Traditional Gospel

The Caravans – Where Gospel Meets Soul

The Caravans Where Gospel Meets Soul: 1952-1962 Acrobat Music (release date: September 9, 2022) www.acrobatmusic.net By Robert M. Marovich Despite their massive popularity over three decades, the Caravans have lacked a proper CD retrospective. Selections have been reissued here and there, and Savoy put out a two-album set featuring most of their hits, but there has been nothing approaching a serious survey of their musical canon. That’s why it was a delight to learn about Acrobat’s Where Gospel Meets Soul, a two-disc, 49-track exploration of one of gospel’s greatest groups. The Acrobat collection provides nearly all the singles, both the ...

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The Origins of “Come and Go With Me to My Father’s House”

Chris Fenner, Digital Archivist in the Archives & Special Collections department of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, explores the origins of some of the most beloved hymns of the church. His latest article chronicles “Come and Go With Me to My Father’s House.” It’s a fascinating study of the song’s journey over many decades from creation to church chestnut. Read the article here: Come and Go With Me

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Angie & Friends Live at Daywind Studios: I Feel Like Singing

Angie Primm Angie & Friends Live at Daywind Studios: I Feel Like Singing New Day Entertainment (release date: August 26, 2022) www.angelaprimm.com By Robert M. Marovich Certain records capture the unconstrained joy of traditional gospel and hymn singing better than others. One that captures it precisely is singer Angie Primm’s Live at Daywind Studios: I Feel Like Singing. Gathered in the famous Hendersonville, Tennessee, Daywind Studios, the Angie & Friends troupe establish the theme of the album from the start, on the lead (and title) track. They namecheck gospel songs and spirituals in an informal group sing reminiscent of the ...

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JGM Pick of the Week – September 5, 2022

“Wait On Jesus” Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir with Pastor DeAndre Patterson (release date: August 16, 2022) https://www.thechristiantabernaclechurch.com/ By Robert M. Marovich Renowned during the 1960s – 1990s, the Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir of Chicago has returned after a twenty-year recording hiatus with “Wait On Jesus.” It has that boisterous Chicago gospel choir sound, complete with handclaps, tambourine, playful guitar riffs, and repetition in the vamp. Pastor DeAndre Patterson, a talented musician, radio announcer, and emcee, has taken the position of senior pastor at Christian Tabernacle. He has mighty shoes to fill in the church’s late founder and pastor, Rev. Maceo ...

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JGM Pick of the Week:  August 15, 2022

“It’s On the Way” Gia Wyre 141st Lane Music (release date: May 6, 2022) By Robert M. Marovich Peace, joy, and happiness is coming, sings Miami songstress Gia Wyre at a breathless pace, on “It’s On the Way.” Near the vamp, Wyre lets loose with some good old quartet-style moaning and shouting as the musical conversation with her background vocalists begins. Exhilarating. According to her website, Gia Wyre is an alumna of the Miami Girls’ Choir of the University of Miami and is currently music director at Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church in Cutler Bay, Florida, under the leadership of ...

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“What More Can He Do? (Already Done)” – LaNorris McFadden & P.R.O.O.F. ft. Beverly Crawford

“What More Can He Do? (Already Done)” LaNorris McFadden & P.R.O.O.F. ft. Pastor Beverly Crawford Independent (release date: September 18, 2020) By Robert M. Marovich Although nearly two years old, Elder LaNorris McFadden & P.R.O.O.F.’s “What More Can He Do” continues to be promoted to media, and I can see why – it certainly has lots of potential. Pastor Beverly Crawford is the featured vocalist on this Pentecostal-flavored piece guaranteed to raise heart rates all over the church. Backed by the singing and handclapping of P.R.O.O.F. in praise break tempo, a squalling Crawford and preaching McFadden declare that no matter ...

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JGM Pick of the Week:  August 8, 2022

“Never Stop Trusting God” Lemmie Battles DAF Entertainment Group (release date: June 17, 2022) By Robert M. Marovich Every song Lemmie Battles sings sounds like her personal testimony. Probably because every song is. Same with “Never Stop Trusting God.” Written by Percy Gray and produced by Jeral Gray Sr., the single features that Chicago-style pew-burning tempo and Battles’ trademark shouting and squalling. “I’ve had some good days and I’ve had some bad,” she declares, “but I never stop trusting God.” The indefatigable Battles’ second single on the DAF imprint makes it plain that no matter how many praise teams or ...

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Lena Mae Perry and the Branchettes Subject of Award-Winning Documentary

By Robert M. Marovich One reasonably warm Saturday in April, 2019, the Long Branch Disciples of Christ Church was especially high in the spirit. There, in the postcard-pretty church nestled in Newton Grove, North Carolina, the Branchettes, arguably one of the best gospel groups you’ve never heard of, were in the midst of a live recording session. It wasn’t a live recording—it was church. Traditional songs and singing filled the air, setting the live audience’s feet a-tapping and hands a-clapping. The Branchettes sang the old gospel catalogue as if it never went out of style. For them, it hasn’t. Front ...

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Gospel, Vol. 6: Female Gospel Groups 1940 – 1962

Various Artists Gospel, Vol. 6: Female Gospel Groups 1940-1962 Fremeaux & Associes (2022) http://www.fremeaux.com By Robert M. Marovich If it weren’t for women, there might not be gospel music as we know it today. A gutsy statement, but accurate. For every Thomas Dorsey, Theodore Frye, and James Cleveland, there were dozens of women who, denied access to the pulpit through denominational fiat, made sacred music their evangelistic outlet. Two of gospel’s first superstars, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Mahalia Jackson, were women. The history books brim with the names of female pioneers in gospel music, among them Sallie Martin, Roberta Martin ...

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JGM Pick of the Week – May 23, 2022

“I Can’t Forget” David Daughtry Independent (single release date: February 18, 2022) www.daviddaughtrymusic.com By Robert M. Marovich Vocalist David Daughtry lets his COGIC roots show on “I Can’t Forget,” an up-tempo, handclapping gush of gratitude to God that incorporates the congregational favorite, “Oh What He’s Done For Me” and snippets of lyrics from “Jesus I Can’t Forget.” The single blends traditional gospel singing with contemporary musicianship, and it packs plenty of Pentecostal power. Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, David Daughtry is director of praise and worship for the West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles, California, under the ...

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