Tag Archives: Billboard

Christon Gray Has a Lot to Say

By Bob Marovich A lot can happen in two years. Just ask Christon Gray. In 2014, the Christian artist released his solo debut album, School of Roses. It caught the attention of Kirk Franklin, who signed Gray to his Fo Yo Soul Recordings/RCA label. On Friday, March 11, 2016, The Glory Album, Christon’s second solo album and first for his new label, hit the streets. “The album is doing well,” Gray told the Journal of Gospel Music. “Kirk Franklin told me to be myself, to have the freedom to do what I want to do. His validation was very encouraging. ...

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Lecrae – Church Clothes 3

Lecrae Church Clothes 3 Reach Records www.lecrae.com By Bob Marovich Leave it to Lecrae to put out a mixtape as a place holder—or an appetite whetter—until his new album is released, and it soars to the top of the Billboard chart. That demonstrates his crossover appeal in a hip hop market that knows no subgenre boundaries: if it’s good, it’s good. If it’s relevant, even better. Church Clothes 3 is good and relevant. It’s first three selections, in fact, are engaging kaleidoscopes of incisive rails against inequality and injustice in all of its forms. Lecrae points the finger at everyone ...

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RIP: Nick Caldwell, Member of Whispers, Sang Gospel on Last CD

From a press release: Nick Caldwell, one of the founding members of the legendary R&B group The Whispers who are best known for their #1 R&B hits “Rock Steady” (1987) and “And The Beat Goes On” (1980), has died as a result of heart failure. He was 71. “The Kingdom Records Family extends our heartfelt condolences to The Whispers and the family of Nicholas Caldwell in his passing,” says Joan Sullivan, CEO/President of Kingdom Records – the last recording home for The Whispers. “We have so many fond memories of him. It was a great opportunity and experience working with ...

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Genesis of a Gospel Song: “I Can Go to God in Prayer” – Calvin Bridges

Calvin Bridges as told to JGM’s Bob Marovich Looking back, I think God set me up to be in gospel music. In the neighborhood where I grew up, on the West Side of Chicago, there was the Holloway Community Choir. I lived around the corner from them. I would go to their monthly musicals and be in such awe. My mom was a member of Pilgrim Baptist Church, where Thomas Dorsey served as minister of music. Every first Sunday, she would take me to communion and to hear the choir. I watched all the pomp and circumstance, the procession, Professor ...

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RIP Nathan Murphy: Sang with James Herndon, Had Own Group

By Bob Marovich Dwayne Lightsey informed JGM this morning that Nathan Murphy, a gospel singer formerly with the James Herndon Singers and organizer of his own Nathan Murphy Singers, passed away August 17, 2015. The James Herndon Singers were organized in the late 1960s by Caravans accompanist James Herndon.  Members of the group besides Murphy included, at one time or another, Caravans alumnae Josephine Howard and Delores Washington, Luella Hunt, and the Helen Robinson Youth Choir’s Roxie Bibbs.  The Herndon Singers’ hit, “Oh Lord Have Mercy,” was reported to have been one of the best selling gospel records of 1969. In a ...

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Laura Kaczor – Restore Me

Laura Kaczor Restore Me LifeThirst Music (release date: July 10, 2015) www.laurakaczor.com By Bob Marovich Restore Me is Laura Kaczor’s (pronounced kuh-ZORE)’s fourth album and first in five years. It extends her work as a Christian songstress who knows just how to craft Billboard-charting gospels. Kaczor’s voice is lovely to listen to, passionate and pretty, a mashup of Katy Perry sass and Sheryl Crow clarity. She is backed by a thoroughly-produced pop rock sound, courtesy of Dove Award-winning producer Ian Eskelin, and the melodies are likeable if somewhat similar, not wavering much from today’s familiar CCM vibe. The ten selections ...

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Tamela Mann Lands Third #1 Single from “Best Days”

DALLAS (June 9, 2015) – Grammy Award® Nominee Tamela Mann is the first Gospel lead artist in Billboard Gospel Radio chart history to score three consecutive No. 1’s from an album. Her current single, “This Place,” is the third song to ascend to No. 1 from her Tillymann Entertainment CD, Best Days. The historic Gospel radio chart honor follows the album’s previous No. 1 chart toppers, “Take Me To The King,” Best Days‘ lead single, written by Gospel icon Kirk Franklin, which is RIAA certified gold and approaching platinum, and fan favorite and second single, “I Can Only Imagine.” Best ...

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“Thank You” – Tonya Lewis-Taylor

“Thank You” Tonya Lewis-Taylor From the CD Delayed But Not Denied www.tonyalewistaylor.com “Thank You” is a contemporary gospel song delivered energetically by Tonya Lewis-Taylor, who seems to summon her estimable vocal strength from within several vital organs to offer a declaration of gratitude to God. The background vocalists urge her on as, together, they ascend to increasing levels of passion. The song, which is the lead single from Lewis-Taylor’s debut album, Delayed But Not Denied, was recorded live in New York City and landed on the Billboard Gospel National Airplay chart at #16, right between female vocal groups Zie’l and ...

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Marquis Boone Enterprises, Tyscot to Partner on Casey J Debut Project

Atlanta, GA – Marquis Boone Enterprises (MBE) and Tyscot Music & Entertainment have formed a partnership to release MBE projects. The first one will be a live set by worship artist Casey J (pictured) who is currently #6 on Billboard’s Gospel Airplay chart. “Dreams and visions do come true,” says the singing educator. “Recently my dream of being on the Bobby Jones Gospel TV show was realized and today I wake up in the Top Ten on a Billboard chart. I know it has nothing to do with me as an individual. God is just creating another platform for Him ...

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Book Review: Nothing But Love in God’s Water

Nothing But Love in God’s Water: Volume 1: Black Sacred Music from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement Robert Darden Penn State University Press (224 pages) By Bob Marovich “A singing army is a winning army, and a singing labor movement cannot be defeated.” So proclaimed labor leader John L. Lewis, and as Baylor University associate professor Robert Darden argues in his new book, Nothing But Love in God’s Water, the statement is equally relevant if “army” is replaced with “people” and “labor” with “civil rights.” Darden, former gospel editor for Billboard, author of the well-respected gospel music ...

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