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 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.

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