Traditional Gospel

Eddie Robinson, Gospel Singer, Songwriter, and Keyboardist, Dies

Delores “Honey” Sykes informed TBGB that Eddie Robinson, singer, songwriter, and keyboardist, passed away in Detroit April 25, 2014. His home going service will take place in Detroit on Saturday, June 7. Among Robinson’s many writing credits are the Duncanaires’ 1960s singles “Breathe On Me” and “One Step Closer;” Tessie Hill’s “He Keeps Doing Great Things for Me” (also recorded by LaShun Pace); “Don’t Forget To Remember (Where All Your Blessings Come From)” recorded by Rev. James Cleveland; and “Reflections of the Man Inside.” Two years ago, TBGB reviewed Robinson’s 2002 CD Elephant Song.  His 2010 album Back on Track, ...

Read More »

“I Survived” – Marquis Jelks

“I Survived”Marquis Jelks Available on iTunes Accompanied only by warm, warbling B3 organ, Marquis Jelks delivers “I Survived” in the conversational singing style that goes back nearly as far as gospel music itself. A sung testimony in the mode of “I’m Still Here” and “I Can’t Complain,” “I Survived” has that church solo vibe.  Jelks’s elastic voice makes it all the more so.  The only thing missing is the live audience clapping, standing, and shouting encouragement to Jelks as he sings his troubles over. From Decatur, Illinois, Marquis R. Jelks is Founder and CEO of the Song Factory, a business ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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).

Read More »

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/

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

“Whatever You Need” – The North Carolina Community Choir

“Whatever You Need” The North Carolina Community Choir From the 4 Winds Records release A Story To Tell (2013) www.malaco.com With “Whatever You Need,” the North Carolina Community Choir puts an asterisk after the statement that the Southeastern U.S. is exclusive territory of the gospel quartet.     The single is quintessential gospel choir: a hand-clapping, joyous workout on God’s infinitely abundant generosity.  Whether one needs love, peace, joy, or happiness, the song states, God “will give it to you.”  Still, one hears a definite quartet influence in the choir’s extended vamp and M. Duval Smith’s meaty down-home lead vocal.  Not ...

Read More »