I Came to Magnify the Lord

What is there to say??….I L-O-V-E everything about this song! This song has become a staple praise and worship song for congregations, church choirs and youth choirs. Wonderfully simple lyrics, great tune…takes about a minute to get it!

  1. I Came to Magnify the Lord Bishop Clarence E. McClendon 3:39


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Then there is an African children’s choir version I like better…I can’t find the original this clip came from ANYWHERE

  1. I Came To Magnify The Lord Misc 2:13


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Then there is a guy teaching the song on his Hammond!

  1. I Came To Magnify The Lord - B3 Misc 1:06


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I came to magnify the Lord, praise his holy name
Lift Jesus higher, lift Jesus higher
I just came to magnify; I just came to glorify; I just came to praise the Lord!

For He is worthy of all my praise….worthy of all my praise
Never will a rock cry out in my place, He’s worthy of all my praise!
I just came to magnify; I just came to glorify; I just came to praise the Lord!!

Nearer My God To Thee

Legend has it that the orchestra on the Titanic played this hymn as the ship slid into the icy waters of the northern Atlantic on the night of April 15, 1912.

True or not, the song is wonderful and great to sing along with…the harmonies seem to come naturally.

Here are two different recordings of the song arranged and made popular by the late, great, Sam Cooke and his gospel group The Soul Stirrers. (The first is a long album cut, the other the 45 version with a nicer piano backing.  The first version starts getting fun about 5 minutes into it; the audience gets into it and the group starts playing off the audience; I don’t think they were singing THIS version when the Titanic went down, but it might have taken one’s mind off the desperate situation.)

Sam had a BIG career as a gospel singer before he left gospel and crossed over to the secular side to become a renowned soul singer with hits like “You Send Me”, “Wonderful World”, “Everybody Loves to Cha-Cha-Cha” and “Chain Gang”.

Sam’s voice is SO distinctive, you feel right at home hearing him sing old hymns like “Nearer My God to Thee”. Enjoy!

  1. Nearer My God To Thee (version 1) Sam Cooke & The Soul Stirrers 8:41


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  1. Nearer My God To Thee (version 2) Sam Cooke & The Soul Stirrers 3:03


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Jesus Be a Fence

Today’s Song of the Day is an updated version of an old James Cleveland classic, “Jesus Be a Fence (All Around Me Everyday Day)”. This version is by Fred Hammond and his group “Radical for Christ”.

  1. Jesus Be a Fence Fred Hammond 7:31


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and if you want MORE, here is a great YouTube video of Fred performing the song live.

Fred Hammond has been one of the movers and shakers on the contemporary gospel scene; here is part of his bio from Wikipedia:

Hammond revealed that his mother confessed to him three months before she died that she had attempted to have him aborted. The procedure, done in 1960, before abortions were legal, failed. Hammond’s mother returned for a second attempt but decided against the procedure; Hammond was later born in December 1960.

Fred Hammond is a multiple Grammy-, Dove-, Stellar-award winner and nominee as a performer, producer and writer. Hammond first gained recognition while playing bass guitar for the gospel group The Winans back in the 1970’s. (You can tell he’s a dyed in the wool bass player because when he sings lead with Radical for Christ he can’t help but play the “air bass guitar” while he’ singing. RLS.)

By 1985 he was one of the six original members of the group Commissioned, participating in 10 of the group’s 12 albums. After his time with Commissioned ended, he regained fame in the gospel community after selling millions of albums with his musical group Radical For Christ.

In 2002 Hammond returned to the group Commissioned (now with members Keith Staten, Marvin Sapp, Mitchell Jones, Karl Reid, Michael Williams, and Marcus Cole) to produce the Commissioned Reunion Live album. Hammond produced Make Me Like The Moon, a stirring gospel ballad co-written by Chanté Moore and Kenny Lattimore for their 2006 double-CD of gospel and R&B love songs entitled Uncovered/Covered (released October 10, 2006 by LaFace/Verity/Zomba Music Group). He also performs with Sean Combs on the album Thank You.

I Love The Lord (Live In Cape Town)

  1. I Love The Lord (Live In Cape Town) Joyous Celebration 7:35


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At the January 4, 2016 JVOI choir rehearsal, (last night) our director Donnell Patterson introduced a new song to the choir titled “Great Is Your Name”.  I hadn’t heard it before, so I Googled it and found it is by a South African group named “Joyous Celebration”.

When I got home from rehearsal I did more exploring and found that Joyful Celebration is a HUGE success world wide with more than 17 albums…I could listen to South African voices all day long! (Well…I actually DID listen well into the night last night).

On YouTube this morning I found a video of Joyous Celebration singing a version of Richard Smallwood’s “I Love The Lord”, the song popularized by Whitney Houston’s performance in the movie “The Preacher’s Wife”.

THIS version however, sung by the incredibly talented Ntokozo Mbambo, puts Whitney’s version to SHAME. It starts in Swahili, then goes into English at 1:18.  Listen ALL the way through; the ending is SOOOO powerful…this woman and the choir go to another place.

THANK YOU DONNELL PATTERSON for introducing me to Joyous Celebration, Ntokozo Mbambo, and this version of “I Love The Lord”

You Don’t Know What The Lord Told Me To Do

  1. You Don't Know What The Lord Told Fontella Bass 3:37


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Many/most of you know Fontella Bass’ 1965 smash hit, “Rescue Me”…a HUGE hit from Chicago (oh, did I ever mention Chicago is home to some of the BEST gospel in the world??…but I digress…for now.)

According to writer Robert Pruter in his book Chicago Soul, the song “Rescue Me” emerged from a songwriting and rehearsal, or “woodshedding”, session at Chess Records.
“‘Rescue Me’ was a terrific example of the Chess studio system at its finest… One Saturday in August 1965, Bass was sitting in a rehearsal studio with producers-writers Carl Smith and Raynard Miner. They were fooling around with the song when arranger Phil Wright walked in, and the ensuing four-way jam session brought forth ‘Rescue Me’. [Billy] Davis produced the side…” Bass claimed that, although Smith, Miner and Davis had assured her that her contribution to authorship of the song’s lyrics would be acknowledged, this was never done.

Bass recorded the song in three takes at Chess Studios in Chicago. (The late) Minnie Riperton provided background vocals, and Maurice White and Louis Satterfield, later of Earth, Wind & Fire, were on drums and bass respectively. Other musicians on the record included Pete Cosey and Gerald Sims on guitar, Leonard Casten on piano, Sonny Thompson on organ, and Charles Stepney on vibs. According to Bass, the call-and-response moans heard in the song was unintentional. In an interview with The New York Times in 1989, she said, “When we were recording that, I forgot some of the words… Back then, you didn’t stop while the tape was running, and I remembered from the church what to do if you forget the words. I sang, ‘Ummm, ummm, ummm,’ and it worked out just fine.”

Here’s a YouTube video of the original “Rescue Me”…I picked this version because I LOVE the bass line in this song and this guy covers it beautifully.

Oh….so,  fast forward 30 years from “Rescue Me” and you’ll find that Fontella Bass released a GOSPEL album titled “No Ways Tired”. Today’s Song of the Day is from that album. A great Hammond B3, a great beat, a great fuzz lead guitar and a fantastic piano solo starting at 1:58 on “You Don’t Know What The Lord Told Me To Do”.

On My Way To Heaven to See The King

  1. Going To Heaven To Meet The King (Live) Dorinda Clark Cole 4:56


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One of the Clark Sisters, Dorinda Clark, singing her mother’s, Mattie Moss Clark, compostion. Mattie Moss Clark founded the music department in the Christ of God in Christ and help put COGIC firmly on the gospel music map.

Labor in Vain

  1. Labor in Vain Vanessa Bell Armstrong 3:55


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This is real deal traditional gospel.  The soloist/lead singer is Reverend Jesse G. Bell, Vanessa’s father who is pastor of the Greater Mt. Everett Church of God in Christ in Detroit Michigan.

After more than four decades on the gospel music scene, the legendary Vanessa Bell Armstrong still has the energy and contemporary R&B style that has defined her career from the beginning. A multiple GRAMMY Award-nominee and Stellar Award winner, Armstrong helped to redefine contemporary gospel music. In recognition of her extraordinary contributions to the gospel music industry, she was presented with the Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legends Award at the 26th Annual Stellar Music Awards in 2011.

For more about the wonderful Vanessa Bell Armstrong go to: http://www.canthony.com/profile.php?id=27


  1. Difference Drea Randle 4:46


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Happy New Year!! Here’s a fun ditty from Drea Randle.

Drea Randle has sung with the greatest and performed before the multitudes. Please, do not find it a surprise to hear that she is back and gearing up for her return to the music industry at-large . With nothing to lose, but everything to gain in this year, Drea Randle has surely returned and has been proclaimed the New Diva of Urban Contemporary Gospel Music.

It seems just like yesterday, that this crowned diva was blazing the music industry with her melodious riffs and her effortless vocal abilities. Often compared to both Fantasia Barrino and Kim Burrell, Drea was first introduced to the industry through the Prince of Gospel himself, John P. Kee. For four years, she traveled as a lead vocalist for Kee and appearing on his highly successful “Stand”, “Strength”, and various Christmas albums.

Even though Drea was creating a buzz, it was not until the release of the “Strength” album that Drea’s name would become a main-stay in the gospel industry. Her life would soon change for the better when Kee offered her a major solo deal. Kee felt that the world still had not met the REAL DREA RANDLE. In 1999, Drea released her first album through verity Records entitled ” Ooo-Wee”. The project was produced by non-other than Kee. The album birthed such hits as “Ooo-Wee”, “Difference”, and of course, the funky composition “Bounce Back”.

The success of her album resulted in her charting on Billboard and selling over 30,000 units. Not soon after, more doors would soon open for her. Drea’s life would take another turn toward success. In 2003, Bishop T.D. Jakes invited Drea to be a lead vocalist on the T.D. Jakes & The Potter’s House “A Wing and A Prayer” Album where she lead the sassy and ever-popular tune “It’s Already Done”. This song garnered Drea her first national television appearance on the B.E.T Celebration of Gospel. Following that opportunity, she was featured on the The Potters House of Denver album leading “The best days of my life”.

Drea’s success only continues to climb! Her fans have been patiently waiting for a new Drea Randle album and have pushed her to committing. After much prayer, please understand that the wait is over! Drea is back and is ready to take the world by storm with her new single entitled “He loves me”. ! Drea has decided to take no prisoners in this year, and she promises to give the world what they have been asking for..Drea!
(from http://www.drearandle.com)