Tag Archives: blacksmoke music worldwide

Celebrating the Life of Gospel Legend Shawn McLemore

For Immediate Release (Houston, Texas) The music community is mourning the loss of a Gospel music legend with the passing of Shawn McLemore after an extended illness. “Shawn was a great spirit with enormous talent and personality to match”, says Blacksmoke Music Worldwide CEO Kerry Douglas. “To see him take the stage and have absolute command of the room was just magic. He was genuine, he had a great sense of humor and when he sang, God listened. Shawn was a gift to us and he will surely be missed.” Life began for Shawn McLemore in Los Angeles, California, where ...

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Pastor Mike Jr. – I Got It: Singles Ministry

Pastor Mike Jr. I Got It: Singles Ministry Blacksmoke Music Worldwide (release date: August 13, 2021) www.pastormikejr.com By Robert M. Marovich Marriage as the ultimate culmination of a love relationship has been a mainstay of artistic expression for longer than anyone can remember. It’s the happy ending in Broadway and Hollywood musicals. Jukeboxes are packed with songs sung by men and women with marriage on their mind. Pastor Mike Jr. has something to say about that. His personal and ministerial experience suggests that the talk about coupling as the be-all and end-all to life can give singles an undeserved case ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: August 9, 2021

“Amazing” Pastor Mike Jr. Blacksmoke Music Worldwide (release date: July 30, 2021) www.pastormikejr.com By Robert M. Marovich Pastor Mike McClure Jr., better known as Pastor Mike Jr., the 2021 Stellar Awards Artist of the Year and gospel music’s current It Guy, cleverly gospelizes Gnarls Barkley’s 2006 smash hit “Crazy” as “Amazing.” Amazingly, it works. To a chill arrangement and with ample support from a full-throated choir of background vocalists, Pastor Mike Jr. takes his time with the famous melody. He stretches the tension to the breaking point, then lets the choir handle the finish. Expect groups around the country to ...

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Gregory Gay Joins Blacksmoke Music Worldwide Team

(Houston, Texas) Blacksmoke Music Worldwide and Kerry Douglas Radio Promotions expands its bandwidth with the addition of Gregory Gay to its ranks. “Gregory Gay has been a fixture in the inner workings and behind the scenes of Gospel music for over two decades”, says Blacksmoke CEO Kerry Douglas. He has been a much loved minister of music and choir trainer/vocal coach (he can sing a little bit too) , a radio personality, a music editor, contributor to several books on Gospel and a management, marketing and publicity strategist. He knows the history of this great music and celebrates its continued ...

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Leading Gospel Music Executive Kerry Douglas Shares His COVID Story

(Houston, Texas) Blacksmoke Music Worldwide Founder and CEO Mr. Kerry Douglas counts the joys of life a little sweeter as he recovers from an extensive bout with COVID-19. The venerable record company executive, award winning hit making radio promoter and most recent proud father was conducting “Gospel Music business as usual” when COVID-19 stopped him in his tracks placing an indefinite hold on his daily activities. “I knew something was wrong, I just couldn’t put my finger on it. I was fatigued and tired and then the flu like symptoms set in. We don’t know why things happen, but we ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: May 4, 2020

“Keep Running” Jimmy Hicks feat. Diana Hicks Blacksmoke Music Worldwide By Bob Marovich Jimmy Hicks has a knack for making his singles feel as if they have one foot in the church and the other on the musical stage. “Born Blessed,” “Blessed Like That,” and “God’s Got It” are just three visually-evocative tracks he has released over the past fifteen years or so. Jimmy and Diana Hicks use their latest creation, the peppy “Keep Running,” to thank God for getting them through the challenges of several decades, and to encourage those who feel lost during this new decade. Employing the ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: February 24, 2020

“Big” Pastor Mike Jr. Blacksmoke Music Worldwide/Rock City Media Group (release date: May 10, 2019) By Bob Marovich In a time when Kanye West is dominating Billboard‘s Top Gospel Singles and Albums charts, whatever space is left is occupied by legacy artists like Kirk Franklin and Tamela Mann. There’s scant room for new artists. Nevertheless, Pastor Mike Jr. has broken through onto the charts with “Big” and his album Free. As sonically enormous as its subject, “Big” evokes the work of James Fortune & FIYA in its use of spoken calls to sung choral responses, outsized production, and zealous optimism. ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: February 10, 2020

“God Wants to Heal You” Earnest Pugh Black Smoke Music (from the 2017 album Survive) By Bob Marovich Recorded originally in 2006 by Apostle Kevin Davidson and the Voices, the Davidson-penned “God Wants to Heal You,” which was covered by Earnest Pugh as early as 2009, is being promoted as a single. Much shorter in its new go-around than Davidson’s original, the gospel ballad nevertheless receives a faithful treatment from Pugh, whose tenor voice is similar in texture to the composer’s own (both are from Memphis). Pugh also brings along an ensemble of background vocalists to assist as the choir. ...

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“I Hear Rain” – Edwrin Sutton & Kingdom Culture

“I Hear Rain” Edwrin Sutton & Kingdom Culture Blacksmoke Music Worldwide (release date: May 2, 2019) “I Hear Rain” is a song of encouragement in a time of despair. Its spoken call and sung response between Sutton and Kingdom Culture evokes James Fortune and Kirk Franklin’s own use of the technique. The coming storm is nothing to fear, the ensemble sings, because the rain means greater is coming. In anticipation of the gathering clouds and the eventual downpour of blessings, the group builds the song’s tension, though it ends before the sweet release. This is a case where the longer ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: April 15, 2019

“You Don’t Know” Zacardi Cortez Black Smoke Music Worldwide (2019) By Bob Marovich “You don’t know my story,” is a frequently uttered church aphorism. “I don’t look like what I’ve been through” is another. On the appropriately-titled “You Don’t Know,” the popular gospel singer Zacardi Cortez (“Oh, How I Love You,” “1 On 1”) offers his own testimony. His big, rough-as-sandpaper shouting tenor, introduced to a national gospel audience on James Fortune & FIYA’s 2007 album The Transformation, is on full display on this deceptively powerful song, as much a recitative of gratitude as a cathartic expression of trials endured ...

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