Tag Archives: mighty clouds of joy

Various Artists – Quartet is in My DNA

Various Artists Quartet is in My DNA 4 Winds / Malaco Music Group (release date: September 10, 2021) www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich On Quartet is in My DNA, the brainchild of Roy Ladson of Roy and Revelation, Paul Porter hosts a passel of current-day gospel singers who dust off classic songs by Ladson’s favorite gospel artists for a down-home, spirit-filled quartet program. All but Porter and Joseph Wooden lead an A and B selection on this project. Nevertheless, Wooden gets to lead off, and he does so with aplomb on the Soul Stirrers’ “Resting Easy,” complete with dynamic repetitive ...

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Award-Winning Quartet Documentary “How They Got Over” Screening Around the U.S.

From a press release (NOTE: JGM’s Bob Marovich appears in the film): How They Got Over tells the story of how Black gospel quartet music became a primary source of what would be known as rock and roll, and in the process helped to break down racial walls in mid-twentieth century America. Beginning in the 1920s, Black singers across the country took to the highways as the new technology of radio and records made it possible to reach a wider audience. Intense competition brought new ways to entertain, first with guitars, later with full bands, then with a performance style ...

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RIP: Richard Wallace of the Mighty Clouds of Joy

By Bob Marovich JGM was saddened to learn from Debra Ligon and Libra Boyd’s post that singer and guitarist Richard Wallace of the Mighty Clouds of Joy passed away Monday, July 27, 2020. According to essays by Opal Nations, Richard Edward Wallace was born June 9, 1940, in Austin, Texas. He and his brother Lee O’Daniel migrated west to Los Angeles and, in 1956, joined the Stars of Bethel, a quartet that included cousins from Texas who had moved to LA ahead of them. The quartet later changed its name to the Stars of Bethlehem and cut an album for ...

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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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Endurance (feat. the late Joe Ligon)

Endurance (feat. The Late Joe Ligon) Changed SCCME Records (release date: September 29, 2017) http://musicbyendurance.com/ By Bob Marovich The Stellar Award-nominated gospel quartet Endurance of Houston, Texas, had the mixed blessing of being responsible for Joe Ligon’s last known recording. It was a mixed blessing because they got to work with the iconic lead singer of the Mighty Clouds of Joy, but I’m sure that if they had their druthers, they wouldn’t have wanted it to be his last trip to the studio. Nevertheless, on the title track, Ligon’s hard shouting style fits perfectly with Michael Robertson’s own. Like two deacons in spirited conversation, Ligon ...

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The Zion Messengers – I’m Ready

The Zion Messengers I’m Ready 1500 GOSPEL (release date: September 1, 2015) By Bob Marovich If you’ve heard Snoop Dogg’s gospel album, Bible of Love, you’ve heard the Zion Messengers. They are the young quartet from Los Angeles that sings on Bible of Love‘s “Going Home.” But you don’t get to appear on Bible of Love without gospel music experience. Indeed, the Zion Messengers released their own album, I’m Ready, back in 2015. The quartet sounds just as confident on this earlier album as they do on Snoop Dogg’s. Although endeavoring to make I’m Ready as contemporary as possible, the ...

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Various Artists: Make It Gospel – Chapter One

Various Artists Make It Gospel: Chapter One (release date: October 18, 2017) https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/makeitgospelchapterone By Bob Marovich Make It Gospel: Chapter One is an independently-produced EP that showcases three “hidden jewel” gospel quartets: one male (Men of Fellowship), one female (New Stars of Faith), and one young group (Psalm 100). All three quartets are quite good, demonstrating that for every gospel superstar, there are thousands of gifted artists throughout the country, trying to be noticed. The meaty vocals and even harmonizing of Men of Fellowship make for enjoyable listening, while the edgy-voiced lead singer of the New Stars of Faith of Durham, North Carolina, sounds ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: October 24, 2017

“Changed” Endurance feat. Joe Ligon SCCME (release date: January, 2017) www.musicbyendurance.com By Bob Marovich A few years ago, Houston’s Endurance quartet asked Joe Ligon, the legendary lead singer of the Mighty Clouds of Joy, to join them on “Changed” (not the Hawkins classic) and tell everyone about the life transforming properties of salvation. Ligon accepted. On “Changed,” he and Endurance’s Michael Robertson first trade leads and then sing to one another like two deacons so engaged in a praise conversation that they are oblivious to the congregation. “Joe, I know what you are singing about,” Robertson shouts in full quartet growl. “It’s ...

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Men of God’s Heart (self-titled)

Men of God’s Heart self-titled Independent release; release date: March 24, 2017 Available at digital music retail outlets By Bob Marovich Men of God’s Heart is a six-member contemporary quartet that can easily draw comparisons to the Rance Allen Group, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, and the Winans. In fact, on “Wilderness,” a track on their self-titled album, the group pays tribute to the Winans, suggesting that the Detroiters are direct influences on the Columbus, Ohio, male vocal group. Men of God’s Heart delivers the meatiness of traditional gospel quartet—the hard singing, the shouting, the preaching moments—with heavy instrumentation and ...

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Joe Ligon of the Mighty Clouds of Joy Passes Away: Homegoing Details Announced

By Bob Marovich (UPDATED 12/17/16) Gospel quartet legend Willie Joe Ligon passed away on Sunday, December 11. Homegoing and memorial details are at the bottom of this report. Born October 11, 1936, in Troy, Alabama, Ligon migrated to Los Angeles at age 14 and met his future mates in the Mighty Clouds of Joy in the mid-1950s while attending Jefferson High School.  Like top quartets such as the Blind Boys of Mississippi, the Blind Boys of Alabama, and the Gospelaires of Dayton, the Clouds incorporated the growls, shouts, and rasp of African American preachers into their singing, a style sometimes referred ...

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