Traditional Gospel

Sue Roseberry – Magnificent God

Sue Roseberry Magnificent God (2013) www.sueroseberry.com By Bob Marovich The notes from the Hammond B3 sounded like Reveille in the morning fog. The organ’s beckoning warble at the opening of track six, “I’m Blessed,” was a sign that we were about to hear the “Mama Sue” Roseberry of BET Sunday Best fame, the solid singer who successfully portrayed her inspiration, Mahalia Jackson, on the stage. That’s not to take away from the handful of songs preceding “I’m Blessed” on Roseberry’s live album, Magnificent God, recorded at the 2013 Gospel Music Workshop of America Board Meeting. They are professionally produced expressions ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: September 7, 2015

“So Good” Melvin Williams feat. Dottie Peoples From the forthcoming album Where I Started From www.MelvinWilliams.net Melvin Williams of the Williams Brothers quartet joins the fiery Dottie Peoples in a bluesy gospel “take ‘em to church” moment. The Stan Jones-produced “So Good” is a litany of the many ways God has been good to His people throughout the ages, today, and into the future. By mid-recording, the two singers turn downright evangelistic, instructing the listener in urgent, direct tones to mind well their words. Someone who can “rescue Daniel from the lion’s den,” “turn water into wine” and “give eyesight ...

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The Jones Family Singers – Live from Mt. Zion

The Jones Family Singers Live from Mt. Zion Arts + Labor (2015) www.thejonesfamilysingers.com By Bob Marovich At one point in Live from Mt. Zion, Alexis Jones, the force of nature who is the Jones Family Singers’ primary lead vocalist, says the group gets asked why they don’t sing rock and roll. Oh but we do, she explains. “I can rock in Jesus and I can rooolllll in the Holy Ghost!” Spiritual rocking, rolling, swaying, and dancing are compulsory accompaniments to the Jones Family Singers’ devotional repertory—from the group, the live audience, and the at-home listener. And for good reason. Live ...

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Pastor Waverly B. Bumbrey Sr. Presents “Seasons” Live

Pastor Waverly B. Bumbrey Sr. Presents Refuge Temple Cathedral Voices “Seasons” Live www.refugetempledetroit.org By Bob Marovich One might surmise from its title (and the image of a red bow on the cover) that “Seasons” Live is a Christmas CD. Indeed, the strains of “O Come All Ye Faithful” seep through on a selection called “Bumbrey’s Worship,” but otherwise this project by a Detroit church choir is an all-seasons release. Featuring the choir and leadership of Refuge Temple Cathedral of His Glory, notably Supt. Waverly B. Bumbrey Sr., First Lady Patricia Bumbrey, and the Refuge Temple Cathedral Voices, “Seasons” Live is ...

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Dr. Feranda Williamson: Chicago Mass Choir is “Unapologetically Gospel.”

By Bob Marovich Its fifteenth album, Live XV, is still impacting gospel radio, but the Chicago Mass Choir is preparing for the future by re-signing with its former label home, New Haven Records. “We were with New Haven before,” Chicago Mass Choir President and CEO Dr. Feranda Williamson told the Journal of Gospel Music. “We had a hiatus after our last project, Live XV, four years ago, and we decided to continue our partnership.” The first order of business for the renewed partnership was to release a new Chicago Mass Choir single, “Thank You, Thank You Jesus,” to radio. “A ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: August 24, 2015

“You Can’t Give Up” Paul Porter From the Motown Gospel CD F.R.E.E. (2014) www.motowngospel.com Paul Porter lets his quartet roots show in this bluesy gospel song about staying encouraged in the midst of unbearable personal circumstances. Backed by a quartet, Porter sings and eventually shouts lyrics that contain what I call the spiritual ‘but’: sickness might be “getting worse and you don’t know what to do,” or “life for you has been so rough,” but hold on, put your trust in the Lord, and don’t give up–he will see you through. Porter knows whereof he sings. Stricken with a brain aneurysm in ...

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“Thank You, Thank You Jesus” – Chicago Mass Choir

“Thank You, Thank You Jesus” Chicago Mass Choir From the forthcoming New Haven Records CD We Give You Praise (single digital release date: September 11, 2015) www.chicagomasschoir.com The consistently top-notch Chicago Mass Choir provides a stinger of a mid-tempo praise song on “Thank You, Thank You Jesus.” Riffing lyrically on the “How I Got Over” message, the choir, led by the effervescent Evangelist Lemmie Battles, lofts praises to God for all he’s done.  A cancer survivor, Battles has a lot to be thankful for, so when she squalls during the song’s apex, you know it’s heartfelt. “Thank You, Thank You ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: August 17, 2015

“I’ll Say Yes to My Lord” Pastor Angela Walker & Divine Revelation From the forthcoming CD Door to the Next Level This spirited Chicago choir goes 100 percent church on “I’ll Say Yes to My Lord,” complete with cascading choral parts, a frenetic pace and even faster vamp, and an interpolation of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.”  To those who think trad gospel is dead, I say, listen to groups such as Divine Revelation. Organized in 2006 and winners of the 2014 Urban Broadcast Media Voices of Praise Battle Competition, Pastor Angela Walker and Divine Revelation can be heard each Sunday at God’s ...

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Chicago Mourns Passing of Bishop Jerry D. Goodloe

By Bob Marovich President Yvonne Seabrooks of the Chicago Area Gospel Announcers Guild informed JGM that Bishop Jerry D. Goodloe, pastor and overseer of Lighthouse Baptist Church of Chicago, has passed away. Born January 17, 1923, in Nashville, Tennessee, Bishop Goodloe moved at age four to Detroit, and then to Chicago in 1946. In Chicago, he attended Liberty Baptist Church under the leadership of Dr. D. Z. Jackson, and was part of First Church of Deliverance in the 1950s, where he sang in its famous radio choir. Goodloe entered the ministry and with seven members, started Lighthouse Baptist Church on ...

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Historic Gospel TV Program Jubilee Showcase Needs Your Help

By Bob Marovich From 1963 to 1984, the Emmy Award-winning television program Jubilee Showcase brought the nation’s greatest gospel singers and groups into living rooms throughout Chicagoland. Every Sunday morning, host Sid Ordower treated viewers to performances by such stalwarts as the Caravans, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, the Norfleet Brothers, Andrae’ Crouch, Jessy Dixon, the Staple Singers, and the Barrett Sisters. The show featured pioneering gospel performers such as Roberta Martin and Thomas Dorsey. There were many gospel greats whose taped appearance on Jubilee Showcase represents the only video footage of their live performances. Jubilee Showcase was the longest-running ...

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