Martin Luther King Day – 2017

Today is a two-fer day.

First, one of the best songs I know to honor Dr. King from one of America’s greatest singer/songwriters ever; James Taylor. This version, performed last MLK Day in Washington DC was posted on James Taylor’s website with his simple comment “One of the best covers of, ‘Shed a Little Light’ that I’ve heard.”  He should know.

 

 

and secondly an offering from The Southeast Inspirational Choir (My Liberty), titled “You Made The Difference”. Yes, it is written in reference to God, but it isn’t hard to turn it around to apply to Dr. King, for surely he did make a big difference.

 

  1. You Made The Difference Southeast Inspirational Choir 4:58

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How Much We Can Bear

This song has just been in my head recently, so it is today’s daily post. Classic, early Hezekiah Walker. Simple lyrics, easy to sing, great slappin/poppin bass, lots of modulations…an easy formula for gospel success.

 

  1. How Much We Can Bear Hezekiah Walker & The Love Fellowship Crusade Choir 4:03
  2. More Than I Can Bear Kirk Franklin 5:20

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After posting this song earlier this morning, another song I posted last May came to my mind, so I am tacking that song on to the playlist here.

After one gets through dancing and singing however, the deeper message of the song sets in. The image of the songwriter looking at not only at his/her life, but at the lives of brothers, sisters, and those who have gone on before, while pondering and trying to put into words the limit of how much pain, loss, suffering, hurt, and sorrow, one person… one people…can bear is sobering.

We Will Give You Praise

This is one of those sleeper songs that creeps up and grabs ya, so that by the end of it your emotions are raw and tears about to flow. The modulations!!!!…oh my!!!  So simple, so powerful. “Glory! Hallelujah! We will give you praise!”

 

  1. We Will Give You Praise 5:46

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Two other striking things about the song is the alto/soprano sax…or is is an oboe?…during the opening…then throw in some tympani at around 3:38 in the song for good measure.  Not your typical gospel backup instruments. (Yeah, they may be synthesized, but you get the point.)

The power of this song reminds me a lot of Dottie Peoples’ song “Your Glory

I Need Your Spirit

Bulletin…Bulletin… BREAKING HOT HIP HOP GOSPEL SONG!!!

Just stumbled on this gem this morning and I’ve been grooving on it all day long. Just HAD to share it with all of you.

(This song isn’t REALLY breaking news at all…it was released in 1999…it’s just breaking news to ME.)  Oh…and check out the slappin’ & poppin’ bass line at the beginning…fantastic!

 

  1. I Need Your Spirit Lamar Campbell & Spirit of Praise 4:25

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I’m Saved And Sanctified (And Running For My Life And Filled With The Holy Ghost!)

A great uptempo old school (1973) traditional song from Rev. Maceo Woods & The Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir. This should get your motor running so you can head out on the highway looking for adventure in whatever might come your way today.  (This song moves right along…I’m exhausted by the end of the 25 second intro!!)  Great vamp starting at 4:13…the walking bass line is perfect.

 

  1. I'm Saved And Sanctified Rev. Maceo Woods & The Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir 5:36

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Over There

They really DID make great music “back in the day”! Here is a gem from an arcane “lost” album from James Cleveland working with The New Jersey Mass Choir back in 1983. This is THE BEST; the song grabs you from the opening measure and doesn’t let you go! I love the vamp where the voices split on the stereo…but it fades away all too fast…it leaves you wanting MORE!

 

  1. Over There 4:42

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We Are On Our Way – Mix

Woke up this morning with this song playing in my mind and can’t get rid of it. Might as well put together a mix of various people a nd groups doing the song including Rev. James Cleveland and The Southern California Community Choir, The Gospel Music Workshop of America Choir and The St, James Mass Choir. This song is THE song used for processionals in black churches.

  1. We Are On Our Way Various 11:09

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Move On Up

A nice contemporary update to a traditional song, “Move On Up (A Little Higher)”. Nothing fancy here, but the combo of the drum beat and the deep walking bass line give it an infectious quality. The vamp that starts at 2:34 seems to go on and on…well, actually it IS almost 1/2 the song!

 

  1. Move On Up Rev. Dreyfus Smith & The Wings of Faith Mass Choir 4:25

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The choir is from the Wings of Faith Baptist Church in Conley Georgia. The church was named from scripture taken from: a.) Isaiah 40:31, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up on wings as eagles”, and b.) Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”.

Not to get into a deep theological discussion, but I’ve always found the idea of faith being “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” worth pondering for a bit.  It’s an interesting way to look at  the concept of “faith”.

Worship and Adore

This song still brings  a smile to my face every time I hear it…the opening chords are forever etched in my mind as the intro to “Bobby Jones Gospel” that run of Sunday nights on BET in the starting in the early 80’s. The 30 second intro clip of this song was accompanied by a fairly poor quality aerial video of Nashville as a helicopter turns and does a dive descent to follow the Cumberland River into the heart of town while a voice over said “From Nashville, the gospel capital of the world, it’s Bobby Jones Gospel”.

 

  1. Worship And Adore Bobby Jones & New Life 2:56

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I was really addicted to “Bobby Jones Gospel” and after first seeing it, began taking notes on the artists that appeared so I could hunt down their music on cassette tape. I’d wait for the next show all week long and was finally rewarded when I heard the opening chords to “Worship and Adore”.

Bobby Jones had a super band that played live each week; Ralph Lofton on keyboards, Robert Lee “Pops” Popwell on bass, director Derrick Lee on keyboard, and a great white funky guitarist named Jim Long who attended Berklee before heading to Nashville to find his fame and fortune in the gospel music world.  He also had a great group of singers…usually a quartet called “New Life” who are the singers on this track.

“Bobby Jones Gospel” in various forms, ran for 35 years on BET and aired its last episode last year in July 2016

Enjoy!!

Worship The Lord

A simple but catchy Praise and Worship song to start off the first work week of this new year.  I was first introduced to this song from a recording of Jerome Kyles directing the Morningstar Baptist Church choir.

 

  1. Worship The Lord The St. Thomas Gospel Choir 3:04

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