Quartet

R.I.P. Gospel Quartet Singer Charles Johnson

Rev. Joe Williams informed the Journal of Gospel Music yesterday of the passing of Charles Johnson. Johnson was a gospel quartet singer and recording artist who worked with the Sensational Nightingales and Gospel Consolators, and fronted his own group, Charles Johnson & the Revivers. Johnson died of a massive heart attack in Durham, North Carolina. Read more at Gospel Music Fever by clicking here.

Read More »

Minister C.L. Johnson – Favor

Minister C.L. Johnson Favor Doowgam Records (2011) http://wreg.weebly.com/index.html By Bob Marovich Given Minister Craig L. Johnson’s career as a member of several gospel quartets, most notably the Pilgrim Wonders of Toledo, the Revelations of Cincinnati and, most recently, his reformation of the Flint Cavaliers, it’s not surprising his solo album, Favor, sounds more like a quartet album. Johnson’s background vocalists are male and female, but they support him like a male quartet. Favor’s strongest selection is “Havin’ Church,” a clever song that is also the title track of the Flint Cavaliers 2013 album for Low Rush/Grammercy. Here, Johnson joins forces with ...

Read More »

New Converted Voices – New Day: Live in Tupelo, MS

The New Converted Voices New Day – Live in Tupelo, MS (2014) www.newconvertedvoices.org By Bob Marovich “You may have come in with your head hung down, but you go ahead and lift it up and smile.” This is how the New Converted Voices opens the title track of their new album, New Day – Live in Tupelo, MS. The quartet is speaking about the uplifting power of Jesus, but the comment can also mean their confidence in the uplifting power of their live performance. The New Converted Voices are a contemporary quartet from Tupelo that blends old-school religious wisdom, traditional ...

Read More »

Various Artists – The Best of Revelation Records: 1959-1962

Various Artists The Best of Revelation Records: 1959-1962 Narro Way Records (released September 16, 2014) www.cityhallrecords.com www.gospelfriend.com By Bob Marovich Mention the name Bobby Robinson to popular music historians, and you will hear how he founded a number of New York-based record labels, including Whirling Disc, Fury, Enjoy, and Red Robin, and released classic hits for Wilbert Harrison (“Kansas City”) and Gladys Knight and the Pips (“Every Beat of My Heart”). He even allegedly advised a young vocal harmony group called the 5 Satins on how to approach a record company with a song they had called “In the Still ...

Read More »

“Take It Easy” – The Soul Messengerz

“Take It Easy” The Soul Messengerz From the 4 Winds Records CD Only The Strong Survive—Live (2014) www.malaco.com Pastor D. B. Coley of the Soul Messengerz tenderly introduces this quartet piece about taking it down a few notches and putting life’s stresses and worries in God’s hands. The soft soul harmonies, major seventh chords, and delicate musicianship wash over the listeners like a spiritual bubble bath. Organized in 2008, the Soul Messengerz of Washington, DC, has as its core members, Pastor Coley, Justin N. Young, Johnny Matthews, Minister Charles A. Young, James Vines, and Gregory Parrish. Their album, Only the ...

Read More »

The Soul of Designer Records

Various Artists The Soul of Designer Records Big Legal Mess (2014) www.biglegalmessrecords.com By Bob Marovich In the days before YouTube and other social media outlets, before mp3s and CDs and music maker software for home computers, gospel artists looking for greater promotion but without a major label deal sought out the expertise of bootstrap entrepreneurs such as Idessa Malone and Style Wooten. While Malone recorded church choirs and radio preachers, Wooten recorded hundreds of black and white gospel artists for his Designer imprint. Wooten’s pitch was simple: for a flat rate, artists could make a studio recording and have copies of ...

Read More »