Tag Archives: Mississippi

“God Said It” – The Canton Spirituals ft. Doug Williams and Darrel Petties

“God Said It”The Canton Spirituals ft. Doug Williams and Pastor Darrel PettiesFrom the Malaco Music Group album Hallelujah Anyhow(release date: January 28, 2022)www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich It’s a Mississippi singers reunion as the Canton Spirituals, Doug Williams of the Williams Brothers, and Pastor Darrel Petties of Olive Branch, Mississippi, assemble to sing that if God said it, “you can count it all done.” To hammer home the point, Harvey Watkins Jr. and Company provide listeners with a few examples from the Old and New Testaments when God did just what He said. I think it’s Doug Williams who interjects ...

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Various Artists – Malaco 50th Celebration

Various Artists Malaco 50th Celebration Malaco Music Group (release date: February 25, 2022) www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich The nearly two-hour Malaco 50th Celebration two CD set (and companion DVD) is one of the best releases thus far this year. Recorded live on July 12, 2018, at the record company’s golden anniversary gala at Thalia Mara Hall in Jackson, Mississippi, the package pairs current gospel stars with classic songs from Malaco’s gospel archives. Since the label owns the licensing rights to gospel music from such iconic labels as Apollo, Savoy, Atlanta International Records, Muscle Shoals Sound, GosPearl, and Onyx, it ...

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JGM Pick of the Week – March 14, 2022

“Peace Be Still” Kelontae Gavin Malaco Music Group (release date: January 20, 2022) www.malaco.com By Robert M. Marovich At the Malaco Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration in Jackson, Mississippi, gospel soloist Kelontae Gavin put his own melismatic touch on “Peace Be Still.” It’s from the CD and DVD chronicling the Fiftieth Anniversary concert, where today’s gospel artists reprised classics from the Malaco gospel catalog. Gavin doesn’t use the Rev. James Cleveland / Gwendolyn Cooper Lightner arrangement of “Peace Be Still” but instead borrows the score Thomas Whitfield wrote for Vanessa Bell Armstrong. Sweet background vocalists chant “peace be still” and “peace” as ...

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RIP: DK. DRU, Stellar Award-Nominated Gospel Artist

From a press release: The SRT ENTERTAINMENT family regrets to announce the passing of Dr. Norris Andrus Lipsey, professionally known as Stellar Award Nominee gospel artist DK. DRU. Every once in a while, music creators converge in a studio and what is crafted is pure magic. Pure magic is the only way to describe the vocal collaboration featuring late great Stellar and Grammy nominated Bishop Rance Allen, Quartet legend Paul Porter of The Christianaires, veteran producer, songwriter, artist, Chris Byrd & True Victory and DK. DRU on his debut single, “Man From Galilee,” earning him his first appearance on the ...

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RIP Pervis Staples, Co-Founder of the Staple Singers

From a press release: Pervis Staples, a co-founding member of the legendary gospel group, the Staple Singers, passed away suddenly on May 6, 2021 at his home in Dolton, Illinois, according to Adam Ayers, a member of Mavis Staples’ 525 Worldwide Music management team. He was 85 years old. Beginning in 1956 with “Uncloudy Day” on Chicago’s Vee-Jay Record label and stretching into the early 1980s, the Staple Singers were one of the most influential acts in gospel, soul, and social protest music. Their signature songs such as “Uncloudy Day,” “Why Am I Treated So Bad,” “Respect Yourself” and “I’ll ...

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RIP: Pastor Steve Hawkins

By Robert M. Marovich A. Jeffrey LaValley informed JGM of the passing of his friend, gospel singer and pastor Steve Hawkins. Born in Waco, Texas, on Valentine’s Day, 1953 (“That’s why I’m such a sweetheart!” he chuckled during our 2014 interview), Hawkins was raised in Cleveland, Ohio, where his father was pastor of the Jerusalem Church of God in Christ. As a youngster, Hawkins learned the finer points of singing from his mother. His uncle and aunt, Dorothy and Lawrence Abrams, took him on the road to open for the Original Five Blind Boys, in which Lawrence was a member ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: November 2, 2020

“Hallelujah Anyhow” Canton Spirituals feat. Al Green Malaco Music Group www.malaco.com By Bob Marovich Highway 51 links Canton, Mississippi, to Memphis, Tennessee. So does the single “Hallelujah Anyhow,” as it links the Canton Spirituals and the Reverend Al Green. The combo works. Keep in mind that Green came from gospel and, after entering the ministry, went back to gospel, earning GRAMMY Awards for his gospel albums. A conventional quartet song written by the Canton Spirituals’ Harvey Watkins Jr. and producer Stan Jones, “Hallelujah Anyhow” finds Watkins and Green, elder statesmen of church and church music, sharing nonspecific testimonies about illness ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: August 3, 2020

“God’s Power” Minister John Taylor Jr. John Jr. Gospel Productions, Inc. By Bob Marovich Minister John Taylor Jr. recorded this song in 2016, but it sounds as if it was recorded 50 years earlier. “God’s Power” is a reassurance to all those who are sick, especially Taylor’s mother, whose illness inspired Taylor to write the song. The sweet country melody comes from the southern gospel tradition, but Taylor’s expressive vocals and the background singers have gospel quartet stamped all over them. Born in Peoria, Illinois, adopted through Catholic Charities, and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, Taylor is the founder of John ...

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Gulf Coast Gospel Music Awards Slated for September 28

From a press release: Gospel music–a term that is sure to remind the listener of how one can come from tests to testimonies, from tragedies to tranquility, and from trials to triumph. Imagine an event that encompasses story telling, laughter, tears, music, and more. The Gulf Coast Gospel Music Awards, birthed by gospel recording artist and praise and worship leader LeKeisha Cotten, will leave the event goer fulfilled. This year, the event has more than 330 nominees from fifteen states. Many of those nominees have stories of going from pain to peace. For example, Deneice Glasker of Graniteville, SC, a ...

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Tim Rogers “Fella-rized” James Cleveland for New Single

By Bob Marovich The collaboration between Stellar Award-winning Arkansas gospel quartet Tim Rogers and the Fellas and the Grammy-nominated R&B sensation Calvin Richardson that resulted in the Fellas’ latest single, “Hold Out,” began in the unlikeliest of places: an airport. Rogers and Richardson ran into one another while moving through the Memphis International Airport. Rogers told the Journal of Gospel Music that although the two men had never met face-to-face, “his family knew me and of course I knew him. We vowed to do something together, and we made sure we kept our word.” The result of their collaboration, “Hold Out” ...

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