From the liner notes of the 1970 album titled “Bro. Henderson’s FABULOUS Watts Community Choir – We Need More Love”:
“Bro. Henderson’s Watts Community Choir was organized in September 1969 by Brother Henderson in hopes that the so called “Generation Gap” could be closed through the media of “Gospel Music.” The choir has been featured on national television on the Jimmie Durante and Lennon Sisters Shoes – ABC Network. Federal Prison at San Pedro, Valley State College, Loyola University, International Ballroom and many churches and auditoriums are among the places the choir has performed. Brother Henderson picked a talented, Christian young man as the choir director, namely – Dee Jae Rodgers. He writes all the songs for the choir and is only 22 years old. We’re expecting much more from our own Dee Jae Rodgers.
ChangeBrother Henderson's FABULOUS Watts Community Choir2:15
It turns out, as I search the internet, that this is a forgotten song. There are MILLIONS of entries for songs (MANY different versions) like “I Go To The Rock” or “Jesus Is A Rock”, or “Jesus Is The Rock”…but nothing for just “The Rock” but one YouTube posting of the song from the 1989 Gospel Music Workshop of America Convention recording.
I’ve always loved it and I love the lyric, “in times like these, I go to The Rock.” Enjoy.
Originally this song was published in two parts on the 1989 two disk album “Hold On, Help Is On The Way” by The Georgia Mass Choir. I took the liberty of putting the two parts into one 13 minute piece of great joy. The founder/director of The Georgia Mass choir was Milton Biggham, and on this track he invites in singers and performers from all over to take a verse..Frank Williams of The Mississippi Mass Choir, Reverend James Moore and many, many others. I love this cut, I hope you do to.
A fairly appropriate song for Easter morning. I remember listening to this song a lot back in the ’90s and until today, I NEVER could fully make out what the lyric was that goes “if you don’t know by now, Jesus ____”???? NOW I get it…”if you don’t know by now, Jesus rose, and He lives”. Makes sense given the title of the song…duh.
Jesus RoseMilton Brunson and The Thompson Community Choir3:23
One of the best concerts the Geoff Hicks Inspirational Choir (the forerunner of Joyful Voices of Inspiration) ever had was at 12th Baptist Church in Roxbury, MA. The choir and the audience were rocking! Here is a cut from that concert back in 2000, an old James Cleveland song, “May The Lord Bless You Real Good”.
May The Lord Bless You Real GoodThe Geoff Hicks Inspirational Choir2:53
As we enter Easter Week I thought it only appropriate to post some Easter related songs. Even if you’re not Christian and the Easter story means nothing to you, you can still appreciate some really great music. To begin with, an incredible live performance from the Wilmington-Chester Mass Choir from outside Philly. DO listen to the whole song…the ending will give you chills.
Donald Vails is one of the gospel greats. His choirs and “Choraleers” sang some wonderful music in the 70’s – 90’s. This is a wonderful song feature a female trio of Millicent Nalley, Claudette Manners and Eleanor Butler.
Learning To LeanThe Donald Vails Choraleers3:42
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(From Wikipedia) Donald Vails was born on December 25, 1948 in Atlanta, Georgia as Donald Raymond Vails, Jr., whose parents sent him to a nursery school at Gospel Choral Union, and this instilled in him a love of gospel music and the piano. He was reared in the church in his hometown at Mt. Zion Baptist Church. He was leading a choir by age twelve, and after high school, as an eighteen-year-old relocated to Detroit, Michigan to pursue a degree in engineering at Detroit Institute of Technology. While he was doing this, he formed The Choraleers in 1969. Vails relocated to Washington, D.C. in 1985 in order to attain a Master’s Degree in Music at Howard University. During this time, he became a member of Ebenezer AME Church located in Fort Washington, Maryland, and this caused the churches choir to grow from 40 to 175 participants in the span of a couple months time. He established, Salvation Corporation, during his time in D.C., which was an 80-member interdenominational choir.
He began his recording music career in 1977, with the release of Donald Vails Choraleers with Savoy Records.His sixteen albums made the Billboard magazine Gospel Albums chart, for five of those releases.[Those releases are the following; He Promised a New Life in 1984 with Savoy Records at No. 32, No. 17 for Yesterday, Today and Forever with Sound of Gospel in 1986, 1987’s Until the Rapture at No. 11 with Sound of Gospel, In Jesus Christ I Have Everything I Need again with Sound of Gospel in 1990 peaking at No. 26, and 1994’s A Sunday Morning Songbook at No. 33 with Savoy Records. They would achieve a gold album certification by the RIAA and a Grammy Award-nomination for their 1990 album, He Decided To Die, with Savoy Records.