Traditional Gospel

The World-Famous Barrett Sisters Wow At CIMMfest

Photo highlights from the screening of The Sweet Sisters of Zion: DeLois Barrett Campbell and the Barrett Sisters, produced and directed by Regina Rene. The screening and live performance occurred at the Chicago Independent Movies and Music Festival (CIMMfest) at Chicago’s Chop Shop/1st Ward Sunday, May 4, 2014.  The audience was so wowed by the documentary that they all but demanded someone reissue all out of print Barrett Sisters recordings and that the film be strongly considered for airing on PBS. Special thanks to the film’s touring team of Prof. L. Stanley Davis, Fran Allen-Leake, and Lynn Orman. Rodessa Barrett ...

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Dr. Helen Stephens, Gospel Workshop Executive, Choir Organizer, Dies

  OAKLAND, Calif. (May 4, 2014) – Dr. Helen James Haynes Stephens passed away peacefully, the evening of Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 10:30 p.m. under the care of hospice.   Statement from the Family: “The Stephens Family wishes to thank everyone for their outpouring of love and prayers. Her passion was more than vocation – she used her gifts to their full potential, and as a result, her trailblazing contributions are forever etched in Gospel Music’s timeline. We ask for your continued prayers during this difficult time.” A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Lady Stephens’ early musical instruction began at ...

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Win Tickets to See the Mississippi Mass Choir!

The Mississippi Mass Choir will be touring the country from May through July. You can win tickets to see them! The first four persons to email The Black Gospel Blog at bob@gospelmemories.com with the correct answer to the trivia question will win two tickets to their choice of one of the venues on the schedule below. Trivia Question: in what quartet did the founder of the Mississippi Mass Choir sing? (hint: there are two possible answers and either will be deemed correct).

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Death of a Mailman – by Michael Corcoran

Ed. Note: Michael Corcoran is the author of He is My Story: The Sanctified Soul of Arizona Dranes, the companion book to the Tompkins Square 2012 reissue of the pioneering gospel pianist’s historic 1920s recordings. Read Corcoran’s marvelous article for Arts+Labor+Austin on the late gospel announcer Bill “The Mailman” Martin (photo above) and his connection to Texas gospel quartet history. http://artslaboraustin.com/death-of-a-mailman/

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Rev. Maceo Woods 2013 Gospel Supreme is Supreme Indeed

By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog Where else but at Pastor Maceo Woods’ Gospel Supreme can you hear the Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir, the First Church of Deliverance Radio and Television Choir, the Wooten Choral Ensemble, Minister Tim White, the Carson Sisters, Pastor DeAndre Patterson, and on and on….and then conclude with a performance of “Jesus” by Lady Supreme Doris Sykes! Congratulations to Pastor Woods and his team for a spectacular gospel program last night at First Church of Deliverance (Bishop Otto T. Houston III, Pastor). Here’s thirty seconds of the Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir at the top of ...

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Clara – A Musical on the Life of Clara Ward

Clara Open Door Repertory Company Oak Park, Illinois www.opendoorrep.org By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog “I had to die in order to live.” So says the spirit of Clara Ward in the opening scene of Clara, a musical on the life of the gospel star, written and directed by Jeff Award-nominated McKinley Johnson (Train is Comin’, Georgia Tom).  The show held its World Premiere at the Open Door Repertory Company in Oak Park, Illinois this past week. Johnson’s musical views Clara Ward with a sympathetic eye but without avoiding the rougher details of her life.  The unflinching, stark ...

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TBGB Pick of the Week: June 3, 2013

“Good To Me” Carolyn Traylor Malaco Records (2013) www.malaco.com Carolyn Traylor’s “Good To Me” is a brassy, bluesy declaration of God’s goodness with a beat that will have listeners clapping hands and bobbing heads. It has the right blend of traditional fire and contemporary smoothness. The Greenville, Texas, native is known for “There’s a Story Behind My Praise.” “Good to Me,” written by Chicago’s own Daniel Weatherspoon, is from Traylor’s album Waiting.

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Pastor Van D. Roberson – All the Days of My Life

Pastor Van D. Roberson All the Days of My Life (2012) www.cdbaby.com/cd/pastorvanroberson3 By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog Pastor Van D. Roberson’s CD All the Days of My Life could easily be subtitled Pastor Van D. Roberson and Friends. The Texas-based minister summons an army of ministers, singers, and musicians to join him in having a little church. And they do have church. Roberson’s gravelly, quartet-hewn voice is the ideal vehicle for his simple, down-home messages. Joe Ligon of the Mighty Clouds of Joy joins him on “Momma Remembered,” a song about a long-sacrificing mother who has passed ...

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“Waiting” – Carolyn Traylor

“Waiting” Carolyn Traylor Malaco Records (2012) www.malaco.com Carolyn Traylor (“There’s A Story Behind My Praise”) is waiting for her change to come. She knows it’s on the way, too, because whenever she gets discouraged, “I pull out the resume and I see how you always brought me through.”  If that isn’t enough, she adds, “I’m not going to let you go until you bless me.”  So don’t get between Traylor and her blessings! Hailing from Greenville, Texas, Traylor is a traditional gospel singer who has sung with the likes of Dorothy Norwood, Ambassador Bobby Jones, and the late Albertina Walker.  Her gospel blues ...

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