Tag Archives: newark

Surprise Performance by R&B Legend Valerie Simpson Highlights Newark’s “Gospel In The Park”

NEWARK, NJ (August 8)— The 15th Anniversary Lincoln Park Music Festival, Newark NJ’s “best kept secret,” continues the city’s rich history of Gospel music in an outdoor “Black Church revival style” experience. The historic downtown neighborhood of Lincoln Park (named after President Lincoln in the 1800s), was home to Sarah Vaughan, who cut her singing chops at Mount Zion Baptist Church. In modern times, it has been the home of the annual “Gospel In The Park” night at Lincoln Park Music Festival, which has featured legends Donald Malloy, Cissy Houston (The Drinkards), Rev. Milton Biggham, Joshua Nelson, and the Clark ...

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New Jersey’s Renowned Reverend Stefanie Minatee to Release Final Album of Choir Jubilation with All-Star Offering “Worship Him”

Farewell Concert Sat. June 18th, 3 pm at Greater Abyssinian Baptist Church, Newark, NJ (Monday, May 9, 2022 / New Jersey, NJ) – Following 24 richly-inspiring seasons, Reverend Stefanie Minatee, a.k.a. “Rev. Stef,” and her internationally-renowned choir Jubilation (RSJ), will retire on June 18, 2022. Members of RSJ will share a farewell performance at the Grammy Museum in Newark on Wednesday, June 15, exclusively for Grammy winners. RSJ, which before COVID, thrilled audiences with 2 tours of Japan, as well as Spain and Russia, will retire in glorious style via the release of the compilation/tribute project, Worship Him, dedicated to charter ...

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Gospel Music Community Mourns Loss of Derrick Lee

By Robert M. Marovich The gospel music community is mourning the loss of Derrick Lee, who transitioned from labor to reward February 19, 2022, at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. He had been battling health issues for some time and had been in the hospital since the week after Christmas 2021. Friends and associates sete up a GoFundMe page to help defray his hospital expenses. From Newark, New Jersey, Lee was a talented songwriter and musician who went on to become the music director for BET’s Bobby Jones Gospel, the longest-running gospel music television program. After his show’s 35-year tenure ...

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“He’s Alright” – Frierson Brothers

“He’s Alright” Frierson Brothers From the JEF Records album Breakthrough (release date: October 18, 2021) www.friersonbrothers.com By Robert M. Marovich The Frierson Brothers hail from New Jersey, but on “He’s Alright,” they continue to sound like they are not a duo from the North but a quartet from the South. It’s because the brothers’ musical conversation about the goodness of Jesus features their meaty vocals atop a funky Memphis Sound-style rhythm section, aggressive blasts of brass, and cheery background vocalists who echo their earnest plaudits. It’s a feel-good gospel appropriate for the theme of hallelujah gratitude. “He’s Alright” is produced ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: January 10, 2022

“Fall On Me” A. Samar Biggham A. Samar Biggham Music Group (2021) www.samarbiggham.com By Robert M. Marovich In case you are wondering, A. Samar Biggham indeed is from that Biggham family. His grandfather is the Rev. Dr. Milton Biggham, veteran choir leader and former executive of Savoy Records. His great-grandmother was a member of the Sykes Gospel Singers of Thomasville, Georgia. The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree, the saying goes. Anthony Samar (A. Samar) has been in the gospel music ministry for about a decade but has been preaching since age 10. Among his accomplishments was appearing in ...

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The Frierson Brothers – Breakthrough

The Frierson BrothersBreakthroughJ.E.F. Records (release date: November 23, 2020)www.friersonbrothers.com By Robert M. Marovich There are so many links to gospel music history on the Frierson Brothers’ Breakthrough that it would be hard for the album to not feel a little like a church revival. First, the album, produced by Derrick Lee and east coast gospel stalwart James Perry, was recorded live at Newark’s Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church under Pastor Elton T. Byrd. With his wife Louberta “Lady” Byrd, Pastor Byrd has ministered for years over records and radio. Second, Rev. Milton Biggham offered the use of his Mount Vernon Baptist ...

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Gloria Gaynor Sings Her Testimony

By Bob Marovich From time to time, such as on major holidays or when the young people’s choir was singing, young Gloria Fowles and her family accompanied their grandmother to Abyssinian Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey. At Abyssinian, they would listen to sermons from its pastor, the Reverend Raphus P. Means, and gospel music from such leading lights as Professor Alex Bradford, the Gospel Clefs’ Leon Lumpkins, and young gospel singer Kenneth Glover. Gloria also enjoyed the music of another Newark native, Sarah Vaughan. In the 1970s, Gloria Fowles, better known as Gloria Gaynor, became an internationally-successful R&B and ...

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Gloria Gaynor – Testimony

Gloria Gaynor Testimony Gaither Music Group (release date: June 7, 2019) www.gloriagaynor.com By Bob Marovich The release of Gloria Gaynor’s gospel album Testimony may have taken some by surprise, but if you know something about her life story, it makes sense. In fact, Gaynor’s signature song, “I Will Survive,” followed an almost career-ending accident that added injury to insult, given her acute financial challenges. And in many ways, the life-affirming message of “I Will Survive” helped men and women with the AIDS virus discover hope and celebrate life as they struggled with the debilitating disease. While not every pop star’s ...

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RIP Gertrude Hicks, Member of the Lawrence Roberts Singers and Founding Member of the Angelic Choir

By Bob Marovich The Journal of Gospel Music is saddened to report that Sis. Gertrude Deadwyler Hicks passed away March 1, 2019. The Rev. Dr. Stefanie Minatee informed JGM of her transition. Gertrude Hicks was a member of the Gospel Chordettes / Lawrence Roberts Singers and a founding member of the Angelic Choir of the First Baptist Church of Nutley, New Jersey. She was born March 9, 1938, to Georgiana and Arvie Deadwyler in Brooklyn, New York. Her parents left Brooklyn to establish the Mount Olive Pentecostal Faith Church in Jersey City, New Jersey. Gertrude learned to play classical piano ...

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