Tag Archives: chicago gospel

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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JGM Pick of the Week: November 23, 2015

“He’s Been Good” Dr. A. Edward Davis Jr. & St. John Mass Choir (feat. Omar Kane) Pure Sound Music Group (release date: September 22, 2015) www.cdbaby.com/cd/draedwarddavisjr With “He’s Been Good,” the St. John Mass Choir echoes the rousing gospel choirs of Chicago’s Fellowship M.B., Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer, and Christian Tabernacle churches, and the famed Thompson Community Singers. A simple, repeated expression of gratitude for blessings bestowed is buoyed by hand-clapping, foot-tapping spiritual enthusiasm—direct, rhythmic, compelling, and timeless—that is as much a trademark of the Chicago gospel choir as marching up the middle aisle in colorful robes. In 2017, the ...

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Chicago Gospel History with Radio Great Milt Rosenberg

Journal of Gospel Music Editor-in-Chief Bob Marovich (pictured, left), discussed his book, A City Called Heaven: Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music (University of Illinois Press), with radio legend Milt Rosenberg (center) on The Milt Rosenberg Show.  The program aired live Friday, November 6, 2015, on WCGO 1590 AM, Chicago. Iconic gospel choir conductor, arranger, and Mahalia Jackson accompanist Dr. Charles Clency (right) joined us for a lively and informative discussion of gospel music as it was birthed from, and prospered in, Chicago.  Musical highlights included selections from many of Chicago’s golden greats! So grateful for the opportunity to be a guest of Milt Rosenberg, ...

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Delores “Honey” Sykes – Another Soldier Gone Home

I was so dismayed to hear that Delores “Honey” Sykes of the Duncanaires and Thompson Community Singers, has passed away. I spoke with her sometime last month and although she had been on dialysis for some time, there wasn’t any indication that her illness was so acute.  She was a very generous and friendly person. Honey was a young member of Chicago’s Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ when, in 1952, she and several church friends organized a singing group and named it after Roberts Temple’s Elder Edgar J. Duncan.  The Duncanaires became known as the “Gospel Wonders of ...

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