Praises

From the ever talented Jeffrey LaValley and his New Jerusalem Young Adult Choir.  Very refreshing and different kind of contemporary gospel sound.  One reason I like the cut is because it is so raw.  The choir is not the greatest; they sound a bit “pitchy” (as American Idol judges might say) in places, but the song works nonetheless.

 

  1. Praises New Jersusalem Young Adult Choir 4:42

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You Saved Me From Myself

A different sort of contemporary gospel sound from Greg Kelly.  I like it!

 

  1. You Saved Me From Myself Greg Kelly & The Miracle Temple Mass Choir 5:24

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A Brief Musical Tribute To Edwin Hawkins

Edwin Hawkins died Monday, January 15th, 2018 at the age of 74. Most everyone knows “O Happy Day”, but not many people know the depths of the wonderful music Edwin Hawkins (and his brother Walter) brought to the world.  Some of my favorite gospel songs, notably “Love Paid The Price” and “To My Father’s House”, are gifts from Edwin Hawkins.  Here’s a small collection of Edwin Hawkin’s music. Rest in Peace.

 

  1. Early In The Morning Edwin Hawkins Singers 3:11
  2. To My Father's House Edwin Hawkins Singers 5:41
  3. Love Paid The Price Edwin Hawkins 8:02
  4. O Happy Day Edwin Hawkins 5:11

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He’s An On Time God

I had a huge urge to listen to this song this morning and so you get not 1, not 2, but 3 versions of the song!!!  Let me know which you like best.  “He may not come when you want him, but He’ll be there right on time!”

 

  1. "Dottie People - He's An On Time God" Dottie Peoples 6:25

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  1. "He's an On Time God" Karen Wheaton 5:31

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  1. "He's an on Time God (Live)" International Ame Church Mass Choir 6:16

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I’ve Got To Reach My Goal

An “oldie” from the Gospel Music Workshop of America’s 1982 Convention.  It sounds a bit like an old Davis Sister’s song until the whole choir comes in, then it’s a whole different song.  I love it.

 

  1. I've Got To Reach My Goal GMWA Mass Choir 5:26

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Let Jesus Fix It For You

Gospel, arguably, has often been the “R” in R&B. A long list of soul icons, from Aretha Franklin to Gladys Knight to Otis Redding to Teddy Pendergrass…they all  have come from gospel roots. In the ’70’s and ’80s, The New York Community Choir was one of the more influential groups of gospel, bringing a more secular R&B sound to gospel music.  This is a terribly over-produced track with schmaltzy strings, but it turns into a good song with a strong lead vocal and a nice soprano showcase at around 4:00.

 

  1. Let Jesus Fix It New York Community Choir 5:54

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The New York Community Choir began in the first 1970s as an offshoot from the Isaac Douglas Performers, initially including some 100 members beneath the direction of Benny Diggs. Certainly a gospel ensemble, NYCC created a method that also offered secular R&B, spirit, and pop tracks a spiritual sizing, bridging Saturday night time and Sunday morning hours. In 1977, NYCC released a self-titled debut record, made by Warren Schatz, including the long lasting dance strike “Express Yourself.” A follow-up record, Make EACH DAY Count, was released in 1978. The band included Paul Shaffer and Richard Tee on keyboards, Jeff Mironov and John Tropea on guitars,

Jesus, That’s My King

Jonathan Greer was born and raised in Chicago, where as a child he ministered along his father; he later served as the church’s organist and choir director, eventually recording for the Nashboro label. Greer turned away from music as he accepted a pastorship in Nashville after which he took the position of pastor at  the Cathedral of Faith church in Atlanta. After a 12-year hiatus from recording, he signed with Malaco to release He’s Worthy in 1990, followed three years later by Just Jesus, the album this cut is from.

 

  1. Jesus, That's My King Dr. Jonathan Greer and the Cathedral Of Faith Choir 7:11

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Lift Him Up

Savoy Records executive producer Reverend Milton Biggham teamed up with the Reverend Armond W. Brown, pastor of the Fellowship Baptist Church of Oak Cliff, Texas, to organize the Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) Mass Choir. On March 20, 1990, more than 200 members representing some 100 churches throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, metropolitan area gathered for the first rehearsal.

I Will Let Nothing Separate Me, the choir’s 1991 Savoy debut, was recorded at Calvary Temple Church in Irving, Texas. The album hit No. 5 on Billboard’s Top Gospel LPs chart, but more importantly, it introduced an emerging gospel singer, songwriter and pianist by the name of Kirk Franklin. Impressed by the young talent from Fort Worth, Biggham recruited Franklin to lead the DFW Mass Choir on a recording of Franklin’s Everyday With Jesus. It was included on the debut album.

 

 

  1. Lift Him Up Dallas Fort Worth Mass Choir 5:09

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Savoy followed with Another Chance in 1993, also recorded live at Calvary Temple. In addition to Franklin, who wrote the title track and Your Name Is the Same, the album included contributions from Donald Vails, Dottie Peoples and Myron Butler. That same year, the choir, with Franklin as a director, supported gospel star Myrna Summers on her Deliverance album, also for Savoy. But by the end of 1993, Franklin was on his way to superstardom. His debut album, Kirk Franklin & the Family, which introduced another future gospel star from Fort Worth named Tamela Mann, topped the charts and had a profound impact on the direction of gospel music.

DFW Mass Choir’s For His Glory arrived in 1994. Recorded at the Word of Faith Family Church in Dallas, the album included Anointed Pace Sisters standout LaShun Pace and firebrand vocalist Kathy Taylor. Like the choir’s two preceding albums, For His Glory made the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart. In 1995, Interscope/CGI signed the DFW Mass Choir and released Lead Me, with the hit, He Is My Up (When I’m Down). I’d Rather Have Jesus (1998), also for Interscope, was another Billboard charter.

By the new millennium, Franklin and the many artists who followed in his wake had supplanted the mass choir with the male-led gospel group / small choir in terms of radio play and music sales. Nevertheless, as the title of its 2003 release for Light Records declared, the DFW Mass Choir was Pressin’ On. In 2008, Light presented a greatest hits set called Ultimate Dallas Fort Worth Mass Choir. It featured fan favorites such as Blessed Assurance, He’ll Bring You Out and I’d Rather Have Jesus.

Master Can You Use Me

From a unique recording of Rev. Timothy Wright (founder of The New York Fellowship Choir) singing with the fabulous Chicago Mass Choir comes today’s song, “Master, Can You Use Me?”

 

  1. Master Can You Use Me Rev. Tinothy Wrught & The Chicago Mass Choir 5:39

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Gospel director Reverend Timothy Wright has been involved with choirs on a regular basis for most of his life. Wright began playing piano at the age of 12, as he utilized his budding musical talents at the St. John’s Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God in Brooklyn, NY, eventually composing for the church’s choir. By 1969, Wright was playing piano for the late Bishop F.D. Washington, and it was from his tenure in Washington’s choir that Wright gained the attention of Rev. Isaac Douglas and the N.Y. Community Choir, for which Wright soon began playing organ for, as well as penning almost all the songs on Douglas’ 1971 album Lets Go Higher. In the mid-’70s, Wright formed his own outfit, the Timothy Wright Concert Choir, resulting in such releases as Who’s on the Lord’s Side and Do You Know the Light, and began playing with various other choirs across the United States. Wright also found the time to team up with Myrna Summers for her We’re Gonna Make It release, as well as forming the project Come Thou Almighty King, which is comprised of a 500-voice choir. Wright is the pastor and founder of the Grace Tabernacle Christian Center in Brooklyn, and since 1990 has been issuing albums on a regular basis, including such titles as I’m Glad About It, Moving in the Spirit, and Story to Tell; 1994’s Come Thou Almighty King was nominated for the Best Traditional Soul Gospel Grammy and hit Billboard’s Top 20 gospel chart. He remained busy into the 2000s, until July 2008, when Wright was seriously injured in a car accident that killed his wife and grandson; he died the following April at age 61. ~ Greg Prato

Step On Board

I couldn’t find much about this particular gospel group, but I learned something interesting.  Some of you may recall the great song from 2001 titled “Praise Is What I Do” by Shekinah Glory Ministry with William Murphy on lead.  I found out today that Shekinah Glory Ministry is not comprised of “recording artists,” but are singers that worship every Sunday as the praise and worship aggregate of Valley Kingdom Ministries International, a non-denominational church in the Chicagoland area where Apostle H. Daniel Wilson serves as Senior Pastor.  This album was recorded in 2003, but must be the choir from Wilson’s Valley Kingdom Church.

 

  1. Step On Board Bishop H. Daniel Wilson & Voices of the Valley 5:34

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