Tag Archives: Mavis Staples

Yvonne Staples of the Staple Singers Passes Away

By Bob Marovich Bill Carpenter, co-founder of Capital Entertainment in Washington, DC, and a longtime friend of and spokesperson for the Staples Family, informed JGM of the passing of Yvonne Staples. She died at her home in Chicago today, Tuesday, April 10, at age 80. Born in Chicago on October 23, 1937, Yvonne was initially a reluctant singer. She didn’t join her family’s group until some years after its founding. While not a lead singer, Yvonne’s baritone contributed greatly to the Staples’ distinctive harmonies. She is present for the Staple Singers’ late 1950s selections on Vee Jay Records, their songs of social significance for ...

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At 20, Jekalyn Carr Is In Her Winning Season

By Bob Marovich Jekalyn Carr frequently listened to her mother, Jennifer Selvy Carr, as she sang with the award-winning family gospel group the Selvy Singers. But this time it was different. The preteen was watching the Selvys sing from the set of Don McGlynn’s 2010 gospel music documentary, Rejoice and Shout. “We were on the set of [Rejoice and Shout] and they found out I could sing,” Jekalyn told JGM during her recent visit to Chicago. “They wanted me to sing ‘Amazing Grace.’” Jekalyn’s “Amazing Grace” stole the show. But for all the buzz about the young girl’s performance, it was ...

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Various Artists – Jesus Rocked the Jukebox

Various Artists Jesus Rocked the Jukebox Craft Records / Concord Music Group (2017) http://www.concordmusicgroup.com/albums/jesus-rocked-jukebox-small-group-black-gospel-1951-1965/ By Bob Marovich In addition to its estimable contributions to the religious, social, and political life of African Americans, the church has also been an effective music training school. Untold numbers of men and women have learned to sing or play instruments before discerning but sympathetic church communities. While some singers and musicians committed their musical talent wholly to God, others sought fame in the financially lucrative world of rock and roll and R&B. This exit caused no small amount of consternation among churchgoers who felt that ...

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Jubilee Showcase Now Available on Vimeo on Demand

Chicago—September 12, 2017— Every Sunday morning from 1963 until 1984, Chicago gospel music lovers watched Jubilee Showcase for the inspiring and soul-stirring performances by nationally known artists and local favorites, including the Staple Singers, Andrae Crouch, the Edwin Hawkins Singers, the Soul Stirrers, Albertina Walker, the Caravans, Jessy Dixon, the Barrett Sisters, Vernon Oliver Price and the Norfleet Brothers. Choral groups such as George Mays and Voices of Praise, the Wooten Choral Ensemble as well as the Institutional Church of God in Christ Radio Choir from Brooklyn, NY, were also regularly featured on the program. Episodes of this classic gospel ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: July 17, 2017

“Grace” Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago feat. Le’Andria Johnson Inspired People, LLC (release date: July 7, 2017) Available from digital media outlets By Bob Marovich Pastor Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago’s “Grace” feels like a quicker-tempo version of Kirk Franklin’s “I Smile” with its plinky piano, chirpy melody, finger-popping rhythm, and unison singing. The choir declares that they don’t look like what they’ve been through, and it’s because of God’s favor. God has brought them from a mighty long way. They’re blessed by the best. Then Le’Andria Johnson jumps in and drops a healthy helping of righteous southern soul on ...

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Candi Staton – It’s Time to Be Free

Candi Staton It’s Time to Be Free Beracah Records (release date: July 22, 2016) www.candi-staton.com By Bob Marovich Like Mavis Staples, Canzetta “Candi” Staton made her professional music debut in the 1950s as a member of a gospel group, and later broadened her reach into popular music by employing Muscle Shoals rhythm sections. The two women, born less than a year apart, have been recharging their careers with albums that channel a wisdom and experience as evident in the muskiness of their voices as in the song lyrics. It’s Time to Be Free, Staton’s first gospel album since 2008’s I Will ...

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Various Artists: Greenleaf: The Gospel Companion Soundtrack, Vol. 1

Various Artists Greenleaf: The Gospel Companion Soundtrack, Vol. 1 Malaco Records (release date: August 26, 2016) www.malaco.com By Bob Marovich If Trolls is expected to be the pop soundtrack of the year, Greenleaf: The Gospel Companion Soundtrack, Vol. 1 gets my vote for inspirational soundtrack of the year. Greenleaf, the OWN television series about a family-run megachurch in Memphis, features a cast that includes Merle Dandridge, Keith David, Lynn Whitfield, Deborah Joy Winans, and Oprah Winfrey, who is also one of the show’s executive producers. The fourteen-track first volume reinforces in song the program’s themes of belief, the vulnerability of faith when confronted ...

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Eagle Rock Gospel Singers – Hammer and Nail: A Tribute to the Staple Singers

The Eagle Rock Gospel Singers Hammer and Nail: A Tribute to the Staple Singers (release date: June 17, 2016) www.ergospelsingers.com By Bob Marovich Imagine female harmonies containing the thunderous power of the Mamas and the Papas’ Cass Elliott and Michelle Phillips, and a rock band–all covering Staple Singers classics, and you have an idea of the Eagle Rock Gospel Singers’ Hammer and Nail EP. The ensemble, which loves and respects traditional African American gospel, makes three Staples “staples” its own. “From day one, the Staple Singers have been a primary influence,” said Eagle Rock Gospel Singers co-founder Jeremy Horton. “From naming ...

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Congratulations to the 58th GRAMMY Winners

Gospel winners at the 58th GRAMMY Awards: 36. Best Gospel Performance/Song “Wanna Be Happy?” – Kirk Franklin 37. Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song “Holy Spirit” – Francesca Battistelli 38. Best Gospel Album Covered: Alive in Asia [Live] (Deluxe) – Israel & Newbreed (RGM Newbreed/RCA Inspiration) 39. Best Contemporary Christian Music Album This is Not a Test – Tobymac (ForeFront Records) 40. Best Roots Gospel Album Still Rockin’ My Soul – Fairfield Four (Fairfield Four Records) 45. Best American Roots Performance “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” – Mavis Staples (Anti) For a complete list of winners and nominees, visit ...

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Mavis! the Documentary as Effervescent as Its Subject

Mavis! Produced and Directed by Jessica Edwards www.mavisfilm.com Airs Monday, February 29, 8:00 p.m. CT (HBO) By Bob Marovich – Journal of Gospel Music Mavis!, the first full-length film to chronicle the life and artistry of Mavis Staples and the Staple Singers, is one of the most entertaining, moving, and informative music documentaries I have seen in a while. Over the past year, this biopic has crisscrossed the country and the world, screening for film festivals and special gatherings, such as the one I attended last Monday at Chicago’s DuSable Museum of African American History. The film will finally make its ...

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