Tag Archives: al green

RIP B.J. Thomas, Grammy Award-Winning Christian Singer-Songwriter

By Robert M. Marovich Although he may be best known for recording chart-topping classics like “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” “Hooked on a Feeling,” and “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song,” singer-songwriter and country-pop artist Billy Joe “B. J.” Thomas was also a born-again Christian who sang and recorded religious songs. Thomas, who passed away May 29, 2021, at age 78, released his first of several gospel albums, Home Where I Belong (Myrrh), in 1976. Despite a Grammy nomination for “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” the golden phonograph statuette eluded Thomas until 1977, when ...

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“Stand Up” – Damon Little

“Stand Up” Damon Little Little World Music/Partners Music Company (release date: February 5, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Damon Little croons “Stand Up” to lyrics that sound culled from late ‘60s message music and an arrangement that evokes ‘70s Al Green. Little references the tragic fact that a black man can’t be certain he will make it home to his family on any given day. He calls for racial unity when asking black and white to take a stand against hatred and racially-motivated violence. “We can no longer sit down and endure this pain,” he sings, “stand up for what ...

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JGM Music Hour: Episode 149

Episode 149 Playlist It’s gonna be alright – Mie’l & Company Lord give me another chance – Apostle John E. Ross Nobody can – Calvin Suggs feat. Paul Porter Come back – Elain Thomas Thank you Lord – Pastor Mack Mason Help them out – Charles Jerkins Take me back – DOE Never seen – Hanson Asiedu See God move – Leland Philpot I’m not ashamed – Monica Lisa Stevenson feat. Paul Porter Hallelujah anyhow – Canton Spirituals feat. Rev. Al Green 9 makes us 1 – Legacy Five and Wardlaw Brothers Dr. Jesus – Swanee Quintet

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JGM Pick of the Week: November 2, 2020

“Hallelujah Anyhow” Canton Spirituals feat. Al Green Malaco Music Group www.malaco.com By Bob Marovich Highway 51 links Canton, Mississippi, to Memphis, Tennessee. So does the single “Hallelujah Anyhow,” as it links the Canton Spirituals and the Reverend Al Green. The combo works. Keep in mind that Green came from gospel and, after entering the ministry, went back to gospel, earning GRAMMY Awards for his gospel albums. A conventional quartet song written by the Canton Spirituals’ Harvey Watkins Jr. and producer Stan Jones, “Hallelujah Anyhow” finds Watkins and Green, elder statesmen of church and church music, sharing nonspecific testimonies about illness ...

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“Jesus Will Fix It” – James Cutts feat. Floyd Mayweather Sr.

“Jesus Will Fix It” (remix) James Cutts feat. Floyd Mayweather Sr. Fight the Good Fight (release date: fall 2019) By Bob Marovich Not every gospel artist can claim to have a world-class boxer in his corner (see what I did there), but James Cutts can. Together, Cutts and Floyd Mayweather Sr., former welterweight boxer who loves gospel music, deliver a quartet-fired remix of their 2017 single, “Jesus Will Fix It.” Mayweather employs up-against-the-ropes fight metaphors to illustrate how Jesus can make a way out of no way. So “don’t quit—no matter how hard it gets.” Throughout, the two trade off ...

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Kanye’s Conversion Novel but Not New

By Bob Marovich In its first week, Kanye West’s spiritual album Jesus is King made record chart history by topping five charts at once, including the Billboard 200 chart and the Christian and Gospel album charts. The shift in message was a surprising move, even for the enigmatic and politically perplexing West, and it stimulated a range of responses—from cynicism to delight. But for all its novelty, Jesus is King is not the first time a pop artist has ventured into the realm of religious music. It’s not the first time an artist has left fans wondering whether the change ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: September 10, 2019

“Grateful” James Chappell III Independent (release date: October 5, 2018) aplazmanagementllc@gmail.com By Bob Marovich “Grateful” is a charming, smile-inducing song on its own, but add James Chappell III as lead vocalist, and it delights on two levels. In less than three minutes, Chappell channels the elastic yodels of Sam Cooke and Johnny Taylor, lofts falsetto notes like the Reverend Claude Jeter, adds a bit of Reverend Al Green southern twang, and delivers gut-wrenching growls like Joe Ligon. Backed by a quartet and with a rhythm section galloping along in mid-tempo, Chappell sounds as pleased with God’s intervention in his life ...

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Soul Survivor: A Biography of Al Green (Jimmy McDonough)

Soul Survivor: A Biography of Al Green. By Jimmy McDonough. Da Capo Press, 2017. 432pp. (hardcover). Index, illustrations. ISBN 978-0-306-82267-4. $28 By Bob Marovich “This was a very challenging project,” journalist and biographer Jimmy McDonough concedes in the acknowledgements of Soul Survivor, his biography of Al Green. You can almost hear McDonough heave a sigh of relief after writing that statement. Chronicling the life of such a defiantly inscrutable entertainer and minister as Green would be difficult enough with the protagonist’s participation. Instead, McDonough had to proceed essentially without Bishop Green’s blessing, relying for his information on decades of existing taped ...

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Various Artists – Jesus Rocked the Jukebox

Various Artists Jesus Rocked the Jukebox Craft Records / Concord Music Group (2017) http://www.concordmusicgroup.com/albums/jesus-rocked-jukebox-small-group-black-gospel-1951-1965/ By Bob Marovich In addition to its estimable contributions to the religious, social, and political life of African Americans, the church has also been an effective music training school. Untold numbers of men and women have learned to sing or play instruments before discerning but sympathetic church communities. While some singers and musicians committed their musical talent wholly to God, others sought fame in the financially lucrative world of rock and roll and R&B. This exit caused no small amount of consternation among churchgoers who felt that ...

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Deitrick Haddon: “We Are All God’s Masterpieces”

Last week, Deitrick Haddon spoke with Bob Marovich of the Journal of Gospel Music about his new album, Masterpiece, which Entertainment One will release this Friday, November 6. JGM: Masterpiece, the album, is being described as sort of a musical maturation on your part. Is that a fair assumption? DH: Absolutely. It definitely reflects where I am in my life right now. That’s how I create records: I’m inspired by my life. What I have experienced in my life tends to show up in my music. JGM: On Preachers of LA and in performance, you come across as very real, ...

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