Traditional Gospel

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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“Victory Right Now” – Angela “Missy” Billups

“Victory Right Now” Angela “Missy” Billups From My Inspiration II E’Mazin Entertainment (2015) Available on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon Remember the days when disc jockeys would listen to the B side of a record and decide that was the hit? “Get a Job” by the Silhouettes is just one of many examples of flip sides that became radio classics. “Victory Right Now,” from Angela “Missy” Billups’s EP remix of the single, “My Inspiration,” fills this bill. Traditional gospel with a powerful message of hope and faith is Missy’s strong suit and that’s what the uptempo “Victory” is about. It’s hard ...

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“My Everything” – The Selvys

“My Everything” The Selvys Lunjeal Music Group/Malaco Music Group www.malaco.com With the Showers, foreverJONES, the Jones Family Singers, and the Murrills, you’d think that family gospel groups are the latest music fad. In truth, family gospel groups have been around since the beginning. The Ward Singers, Brown Sisters, Davis Sisters, Gay Sisters, Ingramettes, Hightower Brothers, and Pilgrim Jubilees are just a few who spring immediately to mind.  There are scores more. The Selvys of Earle, Arkansas, have been singing the glory down as a professional gospel group for 25 years. Organized by Reverend Jesse Selvy Jr. and Johnnie Selvy, the ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: July 6, 2015

“He Touched Me” Dr. LouDella Evans-Reid and the Traditional Gospel Choir www.loudellaevansreid.com If you like that aggressive, churchy gospel choir sound that came straight outta Chicago, false coda and all, you will love “He Touched Me.” This Thurston Frazier chestnut is given a full-throttle reading by the Traditional Gospel Choir, presented by Rev. Bryant Jones and directed by Dr. LouDella Evans-Reid. Both Jones and Reid have plenty of trad cred. Jones is a pastor and the son of gospel singer Jeannette Robinson Jones and the late Rev. Billy Jones. Reid is the longstanding and aerobic directress of the Fellowship Missionary ...

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Fannie Lou Hamer – Songs My Mother Taught Me

Fannie Lou Hamer Songs My Mother Taught Me Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (release date: June 30, 2015) www.folkways.si.edu By Bob Marovich While it took a recent act of domestic terror for the polarizing Confederate flag to begin coming down throughout the South, let us not forget that much of the way was paved more than a half-century ago by such freedom fighters as Fannie Lou Hamer. Hamer, who died in 1977 at age 59, is renowned for her leadership in the Civil Rights movement and specifically for her work with the Mississippi Freedom Party. Equally well known, albeit a sidebar to ...

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The Gospel Angels – I Still Remember

The Gospel Angels I Still Remember Next Level Publishing (2004) www.thegospelangelsdc.com By Bob Marovich I Still Remember has been around for more than a decade—it was released the year the Journal of Gospel Music was born, in fact—but this album by the Gospel Angels of Washington, DC, is worth revisiting because it is emblematic of how much musical fun saving souls can be. First, of the eleven tracks, five are up-tempo selections, more hip-slapping than just about any gospel quartet CD I’ve heard in a long while. One might conclude that the high percentage of “drive tempo” songs is because ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: June 22, 2015

“Something About That Name” Lorraine Stancil Anointed Sounds Records (2015) I’m rather stoked about the recent release of so many traditional-style gospel singles, including this one by Psalmist Lorraine Stancil-Lawson. Product of the Pentecostal church, Psalmist Stancil is known to kick off her shoes just like Shirley Caesar, and on “Something About that Name,” she shouts and squalls like Pastor Caesar in full throes of sanctified passion. Stancil’s call and response with the background vocalists/choir heightens the tension to the point where she emits a couple of dog whistle soprano notes. Also like Caesar, Lorraine Stancil-Lawson has entered the ministry. ...

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Gospel Memories: Remembering Emanuel AME in Charleston

The June 20, 2015 episode of Gospel Memories on WLUW Chicago includes a long set in memory of the victims and their families, and all the members of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.  Gospel music helps us mourn, helps us heal, helps us remember.  May this kind of tragedy never happen again. Click on the Gospel Memories icon at left to listen to the entire show (the “in memoriam” set begins around 19:25).  JGM’s Bob Marovich is host.

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Michael Corcoran on Washington Phillips and the “Manzarene”

Historian and journalist Michael Corcoran uncovered a myriad of hitherto unknown facts about Texas pianist and Church of God in Christ member Arizona Dranes.  Those findings were revealed in He Is My Story (Tompkins Square), a resplendent extended essay that accompanied a reissue of Dranes’s 1920s-era recorded material.  Dranes is often cited as gospel music’s first recording artist. By Jove, Michael Corcoran’s done it again, this time for another largely forgotten but no less important Texas musician, Columbia recording artist Washington Phillips. Here is a link to Corcoran’s article from Arts + Labor. http://www.artslabormagazine.com/juneteenth-wash-phillips-son-of-slaves-makes-music-for-the-ages

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