Tag Archives: church of god in christ

David Wright – Let the Organ Play

David Wright Let the Organ Play Godfather Records (release date: February 12, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Typically, we hear Pastor David Wright leading the New York Fellowship Mass Choir. For Let the Organ Play, the choir takes a rest and Wright lights up the Hammond B3 to play an instrumental litany of church favorites. The album’s song selection includes COGIC favorites (a variation on the “Yes Lord” chant and the infrequently-recorded “This is the Church of God in Christ”), classic gospels and hymns, and contemporary pieces, such as “Oh Happy Day,” the New Jersey Mass Choir’s “Praise Him,” and ...

Read More »

“It Won’t Be Long” – Dr. Waverly B. Bumbrey & Refuge Temple Cathedral Voices

“It Won’t Be Long” Dr. Waverly B. Bumbrey & Refuge Temple Cathedral Voices (release date: January 8, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Pandemic-wise, “It Won’t Be Long” feels more relevant today, in mid-March, than when it was released in early January by the award-winning choir Dr. Waverly B. Bumbrey & Refuge Temple Cathedral Voices. But “better days are coming,” the choir sings, and in the meantime they will shout and pray about it. Featured soloist Erica Lancaster improvises breathlessly on the theme as the Voices repeat the mantra, “It Won’t Be Long.” In his raw and craggy voice, Dr. Bumbrey ...

Read More »

Chrysann Moore – Cover Us

Chrysann Moore Cover Us Independent (release date: January 1, 2021) www.chrysannmoore.com By Robert M. Marovich On Cover Us, singer-songwriter Chrysann Moore of south suburban Chicago offers samplings of both sides of the hyphened adjective. The nine album selections range from contemporary to P&W to traditional foot-stomping gospel and summarize her musical career over the past few years. “Jesus, I’m Depending On You,” a 2020 single, is a lovingly-rendered call for divine assistance in times of special trouble, because “I can’t make it without you.” Starting out in a quiet storm mood, the song concludes with percussive explosions of evangelistic singing. ...

Read More »

RIP: Mother Rubenstein McClure

By Bob Marovich JGM was saddened to learn of the passing of Evangelist Mother Rubenstein McClure on July 18, 2020. Mother “Ruby” McClure was a member and lead soloist with the famous Radio Choir of Brooklyn’s Institutional Church of God in Christ, under the direction of J.C. White (“Stretch Out”). Her voice could be heard on the choir’s single, “Talk it Over with Jesus,” among other titles. She was also a prominent member of the J.C. White Singers, leading the single, “Someone to Lean On” (Zanzee, 1973). Her own solo album, Rubenstein, came out on Locus Records in 1979. On ...

Read More »

Pastor Donald Gay – On a Glorious Day

Pastor Donald Gay On a Glorious Day The Sirens Records (release date: March 15, 2019) www.thesirensrecords.com By Bob Marovich Like amber, Pastor Donald Gay’s On a Glorious Day preserves the sounds and stories of Chicago’s traditional gospel music and church community. Pastor Gay has been in gospel music since knee pants (a photo on the back of the CD booklet depicts Donald as a tyke, sitting atop a piano and flanked by his older sisters Evelyn, Geraldine and Mildred). As the Gay Sisters, Donald’s female siblings posted a significant gospel hit in 1951 by modernizing the hymn, “God Will Take ...

Read More »

RIP: Edwin Hawkins, Architect of Contemporary Gospel

By Bob Marovich The Journal of Gospel Music has learned that Edwin Hawkins, whose arrangement of the nineteenth-century hymn “Oh Happy Day” became a crossover success and signaled the emergence of contemporary gospel music, passed away today (Jan. 15) in Pleasanton, California. Here is a brief biography I put together: Born August 19, 1943, to Mamie and Dan Lee Hawkins, Edwin Hawkins grew up in music. Trained by his elder brother, Edwin began playing piano at age five and accompanied the family group. By the time he was sixteen, Edwin had sung at a variety of churches in the Bay Area and was part ...

Read More »

RIP: Professor Alfred E. Miller – “One of the First – One of the Last”

ONE OF THE FIRST – ONE OF THE LAST Professor Alfred E. Miller (1927-2015) From Anthony Heilbut, author of The Gospel Sound and The Fan Who Knew Too Much: Excepting pioneer COGIC keyboard artists Arizona Dranes and Elder Charles Beck, Alfred E. Miller was the first pianist on records to play in the modern gospel style. In fact, since he drew his inspiration from Roberta Martin, who more or less invented things, traveling very far from where Dranes and Beck had landed, Miller has a real claim to being the first on record, since Martin herself wouldn’t record for at ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: November 9, 2015

“Yes Lord Yes” Pastor Paul Ruffin & the Forge Temple COGIC Sanctuary Choir From the Heavenly Spirit Music CD Yes Lord (2014) www.cdbaby.com/cd/pastorpaulruffinpresents Using the Church of God in Christ’s signature “Yes Lord” chant as its springboard, Pastor Paul Ruffin and the Forge Temple COGIC Sanctuary Choir of Birmingham, Alabama, construct a gospel piece out of a staccato declaration to serve the Lord. Vetrea Slack Ruffin, of the singing Ruffin Family, directs the Forge Temple choir and wrote this song, which features enough bluesy spots and classic chord progressions to pierce the heart of any traditionalist. Yes, Virginia, old school gospel ...

Read More »

Cleveland Cole Dies; Father-in-Law of Dorinda Clark Cole

Marcel West of Detroit reported to the Journal of Gospel Music that Mr. Cleveland Cole, father-in-law of Dorinda Clark Cole and a musician in his own right, passed away Sunday morning. Marcel adds that Cole was the president of the famous Southwest Michigan State Choir of the Church of God in Christ, under the direction of Dr. Mattie Moss Clark. His homegoing arrangements are below:

Read More »

KSE Sunshine Band – Children in Perfected Praise: Live From Kansas City

KSE Sunshine Band Children in Perfected Praise: Live from Kansas City (2013) Available from digital music retailers By Bob Marovich Early in Church of God in Christ history, founder Bishop Charles Harrison Mason tasked the denomination’s Women’s Division to establish sunshine bands, or choral groups, to provide COGIC children with a musical outlet steeped in religion. For the past century or so, tens of thousands of saints—from everyday people to sacred and secular music superstars—have come up through a sunshine band. The forty-member Kansas East Jurisdictional Sunshine Band Recording Choir, under the direction of Sis. Jean Henderson, is one of these ensembles. In addition ...

Read More »