You Are My Everything

Here is a magnificent, powerful duet with Myrna Summers starting off the song and then Rev. Timothy Wright joining in, followed later by whole the BJ Mass Choir.  One of my favorite songs.

From a review by Michael Lyttle of the “Been There, Done That” album that this cut is from :

“Why can’t every Sunday worship service sound like this? Recorded live at James Temple in Cincinnati, Reverend Timothy Wright leads the B/J Mass Choir through a rollicking and rolling hour of gospel glory. When Wright isn’t lifting the roof off the house with testimonials like “You Are My Everything” and “Give You the Glory,” he’s moving you off those church pews with the funky grooves of “Been There Done That” and “Don’t Believe He Brought Me This Far.” With powerhouse vocals and a spirited backing cast, Wright continues to find new ways to use a gospel choir with his unique arrangements. The Brooklyn, New York, native is etching a mark among the genre’s finest talents with releases like this.

 

  1. You Are My Everything Rev. Timothy Wright & The B-J Mass Choir Feat. Myrna Summers 5:49

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Trouble In My Way – Revisited

Here are two very different versions of the old song “Trouble In My Way”.  The first is from Castro Coleman who grew up making “quartet style” gospel music this version is presented in. Castro started out playing the gospel with The Legendary Williams Brothers, The Canton Spirituals and The Pilgrim Jubilees (all famous gospel quartets). He later started his own group The True Believers which launched them in the gospel industry with their album “In This Place”.

The second version is a perfect example of what comes from a sanctified church like The Church of God in Christ.  Rip roaring, fully animated with hand clapping and lead by gospel great Myrna Summer, the song is filled with the Holy Spirit. Each song is great in it’s own right, but my heart lies with the COGIC version.

 

  1. Trouble In My Way Castro Coleman & Andre Tate 4:39
  2. Trouble In My Way Myrna Summer and The Refreshing Spring COGIC Choir 3:35

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Lord Send Your Power

I really like this song from Bishop Yvette Flunder and The City of Refuge Praise Ensemble’s (CORPE) 1995 CD, “There’s Power”. The reviews of this CD on Amazon are glowing, e.g. “This is the best CD I have ever heard in a long time, the songs have a great message in them. Yvette Flunder and The Praise Ensemble sound just wonderful. I rate this CD as a 5 out of 5 – you should get this CD – I promise you, that would be the best thing you could ever do.”

 

  1. Lord Send Your Power Yvette Flunder & C.O.R.P.E. 7:01

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Happy Memorial Day…have fun doing whatever you end up doing!

Speak Lord

  1. Speak Lord Tamela Mann 4:54

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Don’t sell this song short.  It opens up sounding a bit like a recycled Mary Mary song, but the song builds and builds (with some great background vocal work) until it morphs into a full blown gospel sing. This woman can sing!

This song is from Tamela Mann’s first CD that debuted in 2005 and was voted Best Gospel Album at the 2006 Stellar Awards.  (One early reviewer simply referred to the CD as “a keeper and a gem”). Her subsequent albums have soared to the top of Bllboard’s gospel charts.

Tamela Mann was born in Fort Worth, TX (home to Kirk Franklin) and joined him as a singer with Kirk Franklin and The Family.  She also spend her early years doing a lot of gospel theater and some film before embarking on her solo career.

Only A Look

Only A Look is a gospel song written by Thomas Whitfield. It expresses generations of prayers for the good Lord to keep the “Balm in Gilead” flowing for his people. This version is performed by James Cleveland & Roberta Martin, as well as members of The Caravans, Albertina Walker, the Barrett Sisters & others.
 
This cut is a nice piece of gospel history combined with some wonderful singing.
 
  1. Only A Look James Cleveland, Roberta Martin, The Caravans, The Barrett Sisters, Albertina Walker 8:19

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Expect Your Miracle

  1. Expect Your Miracle The Clark Sisters 4:31

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Often (incorrectly) called “I’m Looking For A Miracle” after the first line of the song, this 1980 hit for The Clark Sister’s exemplifies their “sound” with unique harmonies and a very contemporary feel to the music.

Just as their mother, Mattie Moss Clark, led the Church of God in Christ’s music program to the gospel forefront in the late 60’s and early 70’s, the Clark Sisters continued raising the musical bar and further pushing the boundaries of the emerging contemporary gospel scene.

Really it wasn’t the Clark Sisters per se pushing the limits, it was Mattie’s daughter Twinkie (Elbertina) Clark, who led the group.  Twinkie plays both organ and piano on this cut. The credits for the “Is My Living In Vain” album that this song is from reads:
Written-By, Keyboards, Synthesizer [bass], Conductor, Arranged By, Mixed By E. Twinkie Clark (oh yeah, she sings too!)

I’m looking for a miracle
I expect the impossible
I feel the intangible &
I see the invisible

The sky is the limit
To what I can have

Just believe and receive it
God will perform it today

I expect a miracle every day,
God will make a way out of no way

 

Come By Here

  1. Come By Here Evelyn Turrentine-Agee 4:33

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Here is a nice take on a song we all know, Kumbaya. Kum ba yah (“Come by Here“) was first recorded in the 1920s. The title may well come from an early version sung in Gullah in the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia called “Come by Yuh”.

Evelyn Turrentine-Agee was born in 1946 as the third sibling in an eighteen sibling household. Her father, Cleveland Tyler, was a deacon in the church, and her mother was Ruthie Mae Tyler. She started singing on stage at the age of three because her father was in a quartet, and later they formed a family gospel girl group, The Tylerettes. She graduated high school by seventeen, and this enabled her to make her first record. Her education would not get forsaken because of her musical acumen and prowess because she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in industrial psychology that she earned at the University of Detroit. Many gospel music groups tried to get her to join them, but her stay with them was rather brief because she had a strong desire for a solo music career.

 

He Can Fix What Is Broke

  1. He Can Fix What Is Broke Mississippi Children's Choir 7:21

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This “children’s” choir sounds better than many “adult” choirs! The Mississippi Children’s Choir was formed in 1990 comprised by some 200 members from across the state.  The assembled ranks — all aged 7 to 17 — were originally brought together as an opening act for The Mississippi Mass Choir, but they were such an immediate hit with audiences that they soon proceeded to record their own LP, 1992’s “Children of the King”. With 1994’s “‘A New Creation”, (the album this song is from) the Mississippi Children’s Choir introduced featured vocalist Bryan Wilson, who soon after recorded his debut solo album “Bryan’s Songs”. The MCC album “When God’s Children Get Together” followed in 1998.

Healing

An online synopsis of Richard Smallwood’s “Healing: Live in Detroit” album calls it “a dynamic, moving performance that demonstrates the power and energy that Richard Smallwood and Vision display in concert.”  Yup, that exactly sums it up.

And of all the songs on the album, “Healing” is the best…IMHO.  The dynamics the singers apply to each and every word is remarkable and shows what an extraordinary group of singers they are and what an exactly director Smallwood is.

This song can reduce me to tears…to me it’s as powerful, if not more so, than his “Total Praise”. (And Smallwood’s soaring single note at 3:52 is remarkable.)

 

  1. Healing Richard Smallwood & Vision 7:52

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God Has Smiled On Me

I can’t believe that I haven’t posted this song yet, because it is a classic written by Rev. James Cleveland, as well as being one of my favorite songs, and one of the first gospel songs I learned.

Here are two renditions of the song. First, the original from James Cleveland’s first big album recorded with The Voices of Tabernacle Choir followed by a beautiful duet by The O’Neal Twins from their 25th Anniversary album.

Gospel music began to take a new direction in 1960, and James Cleveland was one of the moving forces behind this movement. During this time he began to channel his efforts into gospel choirs, and he was concerned about the sound and tone quality of these ensembles. One of the most popular gospel choirs to emerge during the 1960s was the Voices of Tabernacle from Detroit. Writer Tony Heilbut stated, “The Voices” were the most musically disci­plined gospel choir ever, and were like the Mormon Tabernacle”.

 

  1. God Has Smiled On Me Rev. James Cleveland 4:25

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The O’Neal Twins are Edward and Edgar O’Neal.  They started singing in St. Louis, Missouri, in the late 1950s in front of storefront churches. They cut their first record in 1962 and in 1969 they were voted the “World’s Greatest Gospel Duo” by the National Association of Television and Radio Artists.

 

  1. God Has Smiled On Me The O'Neal Twins 4:53

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