Traditional Gospel

Gospel, Vol. 6: Female Gospel Groups 1940 – 1962

Various Artists Gospel, Vol. 6: Female Gospel Groups 1940-1962 Fremeaux & Associes (2022) http://www.fremeaux.com By Robert M. Marovich If it weren’t for women, there might not be gospel music as we know it today. A gutsy statement, but accurate. For every Thomas Dorsey, Theodore Frye, and James Cleveland, there were dozens of women who, denied access to the pulpit through denominational fiat, made sacred music their evangelistic outlet. Two of gospel’s first superstars, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Mahalia Jackson, were women. The history books brim with the names of female pioneers in gospel music, among them Sallie Martin, Roberta Martin ...

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JGM Pick of the Week – May 23, 2022

“I Can’t Forget” David Daughtry Independent (single release date: February 18, 2022) www.daviddaughtrymusic.com By Robert M. Marovich Vocalist David Daughtry lets his COGIC roots show on “I Can’t Forget,” an up-tempo, handclapping gush of gratitude to God that incorporates the congregational favorite, “Oh What He’s Done For Me” and snippets of lyrics from “Jesus I Can’t Forget.” The single blends traditional gospel singing with contemporary musicianship, and it packs plenty of Pentecostal power. Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, David Daughtry is director of praise and worship for the West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles, California, under the ...

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“He’ll Do It Again” – Wright Family Singers

“He’ll Do It Again”Wright Family SingersHigher Praise Records (release date: April 15, 2022) By Robert M. Marovich On “He’ll Do It Again,” the Wright Family Singers come as close as anyone currently to the deep groove Muscle Shoals-era sound of the Staple Singers. The female trio even evokes the low alto of Mavis Staples on this song of encouragement, that if Jesus did it once upon a time, he’ll do it for you—in the courtroom, in the sick room, in the midst of confusion and—cue Wilson Pickett—in the midnight hour. Not to be confused with the Wright Family Singers of ...

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After Seven Decades, it’s Johnny Ray Daniels’ Season

Robert M. Marovich Ray Kroc was 52 when he opened his first McDonald’s restaurant in 1955. Col. Harland Sanders was in his 60s when his “Finger Lickin’ Good” Kentucky Fried Chicken became a national sensation. Duncan Hines didn’t license his name for cake mixes until age 73. And Johnny Ray Daniels didn’t release his first solo album until age 76. It’s never too late for your season. Although Whatever You Need (Bible and Tire, 2022) is Johnny Ray Daniels’ debut solo album, the North Carolinian has been making music for seven decades. Born in Greenville, North Carolina, Daniels sang with ...

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Various Artists – Malaco 50th Celebration

Various Artists Malaco 50th Celebration Malaco Music Group (release date: February 25, 2022) www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich The nearly two-hour Malaco 50th Celebration two CD set (and companion DVD) is one of the best releases thus far this year. Recorded live on July 12, 2018, at the record company’s golden anniversary gala at Thalia Mara Hall in Jackson, Mississippi, the package pairs current gospel stars with classic songs from Malaco’s gospel archives. Since the label owns the licensing rights to gospel music from such iconic labels as Apollo, Savoy, Atlanta International Records, Muscle Shoals Sound, GosPearl, and Onyx, it ...

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“He Lives” – Corey Weaver

“He Lives” Corey Weaver Independent (release date: March 8, 2022) By Robert M. Marovich Corey Weaver, a young man from Oklahoma City with an old soul and a sky-high tenor, takes listeners to church on “He Lives.” It’s his finest single to date. Weaver and his background vocalists engage in playful call-and-response from the beginning of the track through to the vamp and Weaver’s extended high note that soars during the song’s fadeout. The warbling organ and two-stepping rhythm section contribute to the overall church cred. Naturally, “He Lives” is suitable for Easter, but at the same time, Weaver declares ...

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Johnny Ray Daniels – Whatever You Need

Johnny Ray Daniels Whatever You Need Bible & Tire (release date: May 6, 2022) https://fatpossum.com/collections/bible-tire-recording-co By Robert M. Marovich Like the Blind Boys of Alabama’s Jimmy Carter and the Savettes’ Goldwire McLendon, Johnny Ray Daniels didn’t record his first solo album after until after his Social Security checks started arriving. Regardless, his debut, Whatever You Need, is a fine example of how traditional gospel music still thrives in certain parts of the nation. The seventy-six-year-old patriarch of the North Carolina-based Daniels / Vines gospel music dynasty digs deep into the hymnbook for a handful of wooden church classics. His son ...

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“Some Day We’ll Meet” – Bill Moss Jr. & the B. M. & E. State Choir ft. Carolyn Jacobs

“Some Day We’ll Meet” Bill Moss Jr. & the B.M. & E. State Choir ft. Carolyn Jacobs From the Salathiel Records album His Majesty (album release: 2020) http://www.salathielrecords.com/ By Robert M. Marovich The B. M. & E. State Choir punctuates “Some Day We’ll Meet,” a gleeful evocation of the great meeting in the hereafter, with “hallelujahs” and “forever and evers” from the “Hallelujah Chorus” of Handel’s Messiah. Carolyn Jacobs sings with the passionate spirit of a quartet lead over the B. M. & E. Choir’s effusive harmonies on this up-tempo song written by Bill Moss Sr. in the 1970s. The ...

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“It Was You” – Keith Wonderboy Johnson

“It Was You” Keith Wonderboy Johnson Blacksmoke Music Worldwide (release date: January 28, 2022) By Robert M. Marovich “It Was You” is a slow, soulful testimony by quartet maven Keith Wonderboy Johnson. Backed by a quartet and musicians who deliver a deep ‘70s southern soul groove, Johnson expresses his relief and gratitude to the Lord for rescuing him from the miry clay of pain, trials, and tribulations. Foremost among them were acute physical challenges and years of depression. “But you brought joy into my life,” Johnson concludes, “now I have no fears.” He could have kept on going past the ...

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“It Shall Pass” – Dr. James Mable Jr.

“It Shall Pass” Dr. James Mable Jr. From the Uncle G Records album The Journey 2.0 (release date: September 18, 2020) www.JamesMableJr.com By Robert M. Marovich “I’m about to take you all the back to Navasota, Texas,” Dr. James Mable Jr. declares, referencing his hometown, as he leads the background vocalists with the fervor of a quartet lead vocalist on “It Shall Pass.” It’s a song of encouragement—“whatever you are going through, it shall pass”—and a reminder that because God is in control, trouble don’t last always. The joy that comes from knowing this fact almost leaps out of Mable’s ...

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