1969. In a ...

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Rickey Grundy, Celebrated Gospel Choir Leader, Dead at 56

Mr. J. Matthew Cobb of HiFi Magazine informed the Journal of Gospel Music that Rickey Grundy, leader of the Rickey Grundy Chorale; a musician; and a composer and arranger of dozens of popular gospel songs, died in Los Angeles, California, today, July 27, at the age of 56. Grundy not only recorded with his own Rickey Grundy Chorale, but he also served as a session musician for many gospel artists and was a popular workshop presenter and music coach.   Many albums from the latter part of the golden era of gospel choir recording (1960-1990) benefited from his contributions. His passing is ...

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RIP: Songwriter, Musician, and Minister, DeVaughn Murphy

Gregory Gay of GOSPELflava.com informed JGM of the passing of DeVaughn Murphy, known for writing VaShawn Mitchell’s “Chasing After You.” Min. Murphy passed away last week. ATLANTA, GA (July 20, 2015) – Truly loved and celebrated by his family and friends for the tremendous musical anointing on his life, it is with bittersweet joy that the family of DeVaughn Murphy announces his transition to be with the Lord. DeVaughn was one of the twin sons of Bishop William, Jr. and Lady Donna Murphy, of Rochester, MI. He married the former Khia Kinnard and they are the parents of Vhian, their ...

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Bertha Burley Melson, Former Member of Lux Singers, Dies

By Bob Marovich JGM learned from Gregory Gay of GOSPELflava.com the sad news that Ms. Bertha Burley Melson, one of the stalwarts of the Chicago gospel music community, passed away.  She was 82. Born in Chicago on March 4, 1933, Melson was a member of the famed Lux Singers, a gospel group founded by Beatrice Lux that at one time or another included a young Rev. James Cleveland and his sister, Iris; Rev. Dr. Clay Evans; Imogene Greene; Ida Mae Davis; James Whitehurst; and Jerome Burks. The Lux Singers were “unorthodox,” Melson said.  “Back then, folks sang real nice and smooth and ...

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“Gospel Queen of Richmond” Maggie Ingram Dies

Gospel Music Fever reports that Maggie Ingram, the “Gospel Queen of Richmond” and leader of the Ingramettes family gospel group, has died. With the Six Trumpets, Ingram made an auspicious recording debut in 1961 singing the Christmas song, “Jesus Christ the Baby.”  It was a radio hit and propelled Ingram into the forefront of gospel music.  She formed the Ingramettes gospel group from her children, and as Maggie Ingram and the Ingramettes, the group performed for decades.  A gospel treasure. More information can be found at Gospel Music Fever: Maggie Ingram.

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Dr. Clarence “Mr. Gospel” Eggleton Dies

By Bob Marovich JGM is saddened to report that Dr. Clarence “Mr. Gospel” Eggleton has died. A Bay Area resident, Eggleton taught, sang, directed, played piano, and was a gifted composer of more than 500 songs recorded by some of the gospel industry’s top artists, including Rev. James Cleveland, Sara Jordan Powell, Wanda Nero Butler, and the Gospel Music Workshop of America Mass Choir.  Among the songs he is known for are “Take Me to the Water” and “Blessed Be the Name.” Eggleton directed the Sacramento Community Gospel Choir on two albums for Savoy, and was nominated for a Grammy.  He studied ...

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