I’d Trade a Lifetime

  1. I'd Trade A Lifetime Rev. Milton Brunson & The Thompson Community Choir 4:09


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Another classic gospel song from Rev. Milton Brunson and The Thompson Community Choir. I’ve tried to find out what the reference to “…shake hands with the elders, the twenty and the four” in the first verse (00:50) is about, but haven’t found anything. Part of the fun about gospel music is delving into these references and learning about things I’ve never known before. I’ll keep digging.

Thanksgiving Week – Last Day

  1. Thank You, Lord Bam Crawford's Purpose 3:26


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Every time I hear this song I say to myself, “the choir should learn this. It would be a great song to take with us when we travel out of the country.” The lyrics feature “thank you” in six different languages.  I did edit out two verses at the beginning because they don’t add much to the broader ecumenical message, “All nations of the earth, in every tongue, and every kindred, give thanks unto the Lord”.

  1. I Thank You Lord The Savannah Community Choir 4:24


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Elijah Larry McDuffie
AKA E. Larry McDuffie

E. Larry’s music background goes back to his pre-teen years when he started playing the piano at an early age. He started playing without any instructions and was soon playing for his home church. Other churches in the community began to take notice and hired E. Larry to play for their choirs.

In 1964 E. Larry founded the Savannah Community Choir with over one hundred local voices. This choir went on to record more than a dozen national albums, traveled throughout the United States sharing the Gospel Stage with some of the world’s greatest such as: Rev. James Cleveland, Shirley Caesar, Albertina Walker, Dorothy Norwood, Georgia Mass Choir, Mississippi Mass Choir, Kirk Franklin, The Mighty Clouds Of Joy and others.

Read more: http://1230wsok.iheart.com/onair/e-larry-50948/#ixzz3shqSOowQ

Thanksgiving Week – Day 6

  1. Thank You Rev. Marvin Yancy 5:49


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Melvin Yancy began his music career in 1971, with The Independents, who were an American R&B vocal group.[5] The band disbanded in 1975, and he focused more on helping his spouse Natalie Cole, with recording and writing songs as her record producer.

This was a powerful musical union because she won Grammy Awards for two songs, and they were in the category of Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the 18th Annual Awards in 1976 for the song, “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)”, and the following year in 1977 at the 19th Annual Awards for the song, “Sophisticated Lady (She’s a Different Lady)”.

His only solo release, Heavy Load, was released on January 1, 1985 by Nashboro Records,[6] and this placed at No. 4 on the Billboard magazine Gospel Albums.

(from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvin_Yancy)

Thanksgiving Week – Day 5

  1. Everyday Is A Day Of Thanks Giving Dr. Charles G. Hayes & the Cosmopolitan Church Choir 7:02


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How can one celebrate Thanksgiving without this song??

For those who don’t know the story, the choir was singing at The Boston Home, a 96-bed nursing-care facility for adults with physical disabilities, primarily multiple sclerosis and other progressive neurological diseases. As the concert wound down, there came a small voice from the audience could barely be heard. A hush came over the room and an elderly woman said she wanted us to sing “Every Day Is a Day of Thanksgiving”; she remembered the song from her younger days. Most of the choir didn’t have a clue how the song went, those who had “grown up in the church” may have. At any rate, our director, James Early started playing and taught the song to the choir and the audience; the old lady was reduced to tears of joy. Next rehearsal James formally taught the song to the choir and it became part of our ongoing repertoire.

  1. Lord We Thank You Mississippi Mass Choir 6:45


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Thanksgiving Week – Day 1

There are SO many songs about giving thanks that it is hard to whittle them down to fourteen or twenty-one so I can post two or three each day this week, but I think I have some real gems here. Some of these songs the choir has sung in years past, some might be new to folks, all are great songs.

  1. O Give Thanks Charles Nicks and The St. James Baptist Church Choir 4:02


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To kick things off I’m introducing my new favorite gospel song. The only problem is I don’t know who sings it. Can’t find the lyrics online, can’t Shazam it, it’s not on iTunes. What the heck..so what.

Clearly not your typical gospel song, the intro starts out with an intro of organ and HARP..a REAL harp I think (not electronic) with the choir falling in with some ooooh’s. That’s different.

This gives way to the verse and chorus that has a sort of Duke Ellington “Come Sunday” vibe married with a Broadway show tune…think “A Chorus Line”. All that is followed be a lyrically simple bridge of “Loo Loo Loo Loo Loo’s, but the bridge tune isn’t’ simple. It goes a couple of places you don’t think it will, and then the song returns and repeats the verse/chorus/bridge a couple of times. Finally the bridge gives way to a build that starts with the men and that runs into the final vamp.  The song ends with an outro similar to the intro, but ends with just a simple piano instead of a heavy organ.  BRILLIANT!

  1. Oh Give Thanks T.D. Jakes 5:04


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Because I have so many songs I want to share with you, I’m adding one more to this post. This is also titled “Oh Give Thanks”, but this is a simple praise and worship song lead by Judith Christie McAllister, often referred to as “The First Lady of Praise and Worship.” The group of only 12 intrepid JVOI singers who traveled to Holland in the summer of 2004 sang this song, beautifully!

Jesus on the Mainline

  1. Jesus on The Mainline Peerless 4 5:08


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Another Alan Lomax recording from 1960. Raw, simple harmonies, with that wonderful downhome “quartet” sound. No over production here; this is good old unadulterated gospel at its best.

Peerless Four
                           Peerless Four

From www.harmonytrain.com:
Quartet singing dates back to before the turn of the century, and some of the earliest recorded music features quartets. Early quartet music was most often performed “a capella”.

As quartet singing developed and grew in popularity in the late 1940’s-50’s, groups began adding light instrumentation, often a single guitar. The emphasis however, was always on the voices. The earlier “Jubilee” style, typified by The Golden Gate Quartet, usually featured ensemble harmony singing or a single lead singer over a group backing, often in a call and response pattern. In the late 40’s and early 50’s a “harder” type of quartet style emerged, utilizing multiple lead singers within a song and with a generally more emotionally charged background.

The term quartet, as used here, does not always strictly refer to a group of four. While many quartets were literal quartets, the term became used to describe the style of small group singing, rather than the actual number of singers.

Found this interesting snippet on the web too: “My father Charles Russell sang with the peerless 4 for over 40 years and to me the group is a part of Virginia’s musical legacy and history they represent a time when things were simpler and when good gospel music was around for all to hear. when I look online it’s hard to find anything from the group other than four tracks on YouTube and I’m trying to help preserve the musical integrity and the legacy of the peerless 4 because the way they carry themselves the way they represented the music in their art is a lost art in today’s showmanship,

Performers & Instruments :
Unidentified [guitar (electric), percussion, vocal]
Group Name : Peerless Four
Location : Norfolk (Norfolk City County), Virginia (United States)
Date : 5/3/1960

Old Song of the Day Web Page

Back in 2012 I started a web page on the JVOI website much like this blog featuring a great gospel song each day. I wasn’t as diligent as I seem to be now, but did end up posting quite a few (17) songs.

I’m NOT going to take the time and effort to port all those songs over to this blog…but rather just provide you with a link to the page where you can listen to these songs at your own pace.

JVOI Song of the Day Web Page

They are all good (IMHO) or I wouldn’t have posted them. What you miss out on are my insightful comments on the background of each song. Oh well…there are PLENTY more songs where these all came from that will post in the future.


No More My Lord

  1. No More, My Lord Henry Wallace 2:14


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Recorded by Alan Lomax at the Parchman Farm (Mississippi State Penitentiary) Parchman (Sunflower County), Mississippi in 1948.

While it is debated whether field hollers and work songs were the true root of black gospel music or not, there is no doubt they played a huge role in the lives of enslaved, imprisoned and even free people of the South in the 1800’s.

Imagine if you can, being imprisoned in Mississippi in 1948. Jim Crowe still ruled the south. The labor must have been brutal; the heat, the demanding “bosses” day after day after day.

“No More, My Lord” is clearly the plaintiff cry of one looking for a better place to be. (In this song, Henry Wallace is chopping wood.  In another recording of this song from Parchman an entire work gang sings the song.)

Very Same God

  1. Very Same God Silver Leaf Quartet 2:22


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SILVER LEAF QUARTET (all 6 of them!!)

This recording was made by Alan Lomax in 1960. Perfect “downhome” gospel harmonies.

Performers & Instruments :
     Brown, Cephus [clapping, vocal]
     Claiborne, P. [clapping, vocal]
     McPherson, Ellis [clapping, vocal]
     Scott, Ida Lee [clapping, vocal]
     Scott, Sonny [clapping, vocal]
     Smith, Melvin [clapping, vocal]
Group Name : Silver Leaf Quartet
Location : Ark (Gloucester County), Virginia (United States)
Date : 4/4/1960

Use Me Lord

  1. Use Me Lord Pool of Bethesda CLGI Choir 10:58


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Quite the success story I’d say!  Oh, and a great Hammond B3 accompaniment!

On October 29, 1923, The House of God, which is the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of Truth Without Controversy, was incorporated in Columbus, Ohio under Bishop George F. Giles, Pastor and State Bishop.

In 1962, under the direction of then Assistant Pastor, Rev. Beulah M. White, the church obtained a “white” house at 593 Fairwood Avenue.

Under the leadership of Elder Joseph White, the church was renamed “The Pool of Bethesda” Church of the Living God in 1972 and built the first new building in the organization in Columbus, Ohio at the same location (593 Fairwood Avenue).

Because the congregation had grown beyond the capacity of the new church, it was necessary to plan for and take action to have a new church built. In June 1977, the church moved into its second new facility it had built at 2600 McCutcheon Road, Columbus, Ohio 43219.

Within two years the church outgrew the educational classrooms and increased the size of the facility to almost double its original dimensions.

In 1979, Pastor Joseph White, under the direction of the Lord and with a strong desire to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, began an expansion program into other cities and neighboring states. A number of churches were started in Columbus, Warren, Urbana, Cleveland and Springfield, Ohio as ministers under his leadership and teaching grew out of the Pool of Bethesda Church of the Living God.