Tag Archives: malaco music group

Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson Dies Suddenly at 50

September 30, 2022 – One of the current kings of gospel quartet music, Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson, has died suddenly at the age of 50. Johnson was found dead in his Atlanta, GA, home this morning. An autopsy is scheduled. Johnson was known for big gospel radio hits such as “Let Go and Let God Have His Way,” “Be Right,” and “Hide Behind the Mountain.” “I’m in total disbelief,” says Black Smoke Music Worldwide founder Kerry Douglas who first discovered Johnson when he was performing at the American Gospel Quartet Convention in Birmingham, AL, in the late 1990s. “I saw Keith ...

Read More »

The 2022 Quartet Music Awards Winners List

The Quartet Music Awards Announce Winners and 2023 Show Date Atlanta, GA — History was made on June 18, 2022, in Atlanta, GA, when the Inaugural Quartet Music Awards took place with a packed audience in the Center Stage Theater. Quartet fans, artists, and groups from around the country enjoyed an exciting night of music that ignited an atmosphere of praise. A new generation of singers and musicians gave electrifying performances, and legendary artists proved again why they have achieved their legendary status in the genre of Gospel Quartet. QMA Chief Executive Officer D. Chubbs Morton created the QMAs to ...

Read More »

“God Said It” – The Canton Spirituals ft. Doug Williams and Darrel Petties

“God Said It”The Canton Spirituals ft. Doug Williams and Pastor Darrel PettiesFrom the Malaco Music Group album Hallelujah Anyhow(release date: January 28, 2022)www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich It’s a Mississippi singers reunion as the Canton Spirituals, Doug Williams of the Williams Brothers, and Pastor Darrel Petties of Olive Branch, Mississippi, assemble to sing that if God said it, “you can count it all done.” To hammer home the point, Harvey Watkins Jr. and Company provide listeners with a few examples from the Old and New Testaments when God did just what He said. I think it’s Doug Williams who interjects ...

Read More »

Various Artists – Malaco 50th Celebration

Various Artists Malaco 50th Celebration Malaco Music Group (release date: February 25, 2022) www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich The nearly two-hour Malaco 50th Celebration two CD set (and companion DVD) is one of the best releases thus far this year. Recorded live on July 12, 2018, at the record company’s golden anniversary gala at Thalia Mara Hall in Jackson, Mississippi, the package pairs current gospel stars with classic songs from Malaco’s gospel archives. Since the label owns the licensing rights to gospel music from such iconic labels as Apollo, Savoy, Atlanta International Records, Muscle Shoals Sound, GosPearl, and Onyx, it ...

Read More »

RIP LaShun Pace: Soloist, Member of Anointed Pace Sisters

By Robert M. Marovich JGM was saddened to learn of the passing of LaShun Pace. Her sister Lydia reported that LaShun passed from organ failure on March 21, 2022, in a Metro Atlanta hospital. She had been on kidney dialysis for five years. Homegoing arrangements will be reported when announced. Here is a bio I wrote for the Malaco Music Group website: Born September 7, 1961, to Murphy and Bettie Ann Pace in Atlanta, Georgia, and brought up in the Church of God in Christ, Tarrian LaShun Pace began singing in church as well as with her eight sisters in ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week – March 14, 2022

“Peace Be Still” Kelontae Gavin Malaco Music Group (release date: January 20, 2022) www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich At the Malaco Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration in Jackson, Mississippi, gospel soloist Kelontae Gavin put his own melismatic touch on “Peace Be Still.” It’s from the CD and DVD chronicling the Fiftieth Anniversary concert, where today’s gospel artists reprised classics from the Malaco gospel catalog. Gavin doesn’t use the Rev. James Cleveland / Gwendolyn Cooper Lightner arrangement of “Peace Be Still” but instead borrows the score Thomas Whitfield wrote for Vanessa Bell Armstrong. Sweet background vocalists chant “peace be still” and “peace” as ...

Read More »

“I Still Got Joy” – Roy & Revelation

“I Still Got Joy” Roy & Revelation From the Malaco / 4 Winds Records album The Book of Revelation (release date: January 28, 2022) www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich South Carolina-based Roy & Revelation keeps the soul-stirring gospel quartet sound relevant with “I Still Got Joy.” Complete with call-and-response and vamp, the song swaggers in the knowledge that joy cometh despite today’s troubles. Not only is forsaking the devil’s deceitfulness to follow the Lord the way to “make it in,” but it’s also the way to get a healing touch on this side of the Jordan River. If you have ...

Read More »

“Thank You” – Sonny Brown

“Thank You” Sonny Brown Independent (release date: January 3, 2022) By Robert M. Marovich If Sonny Brown’s “Thank You” has a traditional gospel quartet vibe, it’s because Brown has spent part of his career in the quartet field, notably with the Fantastic Violinaires and the Swanee Quintet. In exhalations of gutsy singing, shouting, and at least one good ol’ gospel chuckle, Brown offers effusive praise to God one moment and the next instructs listeners who have faced trials to raise their voices in gratitude. “But didn’t my God step in,” Brown asks, “and didn’t he make a way?” He is ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: January 10, 2022

“Fall On Me” A. Samar Biggham A. Samar Biggham Music Group (2021) www.samarbiggham.com By Robert M. Marovich In case you are wondering, A. Samar Biggham indeed is from that Biggham family. His grandfather is the Rev. Dr. Milton Biggham, veteran choir leader and former executive of Savoy Records. His great-grandmother was a member of the Sykes Gospel Singers of Thomasville, Georgia. The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree, the saying goes. Anthony Samar (A. Samar) has been in the gospel music ministry for about a decade but has been preaching since age 10. Among his accomplishments was appearing in ...

Read More »

JGM Presents the Best CDs, Singles and Historic Reissues of 2021

By Bob Marovich As is our custom for this time of year, the Journal of Gospel Music presents its “best of” lists in the category of CDs, songs, and historical releases. The recordings were not chosen as “best of” based on sales, chart status, promotion, voting, fan popularity, number of likes or retweets, committee decisions, throwing darts, reading tea leaves, arm twisting, or anything other than 1) JGM was serviced with the music for review and 2) JGM believes they best represented gospel/sacred music in 2021 in terms of overall music quality. Artists whose music does not appear here: please ...

Read More »