RIP: Ann Yancy, Chicago Gospel Music Pioneer

By Bob Marovich

Dennis Cole of the Chicago Alliance informed the Journal of Gospel Music that Ann Yancy passed away March 12, 2018, at the age of 87.

Affectionately known as “Mama,” Ann Yancy was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on October 29, 1930. After moving to Chicago, she became a member of Greater Harvest Missionary Baptist Church when it was pastored by the Reverend Louis Boddie. She sang in the Sylvia Boddie Gospel Singers and traveled and sang with such Chicago gospel pioneers as R.L. Knowles, the Robert Anderson Singers, Willie Webb, and the Roberta Martin Singers.

Ann met her husband, the Reverend Robert Yancy, at Greater Harvest, where he was associate pastor.  The Yancys brought twelve children into the world: eight boys and four daughters. When Robert became pastor of Fountain of Life Baptist Church, the church’s music ministry was a family affair. From there came the Fountain of Life Joy Choir, directed by Ann’s sons the Reverend Kevin Yancy and the late Reverend Marvin Yancy. Marvin wrote and produced for his former wife, singer Natalie Cole. The family established a scholarship foundation in Marvin’s name after his untimely passing.

More information on Ms. Yancy can be found here:

Homegoing details are as follows:
Funeral – Saturday, March 17th
Visitation 10:00 – 11:00 AM (GMAC MASS CHOIR)
Funeral 11:00 a.m.

5141 S. State Street | Chicago, IL
Pastor: Elder Eric Thomas

JGM extends its condolences to the Yancy Family, a cornerstone in Chicago gospel music and ministry.

About Bob Marovich

Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. Founder of Journal of Gospel Music blog (formally The Black Gospel Blog) and producer of the Gospel Memories Radio Show.

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