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 – Thanksgiving Day

Happy Thanksgiving!

  1. Thank You Richard Smallwood and Vision 8:59


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The MASTER again, Richard Smallwood with his song of Thanks. This almost nine minute masterpiece, like “Total Praise”, leaves one drained and full of emotion. A beautiful, powerful song.

  1. Thank You Walter Hawkins 6:34


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Walter Hawkins, the Grammy Award-winning gospel singer, composer and pastor of Oakland’s Love Center Church, died July 11, 2010,at the age of 61. He had been battling pancreatic cancer for  two years.

During the 1970s, Walter Hawkins personified a new wave of gospel artists such as his big brother, Edwin Hawkins of “Oh Happy Day” fame, and André Crouch, who brought a youthful contemporary vibe to gospel music. Walter cut a series of best-selling “Love Alive” LPs that remain gospel classics to this day. His songs have been recorded by a who’s who in music ranging from Aretha Franklin and “American Idol” champion Ruben Studdard to Vickie Winans and M.C. Hammer. “The impact that Walter Hawkins had on gospel music was so profound and far-reaching that it is now, and forever shall be, part of gospel’s DNA,” says gospel music historian, Bob Marovich, who edits The Black Gospel Blog.

Walter was born on May 18, 1949 in Oakland, CA and came up in the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) denomination. He became a master pianist as well as a dynamic singer with an operatic vocal range. With his big brother, Edwin, already making a name for himself in 1969 with “Oh Happy Day” which became an international hit in the Gospel world as well as in the secular scene, Walter was well on his way at making a name for himself as well.

While studying for his master’s of divinity degree from the University of California at Berkeley, Walter recorded his first LP “Do Your Best” in 1972. An October 1972 Billboard magazine reviewer wrote, “Walter Hawkins is a pianist of enviable accomplishments while his vocal prowess is in no way disputable. He’s gathered around him an exceptional crew of sidemen and vocalists and the total effect is completely invigorating.”

The next year, Walter became a pastor and founded the Love Center Church in East Oakland. After forming the Love Center Choir, he recorded their first album as a church family. He used $1,800 he borrowed from his mother-in-law to complete the project. It was the first in a series of LPs named “Love Alive” and it debuted on Light Records in 1975. The album featured his then-wife, Tramaine, leading “Changed” and “Goin’ Up Yonder” which became two of the biggest gospel songs of the decade. A runaway smash, the “Love Alive” album sold a staggering 300,000 copies. The five “Love Alive” LPs featured classic gospel songs such as “I Love the Lord,” “Be Grateful,” “I’m Goin‘ Away,” “Thank You, Lord” and “Until, I Found the Lord.”

In the `80s, Walter recorded a number of solo LPs and produced a number of artists, including Tramaine. Although, he had earned nine Grammy Award nominations during his career, he only won one for his performance on “The Lord’s Prayer” LP in 1980 (he also performed on the televised Grammy Awards ceremony that year). In 1990, he released “Love Alive III” which became the biggest seller of the “Love Alive” album series. The radio favorites were “There’s A War Going On”, “I Love You, Lord” and “He’ll Bring You Out.” The LP remained at the #1 on the Billboard gospel album sales chart for 34 weeks during the almost 100 weeks it spent on the survey. The album went on to sell over a million copies. The 1993 “Love Alive IV” also hit the #1 spot on the album sales chart and spent a year on the survey as well. In between projects, Walter was ordained a Bishop in October 1992.c

Thanksgiving Week – Day 3

  1. I Just Want to Say Thank You Myrna Summers 6:52


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Evangelist Myrna Summers is the Minister of Music at Reid Temple A.M.E. Church in Glendale, Maryland. Myrna is the leader of the church’s five choirs, orchestra and is the Director of Reid Temple’s Mass Choir. Prior to joining and assuming her duties at Reid Temple A.M.E Church in 1999, Myrna was Minister of Music at Refreshing Spring COGIC in Riverdale, Maryland.

Myrna, a Washington, D.C. native, has been performing professionally for over four decades in the United States and Europe. Her strong and energy filled alto voice has earned her numerous honors and awards. She was nominated for Grammy Awards for her original compositions “God Gave Me a Song” and “Give Me Something to Hold on To”. In 1970, Myrna was the recipient of the Mahalia Jackson Award. Her 1982 recording of “Uncloudy Day” has become a gospel classic. She received a Stellar Award in 1989 for Best Traditional Gospel Artist (Female). Myrna has performed at Madison Square Garden in New York; The Apollo Theatre in New York; The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; The Lincoln Center in New York; and in London, England and Frankfurt, Germany.

  1. I Have So Much To Be Thankful For Georgia Mass Choir 4:00


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The magic began in 1983 in Macon, Georgia, when the Georgia Mass Choir was organized by the Rev. Milton Biggham, who signed up the finest singers in the region, ranging in age from 13 through 70. Biggham not only is founder, lead singer and major songwriter for the choir; he is director of Savoy Records-the choir’s label, which is a gospel division of Malaco Records.

The highly acclaimed gospel choir reached a musical milestone with the November 1996 release of an eight spectacular album, The Georgia Mass Choir: Greatest Hits. The world also heard the Georgia Mass in the globally televised 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, during which the choir performed six times-including in the Opening Ceremonies and the healing re-opening ceremonies of Olympic Centennial Park, after the bombing.

The 150-member group has continued to be honored with Stellar, Grammy and Dove Award nominations. This faith-filled vocal powerhouse also is featured in Disney’s major motion picture, The Preacher’s Wife. Three of the choir’s signature songs from Greatest Hits-He’s All Over Me, Joy and Hold On, Help Is On The Way-are on the movie’s soundtrack CD. Preacher’s Wife star and recording superstar Whitney Houston leads choir selections.

Thanksgiving Week – Day 2

A little Thanksgiving sampling from Detroit Michigan, home of some of the best gospel in the world.

  1. Oh Give Thanks Rev. Charles Nicks & The Saint James Baptist Church Choir 6:27


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Charles Nicks, Jr. [Charlie] (July 18, 1941 – July 28, 1988) was an American gospel musician and former pastor, organist, and accompanist of St. James Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan. Rev. Nicks released his first musical project in 1985, Come Unto Jesus with Sound of Gospel. He would release some albums while he was still alive, and others posthumously that would chart on the Billboard magazine Gospel Albums chart. In the late 80’s, Rev. Nicks collaborated with many other gospel performers and composers and he became a close friend of James Cleveland.

  1. I Thank You Lord The Southwest Michigan State Choir 2:47


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In 1979 when this song was released, The Southwest Michigan State Choir of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) was under the direction of Mattie Moss Clark.

Juliet “Mattie” Moss was born the seventh of nine children to ministers Fred and Mattie J.Moss in Selma, Alabama. Moss began playing piano at six. By twelve, she had become the musician for her mother’s services at the Holiness Temple Church of Christ in Prayer and traveled with her mother to play at mission services, a trend she passed on to daughter Twinkie. After high school, she attended Selma University and received training in classical music and choral singing. Moss moved to Detroit in her early twenties to be with her sister Sybil Burke and became a member of Greater Love Tabernacle Church of God in Christ.

While with the Southwest Michigan State Choir, Mattie Moss Clark become the first person to separate vocal parts into soprano, alto and tenor. She received three gold albums with the Southwest Michigan State Choir, and went on to write and arrange hundreds of songs and recorded over 50 albums.

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 ?????? 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.