Tag Archives: mahalia jackson

“Come Sunday” – Trineice Robinson

“Come Sunday” Trineice Robinson feat. Cyrus Chestnut From the 4RM Music Productions album All or Nothing (release date: August 6, 2021) www.drtrineice.com By Robert M. Marovich “Come Sunday,” from Duke Ellington’s 1942 Black, Brown and Beige suite, never fails to stop time for saint and sinner alike. Mahalia Jackson’s 1958 lyric version stands as the all-time finest rendition of what started out as an instrumental for saxophonist Johnny Hodges. Nevertheless, jazz vocalist Trineice Robinson does a marvelous job interpreting this ode to the restorative power of prayer. “Come Sunday” is itself a prayer, lifted from a mentally, physically, and emotionally ...

Read More »

Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia (Lifetime)

Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia (106 minutes, dir. Kenny Leon, 2021) www.mylifetime.com By Robert M. Marovich Lifetime did not ask me to review Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia, but since a few individuals have inquired as to my thoughts on the biopic, I thought I’d post them here. First, I commend executive producer Robin Roberts, director-actor Kenny Leon, the late writer Bettina Gilois, and the rest of the team for getting gospel singer Mahalia Jackson’s story produced at last. Several attempts over more than a decade to bring Mahalia’s story to the screen have, with this exception, failed for various reasons. The ...

Read More »

Shirley Caesar – “Take Your Knee Off My Neck”

By Bob Marovich Give it up for Pastor Shirley Caesar. She stands once again, unafraid, and speaks her mind through music. Caesar, whose heart-wrenching “Mother Emanuel” honored the nine who lost their lives in the 2015 shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, is back with another protest anthem called “Take Your Knee Off My Neck.” The new song attacks the literal and figurative asphyxiation of African Americans at the hands of police and by the violence and apathy of white America. Declaring “Black Lives Matter,” she speaks their names, including George Floyd (“a lynching in broad daylight”), ...

Read More »

Put the Whole Armour On: Female Black Gospel – The 1940s and 1950s

Various Artists Put the Whole Armour On: Female Black Gospel – The 1940s-1950s NarroWay (release date: October 18, 2019) www.gospelfriend.se By Bob Marovich (as originally featured in Living Blues) “If it wasn’t for the women, you wouldn’t have church.” This quote, which accompanies a vintage photograph of three African American women lifting their hands heavenward, is not only featured prominently in Put the Whole Armour On, a two-CD tribute to 1940s and 1950s female gospel artists, but it serves as an apt prelude to the collection. That is, notwithstanding the prominence of women in African American churches, most denominations did ...

Read More »

Soul Don’t Worry: Black Gospel During the Civil Rights Era, 1953-1967

Various Artists Soul Don’t Worry! Black Gospel During the Civil Rights Era, 1953-1967 NarroWay Records (release date: September 21, 2018) www.gospelfriend.com By Bob Marovich Soul Don’t Worry is the most ambitious project to date for NarroWay / Gospel Friend, the Sweden-based gospel reissue operation headed by producer Per Notini. In the past, Notini has focused on chronicling individual artists and labels, but this time he has taken on an entire era’s worth of gospel music. And not just any era, but one of the most significant of the twentieth century: the fight for civil rights in America. Some listeners might ...

Read More »

JGM Pick of the Week: July 3, 2017

“Grace & Mercy” Tamika Patton feat. Min. Earl Bynum Available on iTunes and other Digital Media www.TamikaPatton.com By Bob Marovich On the independent single, “Grace & Mercy,” Tamika Patton proclaims her gratitude to God for his unconditional love and forgiveness. Such compassion, given “to a wretch like me,” has inspired her to pass it forward. The song’s carefree arrangement and mid-tempo two-step rhythm echo Patton’s exhilaration. She and featured guest vocalist Minister Earl Bynum, who joins halfway through, complement one another well. Their melodic voices, gilded with gospel grit, have a tangy blend, like salt and vinegar, as they go ...

Read More »

“Lord, Give Me Strength” – The Prof. Harold Boggs Story

“Lord, Give Me Strength” – The Prof. Harold Boggs Story By Opal Louis Nations During the dark ages of slavery, those African Americans who escaped bondage and headed north to more liberal, free states traveled “The Underground Railroad,” led by those who risked their lives in the name of freedom. Escapees from Southern tobacco plantations, cotton and rice plantations and farms made their way up through Richmond, Baltimore and Philadelphia. Others, taking the route that crossed Lake Erie into Windsor, Ontario, journeyed through Louisville, Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland or Detroit. This route also took escapees to safe houses in Seville, Medina, ...

Read More »

Judy Jacques – The Sixties Sessions

Judy Jacques The Sixties Sessions Playback (2016) www.playbackrecords.net By Bob Marovich In the early 1960s, while teens were swooning over the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, Judy Jacques, an Australian youth, was soaking up whatever American gospel records she could get her hands on. At the same time, Australia’s Yarra Yarra New Orleans Jazz Band was introducing Melbourne audiences to traditional American Dixieland style jazz. Combined, Jacques and the Yarras gave Australians a bracing and remarkably authentic taste of black gospel and spirituals. In the process, Jacques became Australia’s Queen of Gospel and Trad Jazz. A comprehensive survey of Jacques’s 1960’s ...

Read More »

Journal of Gospel Music’s Best of 2016 Lists

By Bob Marovich As is our custom for this time of year, the Journal of Gospel Music presents its “best of” lists in the category of CDs, songs, and historical releases. The recordings were not necessarily chosen as “Best of 2016” based on sales, chart status, promotion, voting, fan popularity, number of likes or retweets, committee decisions, throwing darts, reading tea leaves, arm twisting, flipping coins, or anything other than 1) JGM was serviced with the music for review and 2) JGM believes the selections best represent gospel/sacred music as an art form. The top selections in Best CDs and ...

Read More »

Mahalia Jackson – Moving On Up a Little Higher

Mahalia Jackson Moving On Up a Little Higher Shanachie / Spirit Feel (release date: September 30, 2016) www.shanachie.com By Bob Marovich Moving On Up a Little Higher may well be the finest collection of Mahalia Jackson selections ever released, and ranks among Anthony Heilbut’s best produced music projects to date. It’s certainly the most historic gathering of Mahalia’s work. When I say this CD of 22 previously unreleased tracks covers 1946 to 1957, hardcore traditional gospel music fans will know what I mean. This is the Queen of Gospel Music in her prime—no Mitch Miller, no Percy Faith. Better yet, the ...

Read More »