Tag Archives: vee jay

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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Eagle Rock Gospel Singers – Hammer and Nail: A Tribute to the Staple Singers

The Eagle Rock Gospel Singers Hammer and Nail: A Tribute to the Staple Singers (release date: June 17, 2016) www.ergospelsingers.com By Bob Marovich Imagine female harmonies containing the thunderous power of the Mamas and the Papas’ Cass Elliott and Michelle Phillips, and a rock band–all covering Staple Singers classics, and you have an idea of the Eagle Rock Gospel Singers’ Hammer and Nail EP. The ensemble, which loves and respects traditional African American gospel, makes three Staples “staples” its own. “From day one, the Staple Singers have been a primary influence,” said Eagle Rock Gospel Singers co-founder Jeremy Horton. “From naming ...

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Mavis! the Documentary as Effervescent as Its Subject

Mavis! Produced and Directed by Jessica Edwards www.mavisfilm.com Airs Monday, February 29, 8:00 p.m. CT (HBO) By Bob Marovich – Journal of Gospel Music Mavis!, the first full-length film to chronicle the life and artistry of Mavis Staples and the Staple Singers, is one of the most entertaining, moving, and informative music documentaries I have seen in a while. Over the past year, this biopic has crisscrossed the country and the world, screening for film festivals and special gatherings, such as the one I attended last Monday at Chicago’s DuSable Museum of African American History. The film will finally make its ...

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Swan Silvertones – Amen Amen Amen: The Essential Collection

Swan Silvertones Amen, Amen, Amen: The Essential Collection Rock Beat Records /Archives Alive www.rockbeatrecords.com By Bob Marovich Few will dispute that the Swan Silvertones are among the finest gospel quartets to gather around microphones.  From the Reverend Claude Jeter’s haunting falsetto to the Reverend Robert Crenshaw’s explosive improvisations, the Swans rivaled the Dixie Hummingbirds, Sensational Nightingales, Soul Stirrers, Fairfield Four, and Swanee Quintet for the title of baddest men on the gospel highway. Producer Michael Ochs salutes this historic group with Amen, Amen, Amen: The Essential Collection.  This reissue compilation opens with several of the group’s early 1950s Specialty sides—their ...

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Gospel’s Willie James McPhatter Dies; Performed in “Black Nativity”

JGM learned from Anthony Heilbut today that Willie James McPhatter, gospel singer-songwriter and accompanist, has died. Originally from Buffalo, New York, McPhatter–the cousin of Clyde McPhatter of the world-famous vocal groups the Dominoes and Drifters–had worked with a number of gospel groups by 1954 when Alex Bradford (“Too Close to Heaven”) approached him about joining the Bradford Singers. Although he initially declined, McPhatter joined the Bradford Singers two years later. He toured with the group, soloed on occasion, and recorded with the group for Specialty and Vee Jay Records. McPhatter also worked with Bradford on the 1960 Abyssinian Baptist Church ...

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