Tag Archives: dianne williams

Johnny Ruffin Jr. – I’m Gonna Praise the Lord

Johnny Ruffin Jr. I’m Gonna Praise the Lord JBP Music (release date: June 19, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Like Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson, Johnny Ruffin Jr. of North Carolina celebrates old-school quartet singing. That’s the feeling you get from his independently-released album, I’m Gonna Praise the Lord. While most songs have contemporary arrangements, Ruffin sings like a veteran quartet lead singer. He is most effective on covers of gospel classics like the Dixie Hummingbirds’ “So Much to Shout About” and the Jackson Southernaires’ “I Need You to Hold My Hand.” Notwithstanding the unnecessary blasts of synth, Ruffin and Stanley “Li’l ...

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JGM Founder inducted into Gospel Industry Network Hall of Fame

By Robert M. Marovich I was inducted into the Gospel Industry Network’s Hall of Fame last night along with such leading lights as Willie Rogers (Soul Stirrers), Jeral Gray (Chicago Mass Choir), and Dr. Joyce Logan (Gospel International). The program was part of the G.I.N.’s first-ever convention, which took place at Christ Unity Evangelistic Church on Chicago’s South Side. Some photos from the evening program: It was a great honor to be selected in this first class of honorees. I always say, nobody ever has to be nice to you, but it’s so nice to be nice. Thank you to ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: September 7, 2020

“Alright” Bishop Larry Trotter & Sweet Holy Spirit Choir From the forthcoming album Restored By Bob Marovich Bishop Larry Trotter and the choir of his Sweet Holy Spirit Church on Chicago’s Southeast side offer encouragement in the full-throated, hand-clapping, church-wrecking style emblematic of the Windy City gospel choir sound. In a sandpaper-rough baritone, Trotter sings about “heartaches and pains,” as the choir answers him with a reassuring “alright, it’s gonna be alright.” But it’s the fiery vocalist Betty Lott who sells the song. She works the audience and duets with Trotter as, with the choir, they interpolate a bit of ...

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“Duchess of Gospel” LaVarnga Hubbard Has Better Coming

By Bob Marovich Gospel music has had its share of fathers and mothers, kings and queens, princes, crown princes, princesses, godfathers, thunderbolts, wonder boys, and boy wonders, but as far as I know, only one duchess: Lady LaVarnga Hubbard. When Hubbard opens her mouth to sing, she channels the best of gospel’s traditional church-raised no-nonsense female shouters. Born in Chicago, LaVarnga (pron. luh-VARN-juh) Hubbard was nine years old when she began singing for Christian Doctrine Baptist Church, under the pastorate of Rev. Herman Billingsley. She joined Chicago Mass Choir when it was still called James C. Chambers and the Ecclesiastes ...

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