Tag Archives: chicago

All Nations Music – Come Alive (EP)

All Nations Music Come Alive EP RCA Inspiration (release date: July 3, 2020) www.rcainspiration.com By Bob Marovich Dr. Matthew L. Stevenson III needn’t worry about his sacred music bona fides. Stevenson’s great-grandfather was the Reverend Elijah Thurston, founder of Chicago’s historic 44th Street Baptist Church, which produced many pioneering gospel singers and musicians. Thurston was also one of Mahalia Jackson’s favorite preachers. Stevenson’s great-grandmother, commanding gospel vocalist Ora Lee Hopkins, was a member of the Willie Webb Singers, the original Caravans, and director of the city’s New Nazareth Missionary Baptist Church choir. While acknowledging and respecting his family’s roots in ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: July 20, 2020

“Waiting On You” Dominique Johnson feat. Ernest J. Lee David’s Dance Music (release date: June 16, 2020) By Bob Marovich Chicago’s Dominique Johnson is a singer, songwriter, and musician whose online videos have garnered more than four million views. Dominique’s debut single, “Waiting On You,” is her affirmation that brokenness is over—“so many bad decisions that people thought I was blind”—and that she is no longer moving on her own time but in God’s time. She takes her cue from Isaiah 40:31: “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: June 15, 2020

“Be Alright”Dexter Walker & Zion MovementIntersound (release date: May 29, 2020) By Bob Marovich It’s hard to believe, but on “Be Alright,” the award-winning Chicago gospel choir Dexter Walker & Zion Movement moved the needle on its effervescence-o-meter, already at fever pitch, further to the right. The song’s message is appropriate for all times, but especially for this time: keep the faith, trust in God, and everything will be all right. Lead vocalist Jazmine Jones shouts, squalls, and otherwise wrecks the church on this frenetic and relentless musical cousin of a praise break. The choir responds with full-throated section work ...

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“Heal Our Land” – Kassandra McGhee

“Heal Our Land” Kassandra McGhee (release date: April 2020) http://www.kassandramcghee.com By Bob Marovich On her new single, “Heal Our Land,” Chicagoland-based singer-songwriter Kassandra McGhee takes for her text 2 Chronicles 7:14. Without mentioning the pandemic once, you know instinctively that this gentle, acoustic ballad is a prayer for global healing during COVID-19. In many ways, it doubles as a mantra for such a time as this. Despite being written and recorded during the pandemic, with all of the stay-at-home measures to accommodate, this is McGhee’s best song to date. John King at Manifested Works gave the song its final touches. ...

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RIP: Bobby McDougle, former member of the Pilgrim Jubilees

Bobby McDougle, the guitarist for gospel quartets such as the Pilgrim Jubilees, passed away on March 26, 2020. Known as “Thumper,” McDougle was born on April 26, 1944, in Valdosta, Georgia. His influence in music came from his father, Mr. Ananias McDougle, also a musician. Following in his father’s footsteps, McDougle began playing guitar for his sister’s group as well as for other groups and churches in the area. At age fourteen, and with the permission of his mother, McDougle joined Tommy Ellison and the Five Singing Stars. He remained with the group for two years. At the age of ...

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Enon Music Group Signs Powerhouse Singer San Franklin

Philadelphia, PA — Enon Music Group (EMG) is one of the fastest-growing record labels in Gospel music. They have delivered Stellar Award-nominated artists and Billboard Chart Topping songs and albums from their wheelhouse. Founded by Dr. Alyn E. Waller, EMG’s mission is to be a respected resource for quality music and artist development anchored in integrity and theologically centered music. Singer San Franklin is noted as one of Gospel and Christian music’s most commanding vocalists and professional session singers. The vocal beast has been heard on a plethora of award-winning albums and has provided her vocal prowess to Donnie McClurkin, ...

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RIP: Brenda Joyce Moore

By Bob Marovich Another loss: Dr. Brenda Joyce Moore, a songwriter and musician perhaps best remembered for penning “Perfect Praise,” also known as “How Excellent is Thy Name,” passed away on April 8, 2020. “Perfect Praise,” popularized by Dr. Walt Whitman and the Soul Children of Chicago on their 1990 album, This is the Day, featured lead vocals from the late Lecresia Campbell. Not only did the song sweep radio, but every church choir and youth group put it in their repertory. It is one of the 100 most influential gospel recordings of all time. Among other notable songs Dr. ...

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RIP: Archbishop Lucius Hall

By Bob Marovich The Journal of Gospel Music was saddened to learn this morning, via a posting by Pam Morris-Walton and the Chicago Crusader, of the passing of Archbishop Lucius Hall. Archbishop Hall was born and raised in Chicago. Prior to forming his own church, the First Church of Love and Faith, in 1980, on Chicago’s south side, he was associated with the First Church of Deliverance, led by Reverend Clarence H. Cobbs. Hall grew up in First Church and gained renown as its radio announcer. For many years, Hall was heard every Sunday evening on the church’s legendary radio ...

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“Come See About Me” – Exciting Holy Sons

“Come See About Me” Exciting Holy Sons Deznell Music Group (release date: June 1, 2018) https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/theholysons By Bob Marovich One of Chicago’s most popular male quartets, the Exciting Holy Sons maintain one foot in traditional gospel and the other in more modern arrangements, or a style the Sons associate with the “New Quartet Nation.” Their single, “Come See About Me,” is a good example of what landed them on the preliminary ballot of this year’s Stellar Awards. Produced by the Williams Singers of Indianapolis, the song captures the Exciting Holy Sons’ live energy as they sing, growl, and shout the ...

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