Tag Archives: caravans

Elder Arlester Washington & the Anointed Central Kentucky Mass Choir – Thank You

Elder Arlester Washington & the Anointed Central Kentucky Mass Choir Thank You (EP) Pure Harvest Entertainment, 2014 859-233-4876 By Bob Marovich For decades, the mass choir movement has gathered together men and women of all ages and from a variety of denominations to fellowship in song. Though small in comparison to most mass choirs, the Anointed Central Kentucky Mass Choir fits this definition. Organized in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1990, the choir’s most recent recording is a five-track EP called Thank You. The 2014 release features its leader, gospel music veteran Elder Arlester Washington. Back in the day, Washington sang and ...

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Jubilee Showcase Now Available on Vimeo on Demand

Chicago—September 12, 2017— Every Sunday morning from 1963 until 1984, Chicago gospel music lovers watched Jubilee Showcase for the inspiring and soul-stirring performances by nationally known artists and local favorites, including the Staple Singers, Andrae Crouch, the Edwin Hawkins Singers, the Soul Stirrers, Albertina Walker, the Caravans, Jessy Dixon, the Barrett Sisters, Vernon Oliver Price and the Norfleet Brothers. Choral groups such as George Mays and Voices of Praise, the Wooten Choral Ensemble as well as the Institutional Church of God in Christ Radio Choir from Brooklyn, NY, were also regularly featured on the program. Episodes of this classic gospel ...

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Esther Ford, Last Living Member of the Original Stars of Faith, Passes Away

By Bob Marovich Dwayne Lightsey Jr. reported to the Journal of Gospel Music that Lady Esther Ford, the last surviving member of the original Stars of Faith, passed away yesterday evening, August 17. Born in Chester, Pennsylvania, but reared in Washington, DC., Ford learned the hymns of the church from her mother, who sang selections to her daughter from the Gospel Pearls hymnbook. Ford attended the Mt. Airy Baptist Church, at the time the biggest Baptist church in Washington. She sang in the junior choir and was frequently called upon to solo. As a teen, she organized the Esther Ford ...

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For Chicago’s Cynthia Eubanks, It’s All About the Ministry

By Bob Marovich With its infectious aisle-walking vigor, “Nobody Like the Lord” couldn’t be more Chicago if the CD cover had a photo of the Picasso on it. It’s the debut single by Cynthia Eubanks, a Chicago artist who has wanted to sing gospel music ever since she was a young girl, participating in regular family singalongs. “My Uncle Eugene and Aunt Wilma would start off singing doo wop songs from the 1950s and 1960s,” Eubanks told the Journal of Gospel Music, “then they would sing gospel songs and it would turn into a mini gospel concert. Being one of ...

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RIP Eddie Williams, Gospel Pianist and Songwriter

By Bob Marovich JGM heard from Anthony Heilbut (“The Gospel Sound,” “The Fan Who Knew Too Much”) and gospel singers Ron Barrett and Darryl Reed that gospel songwriter and pianist Eddie Williams passed away. Williams, an accompanist for the Caravans, authored the famous Chicago group’s big hit, “Lord Keep Me Day by Day.” Later, Williams organized the Crusaders, a New York-based group that recorded for Savoy Records. Heilbut reported that Williams was raised in Robbins, Illinois, also the home of singer Delores Washington, whom he introduced to the Caravans. Williams’ piano style, Heilbut added, was “rollicking but subtler…and less heavy-handed” ...

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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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Historic Gospel TV Program Jubilee Showcase Needs Your Help

By Bob Marovich From 1963 to 1984, the Emmy Award-winning television program Jubilee Showcase brought the nation’s greatest gospel singers and groups into living rooms throughout Chicagoland. Every Sunday morning, host Sid Ordower treated viewers to performances by such stalwarts as the Caravans, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, the Norfleet Brothers, Andrae’ Crouch, Jessy Dixon, the Staple Singers, and the Barrett Sisters. The show featured pioneering gospel performers such as Roberta Martin and Thomas Dorsey. There were many gospel greats whose taped appearance on Jubilee Showcase represents the only video footage of their live performances. Jubilee Showcase was the longest-running ...

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“The Great Shrine Concert” turns 60

When Art Rupe of Specialty Records recorded the July 22, 1955, gospel program at Los Angeles’s Shrine Auditorium, he was making history. It would be the first multi-artist gospel program to be recorded, and one of the most significant aural examples of live gospel music during its golden age. Artists appearing that day included the Soul Stirrers with a pre-soul star Sam Cooke, the Pilgrim Travelers, Dorothy Love Coates and the Original Gospel Harmonettes, the Caravans with Albertina Walker and James Cleveland, and Brother Joe and Annette May. Rob Strauss and Cameron Kell honored the 60th anniversary of the program by ...

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Gospel’s Willie James McPhatter Dies; Performed in “Black Nativity”

JGM learned from Anthony Heilbut today that Willie James McPhatter, gospel singer-songwriter and accompanist, has died. Originally from Buffalo, New York, McPhatter–the cousin of Clyde McPhatter of the world-famous vocal groups the Dominoes and Drifters–had worked with a number of gospel groups by 1954 when Alex Bradford (“Too Close to Heaven”) approached him about joining the Bradford Singers. Although he initially declined, McPhatter joined the Bradford Singers two years later. He toured with the group, soloed on occasion, and recorded with the group for Specialty and Vee Jay Records. McPhatter also worked with Bradford on the 1960 Abyssinian Baptist Church ...

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Julia Mae Price-Williams (Caravans, Davis Sisters) Dies

Marcel West informed the Journal of Gospel Music that gospel singer Julia Mae Price-Williams died. A PK–her father pastored Second Baptist Church in Augusta–Miss Julia sang briefly with the Davis Sisters of Philadelphia and later the Caravans. She married Rev. Felton Williams Jr., and in 1981, while living in Baltimore, she recorded her first solo album for the Gospel imprint. The album helped earn her award nominations from the Gospel Music Workshop of America. Here is a link to an interview Julia did with Joseph Middleton of the Golden Era Gospel Blog: http://goldeneragospel.blogspot.com/2009/10/golden-era-gospel-blog-interviews.html JGM extends its heartfelt sympathies to the ...

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