Tag Archives: Music Maker Foundation

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 ...

Read More »

After Seven Decades, it’s Johnny Ray Daniels’ Season

Robert M. Marovich Ray Kroc was 52 when he opened his first McDonald’s restaurant in 1955. Col. Harland Sanders was in his 60s when his “Finger Lickin’ Good” Kentucky Fried Chicken became a national sensation. Duncan Hines didn’t license his name for cake mixes until age 73. And Johnny Ray Daniels didn’t release his first solo album until age 76. It’s never too late for your season. Although Whatever You Need (Bible and Tire, 2022) is Johnny Ray Daniels’ debut solo album, the North Carolinian has been making music for seven decades. Born in Greenville, North Carolina, Daniels sang with ...

Read More »