Fill Me With Your Spirit Lord

Sorry, it was a busy weekend with folks crashing in the room where my computer is, so early morning blog posts weren’t happening. I’m back on track now.

Here’s a nice song from the Gospel Music Workshop of America Mass Choir recorded at one of their annual conventions. This song has a nice southern feel to it at the start, but it gets pretty wild as the song goes on and they get into a couple of different vamps (2:50 and 3:42). This should get your motor running this morning.

 

  1. Fill Me With Your Spirit GMWA Mass Choir 6:13

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Too Close

I had NEVER heard of Rev. Otis Mays and The Bostonians…I’m not even sure if they’re from Boston or not, but I’m a believer. Too Close is one of my favorite gospel songs and this is one of the best versions I’ve heard. From the funky intro (with clavinet, piano, B3 and guitar), to the slow, soulful solo verses with the great backup band punctuating the lyrics, this song rocks me. But, like yesterday’s song of the day (“My Change Will Come“), this song also fades into oblivion WAY before it really ends, leaving one yearning to hear what happens next.

 

  1. Too Close Rev. Otis Mays and The Bostonians 7:49

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In God’s Own Time (My Change Will Come)

I’ve tried to “hold out” ūüėČ on posting original versions of songs the Joyful Voices has sung in the past thinking that I should expose people to songs they may not have heard before, but the choir’s 17 year repertoire is so large that I’ve overlooked posting some great songs. So I’m going to start posting more songs that JVOI has sung over the years.

Here is the original 1979 version of “My Change Will Come” performed by James Cleveland and The Triboro Mass Choir under the direction of Rev. Albert Jamison from their 1979 Grammy nominated album of the same name. Rev. Albert Jamison went on the succeed Rev. Cleveland after his death as the head of the Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA) that was founded by Rev. Cleveland in 1967.¬† The song runs over seven minutes but is cut short leaving one longing to hear the rest of the song and find out what other wonderful things may have happened that we’ll never know about.

 

  1. In Gods Own Time James Cleveland and The Triboro Mass Choir 7:15

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Many people may also be interested to learn there are two verses (at 1:16 and 2:13) that JVOI never learned. In addition, it’s also fun to hear Rev. Cleveland give his two signature asides…”Shhhh” which he uses both to quiet the audience (4:15) as well as direct the choir to sing softer¬† (5:15) depending on when it is used, and “heh heh” (4:25) that he often uses in delight.

Sweeping Through the City

Here’s one more from the great “First Lady of Gospel”, Shirley Caesar. This is an 8 minute gospel experience with the longest vamp ever, taking up more than half the entire song itself. This is a true gospel classic that everyone should know.

 

  1. Sweeping Through The City Shirley Caesar 7:51

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And, if you enjoyed the song, then I know you’ll love seeing and hearing Pastor Caesar perform the song for President and Mrs. Obama at The White House at little over a year ago (complete with a Hammond B3, Yamaha grand, funky guitar and choir)!!¬† It’s a mere 5 and a half minutes long, but better than the original itself, again, IMHO.¬† (And what a thrill and honor for The Morgan State University Gospel Choir to be invited to back up Pastor Caesar at The White House…and they nail it.)

 

Don’t Be Afraid

Apologies about yesterday’s post. Got some feedback that it was a horrible song. Let me just say that, in general, I’m not a big fan of “the quartet sound”, but I felt that I should at least introduce my listeners to it. I’ll post one more, much better example of the style, sometime in the distant future after the bad taste in many peoples’ mouths of “My Redeemer Lives” has passed.

Hopefully today’s post will redeem me. Here is wonderful traditional song from Shirley Caesar, the “First Lady of Gospel Music”. Classic acapella call and response with just a simple electric bass line and a great choir behind her. Doesn’t get much better than this IMHO.

 

  1. Don't Be Afraid Shirley Caesar 3:31

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My Redeemer Lives

Something a bit different today.¬† A quartet sound traditional song recorded in 1965 on the Vee Jay label from a group simply know as “The Triumphs”.¬†

 

  1. My Redeemer Lives The Triumphs 2:21

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Here’s some arcane history for you all.¬† Some of you older folks might remember that the Four Seasons recorded on the Vee Jay label in the 60’s and that the very first 45s from the Beatles were also released on the Vee Jay because British publisher EMI U.S’s arm, Capitol Records, initially refused to release Beatles material. (I wonder who that SUPER GENIUS at Capitol was who pushed through the decision not to get on board with the Beatles in their early days. But, then again, Capital was the label of The Beach Boys among other in those days and the leap from surf music to British rock and roll must have seen like a huge stretch.¬† Hindsight is always 20/20.)

Just answered my question. An A&R man and record producer, Dave Dexter oversaw daily operations at Capitol Records which included, starting in 1962, auditioning of both albums and singles optioned to the American market.¬† He passed on the first three Beatles singles, Love Me Do/P.S I Love You , Please Please Me/From Me to You and, most notably, She Loves You/I’ll Get You (both recorded in mono, not stereo) released September 1963 on the Vee Jay label.

Capitol didn’t take too long to jump on the Beatles bandwagon and released The Beatles “Meet The Beatles” album in January, 1964, only ten days after¬† Introducing The Beatles, the band’s first U.S. album, is released by Vee-Jay recorded.¬† From that point on Capitol was the Beatles’ label until Apple Records and Abby Road studios came to be 1968.

The Lord Will Make a Way Somehow

One of the great female gospel singers of all time is Kim Burrell. She doesn’t seem to get the exposure that Yolanda Adams, Karen Clark-Sheard, Patti LaBelle or Vanessa Belle Armstrong seem to garner, but make no mistake about it, this woman is one of THE very best.

This song is a staple of gospel music, written by Thomas A. Dorsey in the 1930s, that has morphed and changed with the music of our times. There are so many versions of this song recorded by the likes of Bob Marley, Rev. Al Green and The Jackson Southernaires…the list goes on and on, but I chose this version by Hezekiah Walker and The Love Fellowship Tabernacle choir because of Kim Burrell’s amazing vocals. This is a real treat. Enjoy.

  1. The Lord Will Make a Way Somehow Hezakiah Walker and The LFT Choir Featuring Kim Burrell 6:36

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An Uncloudy Day

(I posted this song yesterday, Friday, October 21st, 2016, but I don’t think it was ever distributed via email…I never received notification.¬† So I’m reposting it this morning.¬† Let see if this works!)

A good song for a foggy, grey morning. I posted the more well known version of this song sung by Myrna Summers back in July, but this is a nice version, a bit rawer. I love the stereo separation between the organ on the right and the piano on the left at the beginning of the song.

 

  1. Uncloudy Day Alvin Dread Singers 3:16

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God’s Joy

A great song from Essie Moss. Essie was married to Bill Moss (listen to Made Me Glad in the “Related” section below), son of the late Mattie Moss Clark, and brother to Twinkie, Karen, Dorinda and Jackie…The Clark Sisters¬†(listen to the other two songs in the “Related” section below). Although Bill garnered plenty of acclaim through his music, Essie also had a successful recording career herself.

 

  1. God's Joy Essie Moss 3:42

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Higher Ground

Okay, today’s song is quite different and I’m not sure it fully qualifies as gospel, but I love it anyway. It’s 1989 a song written by Van Morrison and performed as a duet with Cliff Richard. This is one of two songs I know of where Morrison’s christian side shows through, the other being his rendition of “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You” that is clearly directed to his God.

I love the kinda of pseudo reggae/African beat to the song (with all sorts of fun percussion instruments in the background) and really like the vamp at the end (3:46) when they riff on “Getcha feet back, getcha feet back…on higher ground getcha feet back….on higher ground”.

 

  1. Higher Ground Van Morrison 4:54

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