I Believe

“I know I’ll get my help
From the power in the sky”

This great song deftly skirts the edges of gospel with lyrics as that shown above.  Not hard core religion, just a great message.

This phenomonal 40 member, 10 piece band group known as Sounds of Blackness first arrived on the scene in 1969 in Minnesota, but it wasn’t until 1971 that the group was solidified. Sounds of Blackness was the first real musical group to combine traditional African music with modern day American music, such as R&B and Gospel. In 1994, they came out with the album “Africa to America: The Journey of the Drum”, one of its most successful albums to date. With now-famed singer Ann Nesby-Lee singing the solo to this song, this hip-hop/inspirational song is sure to keep you tapping your feet to the beat.

 

  1. I Believe Sounds of Blackness 4:40

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Stand By Me

What does it take to make a great gospel song.  At the minimum:

Great song: “Stand By Me”.
Great Composer: Thomas A. Dorsey, “The Father of Gospel Music”.
Classic Lyrics: “When the storms of life are raging, stand by me…”
Great singer/soloist: R.H. Harris (Predecessor to Sam Cooke in The Soul Stirrers).
Great accompaniment: Just a wonderful Hammond B3 organ.

VOILA!!  What more do you need? Instant winner.   Enjoy.

 

  1. Stand By Me R. H. Harris & The Masonic Quintet 5:04

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Soul as Blues as Gospel as Blues as Soul

As I was driving yesterday, Aretha Franklin’s version of “Drown In My Own Tears” came on, and I was amazed about how very, very closely the song sounded for all the world just like a gospel song.  Same great female lead solo, fantastic backup vocals from the choir, chords that are pure gospel, or just one note off, and a killer vamp at the end.  As I listened again this morning, I recalled Beverly Crawford’s version of “(You Must Be) Born Again”, and knew it was just the gospel twin of Aretha’s song. And then I thought of Cream’s song, “Sitting On Top Of The World” and one see’s exactly where Soul, R&B and Gospel intersect with Rock music, so I’m throwing that in too for good measure.

This is a wonderful, simple lesson on the influence of black American blues, gospel, and soul music on the world

  1. Drown In My Own Tears Aretha Franklin 4:05

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  1. Born Again Beverly Crawford 11:14

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  1. Sitting On Top Of The World Cream 4:58

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All of My Help

This song has it all.  Great B3 organ, fantastic opening leas soloist, great uptempo body with outstanding bass and a beat that is perfectly slightly syncopated off the beat by just a touch, and a great bridge. an energetic vamp and a super finale.  What more could one ask for??

 

  1. All Of My Help Greg Kelly & The Miracle Temple Mass Choir 6:49

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Jesus Is Real

Possibly the biggest mentee to John P Kee would be R&B and gospel star Michael Speaks. Born in Benton Harbor, Michigan, moving to New York City, and now living in Los Angeles, California, this follower of the “Prince of Gospel” came out with an album in 1995 entitled “No Equal.” The biggest hit on the CD is his remix of the famous John P. Kee classic “Jesus Is Real.”  I’ve included John P Kee’s orginal version if you want to compare versions.  There is no doubt in my mind that Michael Speaks is real.

 

  1. Jesus Is Real Michael Speaks 5:56

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  1. Jesus Is Real John P Kee 6:34

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Glory Glory (Lay My Burdens Down)

He’s an updated version of the old song, “Glory Glory (Lay My Burdens Down) from The Miami Mass Choir…not to be confused with the Florida Mass Choir.

The choir was started by Rev. Milton Biggham, Songwriter, Producer, Singer, and Executive Director of Savoy Records. He is best known for starting The Mississippi Mass Choir, and the Georgia Mass Choir as well. He cleverly used the materials from these choirs to record and turn into albums resulting in big sales for his Savoy Records.

And don’t miss The Blue Spring Mississippi Mass Delegation’s version of this song;

 

  1. Glory Glory Miami Mass Choir 3:33

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Walking with the King

This song was written by Sandra Crouch, twin sister of Andraé Crouch.

Sandra won a Grammy Award in 1984 for “Best Soul Gospel Performance, Female”, and was nominated for a Grammy in 1986 in the category “Best Soul Gospel Performance, Duo, Group, Chorus or Choir” for her album Completely Yes. During the late 1960s through the early 1970s, she played the tambourine on a number of Motown recording sessions.

 

  1. Walking with the King Los Angeles Chapter of the GMWA Mass Choir 6:14

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Sandra was born on July 1, 1942, in Los Angeles, California along with her twin brother Andraé. Until his death in January 2015, she and her brother co-pastored Christ Memorial Church of God in Christ in Pacoima, California. On the day of her brother’s death, Crouch released the following statement: “Today my twin brother, womb-mate and best friend went home to be with the Lord. Please keep me, my family and our church family in your prayers. I tried to keep him here but God loved him best.”

(From Wikipedia)

I Feel Alright

From the LA Sentinal, February 21, 2018:

Dr. Margaret Pleasant Douroux is a gospel composer, educator and author.

A veteran recording artist, she conducts workshops throughout the United States and Europe and has written more than 100 songs, including “We’re Blessed,” “Rivers of Joy,” “Give Me A Clean Heart,” “If It Had Not Been For The Lord On My Side,” “Trees,” “I’m Glad,” “He Decided To Die,” and “What Shall I Render.”

 

  1. I Feel Alright Norman Hutchins with Dr. Margaret Douroux and the Heritage Mass Choir 6:26

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Her songs have been recorded by the Mighty Clouds of Joy, Pastor Shirley Caesar, the Rev. James Cleveland’s Gospel Music Workshop of America Mass Choir, and the Rev. Clay Evans.

Her career includes five years as minister of music and adult choir director for Mount Moriah Baptist Church of Los Angeles and was minister of music and choir director for Greater New Bethel Baptist Church of Inglewood, Calif., for more than 30 years.

Douroux retired from the local church music ministry in 2015 after 64 years of service. She also worked 13 years with LAUSD as an elementary school teacher, guidance counselor, and school psychologist. Douroux earned her B.A. degree at CSU-Los Angeles, her M.S. degree and an advanced Master’s Degree at USC, and her Ph.D. at the University of Beverly Hills.

Douroux continues to be living legend in Los Angeles in her role as the founder and CEO of the Heritage Music Foundation, an organization focused on the advancement and preservation of gospel music.

What A Time

There are hundreds of gospel songs that are about what a time folks will have when they get to heaven, including “Oh What A Time” by Dottie Peoples and “What A Time” by Rev. Charlie Jackson.

This cut is by Rudolph McKissock and is a great contemporary song.

 

  1. What A Time Bishop Rudolph W. McKissick, Jr. and the Word and Worship Mass Choir 4:51

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You’re Bigger

This is a really powerful song I stumbled upon recently. This woman can SANG. If you like this, you’ll can love the video of this live performance. Go to: https://youtu.be/Z-ZV61eDLXI

 

From Wikipedia:

Jekalyn Almonique Carr (born April 22, 1997) is an American singer, songwriter, author, and motivational speaker. She was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Gospel Performance at the age of 18 in 2016. She wrote a book, You Will Win, which was published in 2018 and tied into a single released by the same name. The single stayed at #1 on the Billboard Gospel radio charts for 6 weeks. Carr has also been featured on Greenleaf on the Oprah Winfrey Network and in upcoming film Never Heard. Carr was also honored by Ebony magazine as one of the POWER 100 most influential people in 2014 in the world

 

  1. You're Bigger Jekalyn Carr 7:25

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