Tag Archives: james cleveland

Kanye’s Conversion Novel but Not New

By Bob Marovich In its first week, Kanye West’s spiritual album Jesus is King made record chart history by topping five charts at once, including the Billboard 200 chart and the Christian and Gospel album charts. The shift in message was a surprising move, even for the enigmatic and politically perplexing West, and it stimulated a range of responses—from cynicism to delight. But for all its novelty, Jesus is King is not the first time a pop artist has ventured into the realm of religious music. It’s not the first time an artist has left fans wondering whether the change ...

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Tim Rogers “Fella-rized” James Cleveland for New Single

By Bob Marovich The collaboration between Stellar Award-winning Arkansas gospel quartet Tim Rogers and the Fellas and the Grammy-nominated R&B sensation Calvin Richardson that resulted in the Fellas’ latest single, “Hold Out,” began in the unlikeliest of places: an airport. Rogers and Richardson ran into one another while moving through the Memphis International Airport. Rogers told the Journal of Gospel Music that although the two men had never met face-to-face, “his family knew me and of course I knew him. We vowed to do something together, and we made sure we kept our word.” The result of their collaboration, “Hold Out” ...

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Gospel Music Workshop of America Detroit Chapter – Bringing It Back Home

Gospel Music Workshop of America Detroit Chapter Bringing it Back Home GMWA Detroit Chapter (release date: September 1, 2018) By Bob Marovich After listening to Bringing it Back Home, I’d say the Detroit Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA) has the best choir of all workshop chapters in existence today. This live album, recorded on the 50th anniversary of GMWA’s founding in Detroit, Michigan, evokes those marvelous chapter choir albums and their Sunday morning-ready songs that were ubiquitous in the 1970s and 1980s. Although the home of the modern gospel choir movement is situated in Chicago, Detroit ...

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Long-Awaited Aretha Franklin “Amazing Grace” Documentary Makes World Debut at 2018 DOC NYC

NEW YORK, NY, November 5, 2018 – Amazing Grace, a long-awaited documentary featuring Aretha Franklin’s signature performances at New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, will make its world debut at the 2018 DOC NYC, America’s largest documentary film festival. It was announced today that the film will be presented Monday, November 12th at 6:45 pm and 9:00 pm at the SVA Theatre on 333 West 23rd St, NY, NY. Tickets are available at Docnyc.net. The live performances, ranked among Ms. Franklin’s finest, were originally recorded and filmed during a church service in Watts on January 13 and 14, ...

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Liz McComb – Merry Christmas

Liz McComb Merry Christmas GVE (release date: November 24, 2017) www.lizmccomb.com By Bob Marovich Liz McComb is one of the finest exporters of American soul and gospel to Europe. For her first-ever holiday album, Merry Christmas, she has mined traditional carols as well as Christmas songs from the African American experience and recorded them in Paris. The album is resplendent with delicate arrangements that accentuate the musicality of the singer and her team of musicians. There are no less than three keyboard players who participate—McComb included—and all are excellent. And Jean Wellers’ deft jazz guitar work makes “The Christmas Song” ...

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Kenneth Wilson Chorale – Incorruptible Seed

Kenneth Wilson Chorale Incorruptible Seed Love Records (release date: January 1, 2017) http://kennethwilsonchorale.hearnow.com By Bob Marovich Drawing from 1 Peter 1:23 for its title, Incorruptible Seed is the latest album from Detroit’s Kenneth Wilson Chorale, a group that demonstrates high-level vocal training in its easy, controlled delivery. Wilson’s songs—he wrote all the selections—append messages of hope and encouragement to mid-tempo contemporary gospel choir music. The album’s thematic premise of God’s constancy for His people is condensed in the opening track, “I’ve Got Jesus.” This rhythmic, mid-tempo cut points to the primacy of Jesus as all anyone needs to weather a ...

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Phillip Carter Delivers Songs Choirs “Can Learn in Two Rehearsals or Less”

By Bob Marovich Some twenty years ago, Phillip Carter gathered a half dozen of his friends into a local studio. He had written some songs and wanted to hear what they sounded like as performed by a vocal group. Carter told JGM: “I taught them the music, and we thought, ‘Man, this sounds pretty good!’ I decided to record some of it. One thing led to another and we started the group.” On September 23, Carter and his group, called the Sounds of Victory (SOV for short), released their sixth live recording, Live From Zion, on Phillip Carter Music distributed through ...

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Herbert “Pee Wee” Pickard, Noted Gospel Accompanist, Dies

By Bob Marovich Traditional gospel music enthusiast Jordan K. Phillips informed JGM that Herbert “Pee Wee” Pickard, noted organist and pianist who accompanied the Gospel Harmonettes, James Cleveland and the Voices of Tabernacle,  and many other gospel artists, passed away today. Mr. Pickard,  a resident of Detroit, was a child prodigy.  Anthony Heilbut (The Gospel Sound) told JGM recently that as a preteen, Pickard caught the attention of Lionel Hampton around the time that Dinah Washington was the group’s lead singer.  Heilbut laughed that had Pickard joined Hampton and Washington, they would have invented soul music ten years before Ray Charles. Pickard not only ...

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Genesis of a Gospel Song: “I Can Go to God in Prayer” – Calvin Bridges

Calvin Bridges as told to JGM’s Bob Marovich Looking back, I think God set me up to be in gospel music. In the neighborhood where I grew up, on the West Side of Chicago, there was the Holloway Community Choir. I lived around the corner from them. I would go to their monthly musicals and be in such awe. My mom was a member of Pilgrim Baptist Church, where Thomas Dorsey served as minister of music. Every first Sunday, she would take me to communion and to hear the choir. I watched all the pomp and circumstance, the procession, Professor ...

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