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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Going Home

Since today is the day that the Joyful Voices of Inspiration’s summer 2018 tour of Germany ends, I thought it only fitting to post a song titled “Going Home”.  This song dates back to 1982.  Traveling mercies to all of your headed back home today.!! Sichere Reisen!

 

  1. Going Home Alvin Dread & The Alvin Dread Singers 5:24

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Somehow Pts. 1&2

The amazing Rev. James Moore. This man had the most amazing voice and he really was a soldier for the Lord, continuing to perform even after diabetes took his eye sight and put him in a wheel chair in the 90’s.

Moore’s last recording, entitled “Family and Friends, Live in Detroit”, from which this cut is taken, was recorded in the summer of 1999 in his hometown of Detroit, with some of his dearest industry friends and gospel notables, such as Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Rudolph Stanfield, and Darius Twyman. The album was released in early 2000, shortly before his death at the age of 44.

 

  1. Somehow Pts. 1&2 Rev. James Moore 6:33

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Lord, You Been Good

A great song…very down home sound.  Nice sax solos and the choir sounds just soooo…SASSY as they sing.  The song gets bigger and better as it goes on, crescendo-ing in the middle and pulling back for the ending.

 

  1. Lord, You Been Good Amos Davis & The Angelic Choraleers 5:00

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