Not to be confused with version of this song with the same title that was a christian adaptation of Gladys Knights “You’re The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me” popularized by both James Cleveland and Desmond Pringle, this is another song altogether. It simply says “Of all the best things that could ever happened for me, it’s Jesus…my Jesus!
Jesus Is The Best ThingDallas Fort Worth Mass Choir5:55
Ricky Dillard and his New Generation Chorale has always been one of the finest gospel groups around. Dillard is a real stickler for details and excellence and it shows in all his work. Here is an old song from 1996, “You’re My Everything”, not to be confused with Richard Smallwood’s song “My Everything“.
You're My EverythingRicky Dillard and The New Generation Chorale5:03
A few of the the fabulous Clark Sisters..at least Twinkie and Karen, traveled to Florida in 1996 to have a concert with The Florida A&M University Choir. The event was taped and recorded and it was quite something.
This song has a wonderful “down home” sound to it. The gospel is raw and real, the soloist not slick or having a particularly great voice, but it works perfectly with the song and its title. This was recorded in 1980, but it sounds so authentic, you’d think it was straight from the roots of gospel. Enjoy
Lord Help MeRev. R.L. White and The Mount Ephraim Baptist Church Choir"3:30
This is a wonderful old 1975 version of “Until I Found The Lord” which was popularized by Walter Hawkins in 1978…which I just noticed I have yet to post…I’ll do that someday in the future. I love this rough recording because it is just good old-time church music.
Until I Found The LordThe Birmingham Community Choir1:56
I love this song. EVERYONE goes through hard times, but young black kids growing up in urban setting can have it really hard, so when these young men and women sing “You’ve been in this place long enough, and your mountainside has been rough…the struggle is over for you”…it goes right to my heart.
The Struggle Is OverYouth For Christ7:52
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The Youth for Christ Choir, led by T.L. Barrett, was an approximately 40-member ensemble of children ages 12 to 19, which grew out of his Tuesday night weekly choir meetings.
T.L. Barrett is a complicated figure. Context colors perceptions of the man. To many on Chicago’s South Side, Barrett has been known for more than four decades as an activist and pastor, an influential figure in the city’s black community, and an active participant in numerous projects and initiatives intended to improve social and economic conditions on the South Side.
In the 1970s, Barrett’s congregation included many noteworthy Chicago-area musicians, such as Maurice White and Philip Bailey of Earth, Wind and Fire, Donny Hathaway, and Phil Cohran. Barrett, recording as Pastor T.L. Barrett and the Youth for Christ Choir, released the album Like a Ship (Without a Sail) in 1971. The album featured instrumental contributions from Phil Upchurch, Gene Barge, Charles Pittman, and Richard Evans (of Rotary Connection). It was reissued by Light in the Attic Records in 2010 to critical acclaim and praise from musicians such as Jim James and Colin Greenwood. Barrett also released several further albums of music over the course of the 1970s, as well as discs of sermons; he also recorded as Rev. T.L. Barrett.
So here we have the same song from two choirs both brought to America’s attention by Rev. James Cleveland; The Charles Fold Singers and The Donald Vail Choraleers.
So, the question for today is, how far into the song do you have to go until you figure out the tune or song that THIS song was based on. You’ll know when you hear it…the riff/chord structure just makes you think…”I KNOW that…it’s from….uh…________!!!! (You fill in the blank.) So, two versions of the same song, each given their own unique treatment by the artist.
Something About God's GraceJames Cleveland Presents The Donald Vails Choraleers4:20
Something About God's GraceRev. James Cleveland & The Charles Fold Singers5:17
There are some songs and some performances that one never forgets and this is just one of those songs. It was performed by The New England Gospel Ensemble that was originally started at The New England Conservatory by James Early and Donnell Patterson, as I understand it. It still continues to this day under the directorship of Renese King.
The NEGE performed this song during the intermission at a Joyful Voices concert in Waltham years ago and it bowled me over. The solo was sung by Eddie Mallory and was exquisite, as was the entire song. This is a version of Abundantly Blessed that makes me recall that performance. It’s a great song because each of it’s three sections are great. Enjoy.
Abundantly BlessedDr. Ed Montgomery · The Abundant Life Cathedral Choir6:56