Tag Archives: Thomas A Dorsey

Dee Dee Sharp – Songs of Faith (reissue)

Dee Dee Sharp Songs of Faith Cameo Records / ABKCO Music and Records (originally released in 1962; reissued October 21, 2016) www.abkco.com By Bob Marovich Just before the Beatles all but changed the face of popular music, Cameo/Parkway Records was finding new ways to keep kids dancing. From Chubby Checker’s “The Twist” and the Orlons’ “The Wah Watusi” to the Dovells “Bristol Stomp” and Dee Dee Sharp’s “Mashed Potato Time,” the Philadephia label was doing what Motown was about to do: recalibrate R&B music by African American artists for a multicultural audience. Cameo producers Kal Mann and Dave Appell knew ...

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Living the Life I Sing: Gospel Music from the Dorsey Era to the Millennium

Living the Life I Sing: Gospel Music from the Dorsey Era to the Millennium (First Edition) Alphonso Simpson Jr. and Thomas A. Dorsey, III, eds. Paperback; 180 pages, with illustrations (Cognella Academic Publishing) https://titles.cognella.com/living-the-life-i-sing-9781634875493.html By Bob Marovich Living the Life I Sing is a fascinating collection of essays from prominent scholars on the creation, development, and impact of African American gospel music. Although gospel’s acknowledged father, Thomas A. Dorsey, is the central figure of the book, he is not its sole concern.  The book covers a variety of facets of gospel music from its West African roots to today. A ...

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Best of Proverb & Gospel Corner Records: 1959-1969

Various Artists Best of Proverb & Gospel Corner Records: 1959-1969 NarroWay Records (2016) www.gospelfriend.com By Bob Marovich Gospel music has had many multi-taskers, chief among them the late Brother Henderson of Los Angeles, California. In the late 1950s, Sylvester C. “Duke” Henderson forsook his R&B singing career, hung up his rock and roll shoes, and plunged headlong into sacred music. He ran the popular All Gospel Record Store in L.A., hosted his own gospel music radio show on 50,000 watt XERB, wrote and published songs, promoted concerts, and headed up two record labels: Proverb and Gospel Corner. Despite Henderson’s prolific ...

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Treva – I Am Praise

Treva I Am Praise (EP) chezmusique (2014) www.TrevaJones.com By Bob Marovich Treva Jones did it the right way. The Houston, Texas, vocalist released a five-track EP that showcases the many shades of her vocal talent on songs written by gifted songwriters such as V. Michael McKay and the late O’Landa Draper.  She hired Sanchez Harley as a producer, and she stayed fairly true to one style of gospel (in her case, traditional) instead of wandering around in an effort to please everyone. Treva demonstrates vocal versatility on I Am Praise.  The opening cut, “There’s a Blessing,” is a new song ...

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Packin’ Up: The Best of Marion Williams

Packin’ Up: The Best of Marion Williams Marion Williams Spirit Feel/Shanachie www.shanachie.com By Bob Marovich If you thought you’d heard everything Marion Williams recorded, alone or with the Ward Singers or Stars of Faith, think again. In addition to the thirteen hand-picked solo tracks by Williams’s longtime friend and producer, Anthony Heilbut (The Gospel Sound, The Fan Who Knew Too Much), Packin’ Up: The Best of Marion Williams features thirteen previously unreleased tracks. One of the unreleased gems showcases Williams with the Ward Singers at the 1957 Newport Folk Festival.  The cuts span the years 1957 to 1993.  Heilbut’s extensive ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: October 26, 2015

“The Lord Will Make a Way” The Bishops Quartet From I Know What Prayer Can Do (2015) www.thebishopsquartet.net The unapologetically old school Bishops Quartet tackles The Lord Will Make a Way,” Thomas A. Dorsey’s classic gospel of hope. The group’s bluesy, deliberate approach conjures the way gospel quartets covered the song in the 1950s and 1960s, but with the full-bodied organ-piano-guitar-bass music backdrop popular in the 1970s. “Lord” is consistent in sound and style with the group’s previous material. From Richmond, Virginia, the Bishops Quartet was founded in 2009 and consists of Bishops Alvin Palmer (manager), Thurman Hargrove, James Coleman, ...

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Historic Gospel TV Program Jubilee Showcase Needs Your Help

By Bob Marovich From 1963 to 1984, the Emmy Award-winning television program Jubilee Showcase brought the nation’s greatest gospel singers and groups into living rooms throughout Chicagoland. Every Sunday morning, host Sid Ordower treated viewers to performances by such stalwarts as the Caravans, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, the Norfleet Brothers, Andrae’ Crouch, Jessy Dixon, the Staple Singers, and the Barrett Sisters. The show featured pioneering gospel performers such as Roberta Martin and Thomas Dorsey. There were many gospel greats whose taped appearance on Jubilee Showcase represents the only video footage of their live performances. Jubilee Showcase was the longest-running ...

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American Prospect: Beyoncé Misses the Point of What Gospel Music Means to Black Americans

An interesting perspective on the Grammys’ Beyonce-“Precious Lord” controversy.  Read Kevin Cokley’s article in American Prospect by clicking below: Beyoncé Misses the Point of What Gospel Music Means to Black Americans. For my money, I would have preferred to hear Ledisi sing it, since she did the song in Selma.  Of course it’s all about the ratings, which is why TV personalities host music awards shows but you’ll rarely see a musician hosting a TV awards show. Interestingly, while Mahalia Jackson is inexorably connected to “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” by Thomas A. Dorsey (pictured, circa 1930s), once upon a time in Chicago, the birthplace of ...

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Sallie and Cora Martin – Just A Little Talk With Jesus

Sallie and Cora Martin Just A Little Talk with Jesus Gospel Friend (release date: September 16, 2014) www.cityhallrecords.com By Bob Marovich Sallie Martin, the Mother of Gospel Music, paved the way for those who paved the way. A no-nonsense singer, group leader, choir director, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Martin helped Thomas A. Dorsey sell his catalog of songs before going into business with Kenneth Morris in 1940 to form the Martin & Morris Music Studio. It is in 1940, when Sallie was a member of the Martin & Morris Singers, where Just A Little Talk With Jesus, Gospel Friend’s superb twelve-year ...

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