Traditional Gospel

TBGB Pick of the Week: July 1, 2014

“All of My Help” North Carolina Community Choir feat. Luther Barnes From the 4 Winds Records CD A Story To Tell www.malaco.com The North Carolina Community Choir does it again.  The choir’s latest single, “All of My Help,” is another example of how traditional gospel music structure never goes out of style.  That’s because it stirs up deep-seated emotions, from the meaty lyrics and hefty harmonies to the measured church melody, 12/8 rocking chair rhythm, and warbling B3.  Luther Barnes’s lead and the choir’s response build to a strong conclusion guaranteed to get arms waving and saints to shouting. The single ...

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Mississippi Mass Choir – “God’s On Your Side”

“God’s On Your Side” Mississippi Mass Choir feat. Le’Andria Johnson From the Malaco CD Declaration of Dependence  (release date: June 3, 2014) www.malaco.com Put the Mississippi Mass Choir together with Le’Andria Johnson, and you have a potent combination of old school passion.  Opening with a Kirk Franklin-esque call and response, the choral voices rise in intensity as Johnson sings her part from creamy smooth to scorching fortissimo.  The song, written by the team of Stan Jones and Jerry Smith, encourages the congregation to hold on and be strong because God has your back.  As “God’s On Your Side” fades, Johnson ...

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Evangelist Rosie Wallace Dead at 79

Jordan Phillips, Gregory Gay, and Anthony Heilbut informed TBGB that Evangelist Rosie Wallace died in Philadelphia died Friday, May 23, in Philadelphia at the age of 79. A native Philadelphian, Wallace was a member of the Imperial Gospel Singers, a zesty female gospel group that included Anna Smallwood and sang with the verve of the Caravans, Davis Sisters, and Ward Singers.  Among the Imperial Gospel Singers’ gospel hits were “My Father’s House” and “Lazarus.” With eight members, Wallace organized the First Church of Love, Faith, and Deliverance in February 1962.  She and the church choir recorded “God Cares,” a big ...

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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, ...

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“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 ...

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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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