Tag Archives: new jersey

Gloria Gaynor Sings Her Testimony

By Bob Marovich From time to time, such as on major holidays or when the young people’s choir was singing, young Gloria Fowles and her family accompanied their grandmother to Abyssinian Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey. At Abyssinian, they would listen to sermons from its pastor, the Reverend Raphus P. Means, and gospel music from such leading lights as Professor Alex Bradford, the Gospel Clefs’ Leon Lumpkins, and young gospel singer Kenneth Glover. Gloria also enjoyed the music of another Newark native, Sarah Vaughan. In the 1970s, Gloria Fowles, better known as Gloria Gaynor, became an internationally-successful R&B and ...

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Gloria Gaynor – Testimony

Gloria Gaynor Testimony Gaither Music Group (release date: June 7, 2019) www.gloriagaynor.com By Bob Marovich The release of Gloria Gaynor’s gospel album Testimony may have taken some by surprise, but if you know something about her life story, it makes sense. In fact, Gaynor’s signature song, “I Will Survive,” followed an almost career-ending accident that added injury to insult, given her acute financial challenges. And in many ways, the life-affirming message of “I Will Survive” helped men and women with the AIDS virus discover hope and celebrate life as they struggled with the debilitating disease. While not every pop star’s ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: April 8, 2019

“All That I Have (One God)” Lamont Sanders DarkChild Gospel / Bear Tag Entertainment By Bob Marovich In his muscular yet flexible baritone, Lamont Sanders delivers this pop-influenced rhythm ballad about giving back to God, who has given so much to us, especially his only begotten son. The background vocalists share the spotlight on this solid song and message for the Lenten season.  Lots to like here. The Willingboro, New Jersey, native earned a scholarship to study musical theater at the University of the Arts (UArts) in Philadelphia and can play seven instruments. The way he works this song demonstrates ...

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RIP Gertrude Hicks, Member of the Lawrence Roberts Singers and Founding Member of the Angelic Choir

By Bob Marovich The Journal of Gospel Music is saddened to report that Sis. Gertrude Deadwyler Hicks passed away March 1, 2019. The Rev. Dr. Stefanie Minatee informed JGM of her transition. Gertrude Hicks was a member of the Gospel Chordettes / Lawrence Roberts Singers and a founding member of the Angelic Choir of the First Baptist Church of Nutley, New Jersey. She was born March 9, 1938, to Georgiana and Arvie Deadwyler in Brooklyn, New York. Her parents left Brooklyn to establish the Mount Olive Pentecostal Faith Church in Jersey City, New Jersey. Gertrude learned to play classical piano ...

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Bishop J. D. Means Sr. – If He Bring You to It. . .He’ll Bring You Through It

Bishop J. D. Means Sr. If He Bring You to It. . . He’ll Bring You Through It Mean Means Music Group (release date: October 29, 2018) http://bishopjdmeanssr.com/ By Bob Marovich Bishop J. D. Means Sr.’s CD If He Bring You to It. . .He’ll Bring You Through It is filled to the brim with music, so much so that it feels like two albums in one. Or maybe three, depending on how you look at it. The first half of the album is comprised of newly-composed songs with heaping helpings of old-school soul. Means renders these fundamental songs of ...

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Calvin Simon: From Gospel to Funk and Back Again

By Bob Marovich Few gospel artists can claim to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Only one, to my knowledge, can also boast that a major prop from his former band is now on display in the Smithsonian. Calvin Simon can lay claim to both. As a founding member of the popular funk group Parliament Funkadelic, Simon is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee. The P Funk Mothership, an iconic stage prop, is part of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. Although Simon has laid those days to the ...

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“You Reign” – Deanna Ransom

“You Reign” Deanna Ransom LizaRan Music (release date: April 17, 2018) www.deannaransom.com By Bob Marovich Songstress Deanna Ransom hits “You Reign” out of the park. This praise song works because its simmering, repetitive four-chord foundation gives Ransom plenty of room to improvise, especially at the conclusion, where she runs up and down the stave with closed-eyes abandon, alive in the throes of worship. The Glassboro, New Jersey, native began her singing career as a five year-old member of her family’s group, the Heavenly Children. She was named Artist of the Year by the Rhythm of Gospel Awards in 2013.

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“Jesus” – Tracy Neal

“Jesus” Tracy Neal Holy Ground Music Group (released July 25, 2017) Available on iTunes and from CD Baby By Bob Marovich A worship song written in the 1990s by Minister J. David Bratton (“Every Praise”), “Jesus” is a hypnotic litany of adjectives and characteristics that Tracy Neal sings to describe the Son of God. Electric guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards steadily pick up the energy behind Neal until the musicians and background vocalists drop into an insistent groove during the vamp. Neal uses the vamp to improvise on the many names of Jesus and what he has been to her. ...

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“Where Are U?” – CL Carr

“Where Are U?” CL Carr C eL Entertainment (2017) Available from iTunes By Bob Marovich One evening in late October 2000, I was visiting my 40-year-old wife in the hospital. She had been diagnosed with cancer in 1992. The cancer had spread and by this point she didn’t have long to live. We knew it because she had lost significant weight to the disease. I was as physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted as a heart-sick husband could be. As I drove home from the hospital that night, pulling on whatever reserve energy was left in my body, all I ...

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“Everybody Ought to Know” – D. Corey Shipley feat. Estee Bullock

“Everybody Ought to Know” D. Corey Shipley feat. Estee Bullock DuCosh Music Group (release date: April 28, 2017) https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/dcoreyshipley By Bob Marovich “Everybody Ought to Know” is a humble worship song that riffs on the various names for God but reminds us that no matter the name, God is the solid rock. D. Corey Shipley and Estee Bullock (Hezekiah Walker and the Love Fellowship Crusade Choir) weave their confident lead vocals through the backing group’s assertive harmonies. The musicians keep the head bobbing funk beat, a slow stomp, moving steadily ahead throughout. D. Corey Shipley hails from Trenton, New Jersey, and ...

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