You Don’t Know (How Good God’s Been To Me)

Some really fine old school singing from Dorothy Love Coates and The Harmonettes…this cut dates to sometime in the 60’s. Love this song, and love this sound.

 

  1. You Don't Know (How Good God's Been To Me) Dorothy Love Coates and The Original Gospel Harmonettes 4:54

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Jesus Be A Fence

Della Reese was a founder member and the early star of this group, but by 1968 when this song was recorded she was long gone and the group was firmly based around the mighty Sister Earnestine Rundless and her daughter, Laura, who later had solo success as Laura Lee. Laura is featured on this cut which is a James Cleveland song.

 

  1. Jesus Be A Fence The Meditation Singers 5:19

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Detroit Mass Choir – Elma Hendrix Parham & Community Youth Ensemble Medley

There were three powerful women in Detroit’s gospel music history known throughout the 1960s and 1970s as The Big Three: Mattie Moss Clark, Elma Hendrix, and Lucylle Lemon.

Elma Lois Hendrix Parham founded the Community Youth Ensemble, established her own music publishing company, and owned Elma and Carl’s House of Music on Owen Street in Detroit, a record and music store that became a meeting place for gospel fans and artists. Among those whose music she published was Mattie Moss Clark.

 

  1. Elma Hendrix Parham & Community Youth Ensemble Medley Detroit Mass Choir 9:19

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My Liberty

So this is a B3 organ instrumental accompaniment track for “My Liberty“, the song first made popular by The Southeast Inspirational Choir” with Yolanda Adams.  If you know the song, sing along.

 

  1. My Liberty Dwayne Dunham 2:13

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Just Want To Thank You

The Nor Cal Mass Choir combines the fire and excitement of the best of Black Gospel and the warm, singable melodies of Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir with Nor Cals unique mixture of Hispanic, African-American and Caucasian singers and musicians to create a unique, memorable experience of worship and praise.

The soloist on this song is a remarkable singer, Vonnie Lopez, who happens to be the wife of the choir’s founder, Aaron Lopez. This song was re-worked as “Just Want To PRAISE You” by Maurette Brown Clark in 2002.

 

  1. Just Want To Thank You Nor Cal Mass Choir 4:42

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Recorded live in late August 1994 at Union City, California, Nor Cal II, “God Is In This Place ” was the next giant step forward for this exceptional choir. “God Is In This Place ” is an exhilarating combination of fabulous choir singing; gifted, anointed soloists; an all-star band of seasoned, veteran musicians; and powerful, new songs that stir, minister, challenge and bless.

The chef of this tasty musical and ministry stew is the choirs founder/director Aaron Lopez, brilliant young producer, arranger and keyboard wizard.

The live concert event was a deeply moving experience of worship, praise and celebration shared by the 100+ Nor Cal Mass singers who gathered for the weeks experience from across the land, and the packed house of excited, participating believers intent on just one thing praising the Lord.

(Text taken from Amazon listing for the “God Is In This Place ” CD)

Show Me The Way

Just when I think I’ve run out of songs to post, I find another of my old favorites. This song was written by John P Kee, yet I don’t think he or one of his choirs recorded it. So, we have this great version by Jeffrey LaValley’s New Jerusalem Baptist Church Choir from Flint Michigan. If you enjoy this recording, you might get a kick out of this rawer live performance when the choir performed “Show Me The Way” on Bobby Jones Gospel on BET (Black Entertainment Television).  Otis Floyd is singing lead and Jeffrey LaValley is directing the choir…an awesome performance!

 

  1. Show Me The Way New Jerusalem Baptist Church Choir 8:09

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We’ve Come To Praise Him

Some of my friends from Joyful Voices of Inspiration will know this song; Geoff Hicks taught it to us a couple of years ago. I never knew that it was first performed by The Donald Vail Choraleers or that it was written by Richard Smallwood.  I love this slower version with Donald Vails on lead vocals. You learn something new every day.  Great tambourine work on this song too.

 

  1. We've Come To Praise Him The Donald Vails Choraleers 3:19

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Oh To Be Kept By Jesus

The Shirley Wahls Singers distinguish themselves by their close and magnificent harmonies and their songs are arranged with great art and refinement. All singers are talented soloists, who express themselves in a variety of styles, and possess a wide array of beautiful and contrasting voices.

Shirley Wahls comes from a rich family background of musicians, singers. By the age of three she was already singing in children’s choirs and Sunday school shows.

At the age of thirteen, Shirley made her first professional tour with her uncle Aaron “T-Bone” Walker as an opening act. After attending Toogaloo College, and the American Conservatory of Music, she joined and performed with such famous gospel groups as the Argo Singers, the The Ward Singers, and the Dorothy Norwood Singers.

 

 

  1. Oh To Be Kept By Jesus The Shirley Wahls Singers 3:42

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In the ’60’s she decided to form her own group, the Shirley Wahls Singers, and was able to attract some of the best living Chicago singers: Tecora Rogers and Ann Bridges, two renowned soloists, and Delores Washington, originally with the Caravans.

 

I’m Saved

Another gem from James Cleveland’s Southern California Community Choir, “I’m Saved” from their 1990 album “Having Church”. The intro to this song is a bit unique; most songs don’t have spoken intros, and the wonderful string of adverbs that Ms. Annette May Thomas lays down to describe just how “saved” she is, is just magnificent. We should all feel so strongly in that which we believe, regardless of what it may be. Somebody say “Amen”!  (Oh and Happy 4th of July!)

“I’m glad to report…unapologetically, unashamedly, unequivocally, unquestionably, undeniably, I am saved! Absolutely, positively, gladly, willing, cheerfully, lovingly, and anxiously, I am saved!” 

 

  1. I'm Saved Southern California Community Choir 5:14

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We Shall Walk Through The Valley In Peace

As many of you know, The Reverend James Cleveland (December 5, 1931 – February 9, 1991) was a gospel singer, arranger, composer and, most significantly, THE driving force behind the creation of the modern gospel sound, bringing the stylistic daring of hard gospel and jazz and pop music influences to arrangements for mass choirs. He is known as the King of Gospel music. He was the first gospel musician to earn a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1984. The soloist on this song is Carolyn Brown.

 

 

  1. We Shall Walk Through The Valley In Peace James Cleveland & The Salem Inspirational Choir 4:25

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Born in Chicago, Illinois, Cleveland began singing as a boy soprano at Pilgrim Baptist Church where Thomas A. Dorsey was minister of music and Roberta Martin was pianist for the choir. He strained his vocal cords as a teenager while part of a local gospel group, leaving the distinctive gravelly voice that was his hallmark in his later years. The change in his voice led him to focus on his skills as a pianist and later as a composer and arranger.  From the 1970s until 1990, Cleveland would bring together a number of artists to back him on appearances and records. He also continued to appear and record with some of the most notable gospel choirs of the time. For his pioneering accomplishments and contributions, he is regarded by many to be one of the greatest gospel singers that ever lived.