Tag Archives: Soul Stirrers

“How They Got Over” – Now Streaming and on DVD

First Run Features presents …Fresh from its Theatrical Release… Robert Clem’s New Music Documentary HOW THEY GOT OVER How They Got Over celebrates the spirit of gospel performers and how they helped usher in a musical revolution that changed the world forever! 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 that would inspire Mick Jagger and a host of other ...

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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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“Thank You Lord” – The Cross Family

“Thank You Lord” The Cross Family By Robert M. Marovich The Cross Family of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, pays homage to their father, the late Gene Cross, by keeping the family group going strong. Their new single, “Thank You Lord,” is a rhythmic affirmation of gratitude steeped in call-and-response, a good old fashioned quartet vamp, and that you-know-it-when-you-hear-it quartet rhythm. In 2016, upon retiring as manager and lead singer of former Song Bird recording artists the Smiling Jubilaires, Gene Cross assembled his family into a singing aggregation. Gene passed in 2018, but the group, now under the tutelage of “Lil Gene” ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: March 16, 2020

“Never Forget” Atlanta Chapter of the GMWA Mass Choir Aspire International Music Group (release date: February 22, 2020) www.atlantagmwamasschoir.org By Bob Marovich The choir representing the Atlanta Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA) gives the classic Soul Stirrers hit from 1954, “Jesus I’ll Never Forget,” a distinctive choir-tet arrangement. Joining the mass choir on lead vocals is GMWA stalwart Bishop Richard “Mr. Clean” White. White, squalling vocalist Evangelist Saundra Cepeda, and the choir take the listener back to what church used to sound like—but with a twist, courtesy of jazzy chords and chord changes in the bridge. ...

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TIME LIFE to Release Streaming-Only Audio Album from Chicago TV Series “Jubilee Showcase”

From a press release: TIME LIFE WILL RELEASE AUDIO PERFORMANCES FROM THE EMMY® AWARD WINNING GOSPEL TV SERIES “JUBILEE SHOWCASE” AS A STREAMING-ONLY ALBUM FEATURING RAW PERFORMANCES BY ICONIC GOSPEL ACTS SUCH AS ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAMERS THE STAPLE SINGERS & THE SOUL STIRRERS, AND MORE! TIME LIFE will release Jubilee Showcase, 36 raw, live performances – before a studio audience – from the Emmy® Award winning  TV concert series, Jubilee Showcase, as a streaming-only album on January 17, 2020 – MLK Weekend. It will stream globally on more than 300 digital service providers, such as Apple Music ...

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“How They Got Over” Receives Award at Chicago Film and Music Festival

How They Got Over, a documentary film by Robert Clem about gospel quartets and their contribution to rock and roll, received the “Best Killer Soundtrack” Award from the ninth Chicago International Movies and Music Festival, better known as CIMMFest. The documentary was shown at the Davis Theater last Saturday afternoon as part of the festival. Gospel legend Willie Rogers of the Soul Stirrers joined Clem, co-producer Jerry Zolten, and gospel historian Bob Marovich for a brief Q&A session afterward. How They Got Over features interviews from singing stars such as Clarence Fountain (Blind Boys of Alabama), Rev. Thomas Spann (Brooklyn All Stars), Ira ...

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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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Dave Bass – The Welcome Table

Dave Bass The Welcome Table DNB Associates (1997) www.cdbaby.com/davebass By Bob Marovich Although he recorded The Welcome Table twenty years ago, gospel singer and songwriter Dave Bass is promoting his quartet-inspired album to a new generation of listeners. The eight radio-sized selections on The Welcome Table sound like nostalgic reflections by a revivalist vocal harmony group, the kind that appears on TJ Lubinsky’s PBS specials. The songs have a latter-day Soul Stirrers vibe, with Bass channeling Sam Cooke’s elastic tenor but without his trademark yodel. Bass is accompanied by an uncredited quartet and contemporary musical backdrop. The title track as ...

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The Gospel Sensations: Trendsetting With Old School Harmonies

By Bob Marovich To carve out a niche in a quartet community crowded with local and national artists, the Gospel Sensations are employing a time-honored principle that has been all but abandoned in gospel music. A cappella harmony singing. That’s right: trendsetting by going back to the way gospel quartets sang prior to the 1950s: without musical instruments. And people like it. “Sometimes music takes a more commercial turn, and I get that,” said Robert C. Marion Jr., member of the Gospel Sensations. “It takes money to finance a ministry, but the a cappella sound, when it is done right, ...

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