Tag Archives: Memphis

“Won’t He Do It” – The Beard Sisters

“Won’t He Do It” The Beard Sisters DBJ Entertainment (release date: November 15, 2016) www.thebeardsisters.com By Bob Marovich The Beard Sisters of Memphis (Angela, Latonya, and April) are a harmony trio. They sound inspired by Chicago’s Brown Sisters, or a younger version of the Clark Sisters, because of their sassy vocals, multifaceted rhythms, complex vocal blend, and sunny songs of praise and worship. On their soulfully retro-sounding single, “Won’t He Do It,” the trio celebrates God’s willingness to do everything for His people. The song’s hook is the reiterative freefall from a frenetic chorus of “Won’t He Do It” into a breezy jazz ...

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Cameron Ross – Power: Instrumental Praise & Worship

Cameron Ross Power: Instrumental Praise & Worship Cameron Ross Music (release date: April 19, 2018) www.cameronrossmusic.com By Bob Marovich Jazz saxophonist Cameron Ross’s sophomore album Power lives up to its subtitle. Ross renders contemporary Praise & Worship favorites in the smooth jazz format and then commences to improvise on their melodies on saxophone. Songs such as Israel Houghton’s “You Are Good,” Martha Munizzi’s “Glorious,” and William Murphy’s “You Reign” get this restful but restless treatment. Without lyric context, however, songs such as “Jump” and the title track are virtually indistinguishable from non-sacred jazz instrumentals. A music educator in the Memphis school system, Ross grew ...

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Elvis Presley – Where No One Stands Alone

Elvis Presley Where No One Stands Alone RCA / Legacy Recordings (release date: August 10, 2018) www.legacyrecordings.com By Bob Marovich When Elvis Presley became a national sensation in the mid-1950s, there were those who thought he was the devil personified, what with the hip shaking, sneering, and rock ‘n’ roll music. They did not realize that the twisting and sneering phenom from Memphis grew up listening to southern gospel quartet singing on the radio and hung out by New Trigg Baptist Church to hear the choir of the Reverend W. Herbert Brewster. And in December 1956, when Elvis and fellow ...

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The Reverend Shawn Amos Breaks It Down

The Reverend Shawn Amos Breaks It Down Put Together Music (release date: February 16, 2018) www.shawnamos.com By Bob Marovich The Reverend Shawn Amos might just be the most righteous preacher who’s not a preacher. Amos, whose mother was nightclub singer Shirl-ee May and whose father was a William Morris Agency executive and founder of Famous Amos cookies, is not a licensed ordained minister. Nevertheless, he uses his platform to speak truth to power, and pulls on a lifetime spent in the music business to accentuate the urgency of his message with fistfuls of biting blues guitar and harmonica. “21st Century Freedom ...

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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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Soul Survivor: A Biography of Al Green (Jimmy McDonough)

Soul Survivor: A Biography of Al Green. By Jimmy McDonough. Da Capo Press, 2017. 432pp. (hardcover). Index, illustrations. ISBN 978-0-306-82267-4. $28 By Bob Marovich “This was a very challenging project,” journalist and biographer Jimmy McDonough concedes in the acknowledgements of Soul Survivor, his biography of Al Green. You can almost hear McDonough heave a sigh of relief after writing that statement. Chronicling the life of such a defiantly inscrutable entertainer and minister as Green would be difficult enough with the protagonist’s participation. Instead, McDonough had to proceed essentially without Bishop Green’s blessing, relying for his information on decades of existing taped ...

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RIP Shea Norman, Gospel Singer

JGM was saddened to learn of the passing of gospel singer Shea Norman of Memphis.  The gospel singer passed away Thursday at age 45 as a result of diabetes. Reported the Memphis Commercial Appeal: “Norman, whose real name was Alen VonShea Norman, began a career in gospel music in 2004. His album, My Heart Depends On You, put him on the Billboard Gospel Albums chart at No. 17. His single, Tis So Sweet, was included on the WOW Gospel 2005 compilation album.” Read more about Mr. Norman here: Shea Norman.

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On Jesus’ Program – The Gospel Soul of O.V. Wright

By Opal Louis Nations Overton Vertis Wright was perhaps one of the finest gospel and soul-blues singers to emerge from out of the Volunteer State. He was born to Emanuel and Helen Wright on October 9, 1939, in Lens, some thirty miles west of Memphis, Tennessee. His first public appearance was made atop a soap box in 1945 at the Temple of Eads. Even then Wright seemed to possess perfect pitch and total control over his voice. By the age of twelve Wright was singing in the choir of the Golden Leaf Baptist Church, pastored by Rev. Hamblin who recognized ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: June 5, 2017

“I Am Blessed” MarQuez Curtis feat. Tiffanie “Tutu” Agee Mary Elizabeth Music Group (2017) By Bob Marovich For those wondering what Tiffanie “Tutu” Agee of the Truthettes has been up to lately, it’s joining MarQuez Curtis in giving effusive testimony for blessings bestowed by God—blessings that neither singer takes for granted. That’s the premise of “I Am Blessed,” a spirited hand-clapper that blends the sleekness of contemporary gospel with the churchiness of quartet singing, complete with a vamp that could have gone on even longer. From Memphis, Tennessee, MarQuez Curtis attends Light of Glory International Church (LOGIC) under the leadership ...

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Sharon Moore – Jesus Wants to Bless You

Sharon Moore Jesus Wants to Bless You Heavenly Calm Records By Bob Marovich Those who attended the 2016 Rhythm of Gospel Awards weekend in Memphis, Tennessee, heard the singer and songwriter Sharon Moore perform “Jesus Wants to Bless You,” the title track of her latest album, in a number of showcases. With a beat and melody evocative of A Taste of Honey’s 1978 disco hit, “Boogie Oogie Oogie,” Moore sings that Jesus doesn’t just want to bless you, he wants to “press down, shake it together” your blessings.  That’s the songs hook.  So many blessings you won’t have room to ...

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