He’s Alright With Me

  1. He's Alright With Me Rev. Charles Nicks Jr. & The St. James Choir 3:47

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Rev. Charles Nicks has always been one of my favorite gospel artists.  His music is always fresh and original and powerful.  This song grabbed me because it isn’t your average gospel song; it has some neat chords and progressions you don’t usually find in gospel that make it sound wonderful.  The mix of the B3, guitar and drums on the intro is great, and the choir is amazing.  Just wish the song didn’t fade out…it must have gone on longer than the 4 minutes here. I want more!

When We All Get To Heaven

  1. When We All Get To Heaven Willie Walker and the Waves Of Joy 2:20

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A nice uptempo version of an old song of the church.  Good old, down home tarheel gospel from Charlotte North Carolina! I love the backbone that the strident, straight on drum beat gives to the song.

Come Now To Jesus

  1. Come Now To Jesus The Alfonza Campbell Choir 3:50

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I stumbled across this song and really like the style and the sound.  Not your every day run-of-the-mill gospel song and it’s refreshing.

Holy Thou Art God

  1. Holy Thou Art God Richard Smallwood and Vision 8:52

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Richard Smallwood’s mini masterpiece, Holy Thou Art God.  Just one of 15 great songs on his “Healing – Live in Detroit” album.  At his peak there was no one like Richard Smallwood and his gospel music legacy lives on today.

One of the things that makes Smallwood’s music so beautiful is the incredible dynamics his singers use.  Every word has meaning and ebbs and swells and flows as needed.  Remarkable vocals on this song; nine minutes with only a few lyrics but the song keeps you riveted throughout.

And last but not least, the incredible lead solo vocals were performed by none other than the amazing Vanessa Williams. She initially gained recognition as the first African-American recipient of the Miss America title when she was crowned Miss America 1984 in September 1983. However, a few weeks prior to the end of her reign, she learned that Penthouse magazine would be publishing unauthorized nude photographs of her in an upcoming issue. Williams thus resigned as Miss America on July 22, 1984 (under pressure from the Miss America Organization), and was replaced by first runner-up Miss New Jersey Suzette Charles.

Today Vanessa Williams is one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in entertainment today. She has conquered the musical charts, Broadway, music videos, television and motion pictures. She has sold millions of albums worldwide and she has achieved critical acclaim as an actress on stage, in film and on television.

In The Shadow

  1. In The Shadow Lannie Spann McBride & Greater Fairview Young Adult Choir 3:54

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I cant’ find out much about this great youth choir other than they are from Greater Fairview church in Jackson Mississippi and were very popular in the 70’s and 80’s, touring the US and abroad and recording several albums.  This cut is from 1986.

I Can’t Feel At Home

  1. I Can't Feel At Home The Loving Sisters & Their Sons 4:22

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Gladys McFadden & The Loving Sisters began recording in 1962 and continued to record until 1978. They embraced the new sounds of the emerging ’60 music like wah-wah guitar and funky tempos, early on. They are known for their gospel songs that sound like secular soul recordings. In this case they breathe some new life into the traditional song, “I Can’t Feel At Home”.

Gladys was the primary lead singer and wrote almost all of their material, often addressing social matters. She also produced many of their albums. The 1974 album, “The Loving Sisters and Their Sons”, from which this cut is from, is considered one of their finest recordings with songs with lots of wah-wah guitar and funky grooves at various tempos.  ‘I Can’t Feel At Home’ has both a southern gospel sound and quartet arrangement.

Magnify The Lord

  1. Magnify The Lord Vernard Johnson and the Central California Mass Choir 4:07

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To my knowledge, there have only been a few solo gospel sax players that really got much notoriety; Angella Christie and Kirk Whalum come to mind.

Vernard Johnson can play for sure and over his career that went from 1973-1992 he recorded 11 albums of gospel soul-jazz-funk.  (His accompanist on piano is singing the solo harmony.)

In 1978 he release an album with the awesome title “Soul Metamorphosis: Rare & Unreissued Gospel Funk 1968-1978”

Loving God

  1. Loving God The Haynes Temple Choir COGIC 4:07

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I can find NOTHING about the Haynes Temple Church in Christ Choir on the web…but I love their contemporary style from 1975.

Jesus Gave Me

  1. Jesus Gave Me Martha Bass 3:24

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(This is a multi song post…be sure to scroll down to listen to all three songs.) Martha Bass was born on March 7, 1921 in the deep south. After migrating to St. Louis as a young girl, she joined the Pleasant Green Baptist Church, where she was a promising gospel vocalist. She came under the authoritative and watchful tutelage of Mother Willie Mae Ford Smith, the head of the Soloists Bureau in gospel composer Thomas A. Dorsey’s National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses, and it was there that she developed into a “house wrecker” as they are called in gospel.

With Mother Ford’s teaching and a wealth of church singing experience under her belt, she left St. Louis in the early 1950s to travel with the great Clara Ward Singers, but left after one year. Only one recording, “Wasn’t it a Pity How They Punished my Lord”, remains of her time with the Clara Ward Singers.

In the 1960s her album, “I’m So Grateful”, from which this cut was taken, Martha established her as a gospel singer of the first rank.

Martha was the mother of both gospel/R&B singers David Peaston and Fontella Bass, who’s 1966 hit “Rescue Me” was a chartbuster.  (Dig the “groovy” outfit she has on and the all white band backing her up…those were the daze!)

 

  1. Rescue Me Fontella Bass 2:54

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On the coattails of the success of Fontella’s song, Martha released her own GOSPEL version of “Rescue Me”

  1. Rescue Me Matha Bass 2:20

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Let’s Celebrate (He Is Risen)

  1. Let's Celebrate Rev. Timothy Wright And The New York Fellowship Mass Choir 5:39

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A nice Easter type song from gospel great Timothy Wright and his New York Fellowship Mass Choir. (Nice pop and slap bass line!) JVOI sang this song in 2005 when James Early was director.