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


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 Going All The Way

This is a little hip-hop/R&B inspirational song from Sounds of Blackness, the same group that sang “Hold On (Change Is Comin’)”, a song that was in our repertoire a couple of years ago when we went to Argentina. (As a matter of fact, the travel choir sang “Hold On (Change Is Comin’)” as one of their numbers the Buenos Aires Gospel Festival, with Norris doing the solo, and the crowd LOVED IT!). But I digress.


  1. I'm Going All The Way 4:52


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Sounds Of Blackness have explored all forms of African American music since forming in Minneapolis in the early 1970s. Producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis signed Sounds Of Blackness to their Perspective imprint in 1991 and granted the group complete stylistic freedom. “I’m Going All The Way” was the first single released from the group’s third album, “Africa To America: The Journey Of The Drum.” that came out in 1993.

As an inspirational song, this one is right on. Here are the lyrics to accompany the audio.

Whatever it takes to make it… (uh –huh)
I’m going all the way! (yeah yeah)
I may be down sometimes… (uh –huh)
But I won’t be down always! (no no!)

I’ve had some problems
Heartache and pain
Tryin’ to find the answers
‘been rackin’ my brain
Oh but as I thought about it
Began to come clear…
To get myself together
Go on from HERE…

Repeat Chorus

Now I know better
It’s time to move on
My determination…
Is what keeps me strong!
Oh I believe in myself
Like never before!
Faith is the key…
To unlock the Door!

Whatever it takes to make it…
I’m going all the way (Yeaaaaaahhhh!)
I may be down sometimes (Sometimes…)
But I won’t be down always! (Not Everyday…Some days…oh but not Always!)
Whatever it takes to make it (whatever it takes…)
I’m going all the way (All the way! Wherever all the way is…that’s where I’m going!)
I may be down sometimes (down down sometimes…)
I won’t be down always (I won’t be down always! Always always)

Whatever it will take…to help you reach that goal!
Don’t give up HOPE!…I KNOW YOU CAN COPE!
Just move on don’t ever stop – just keep marching on! (and on and on and on)
Sing it sing it sing it!

Don’t you give up
Don’t you give up don’t you give in
Don’t you give in hold to your goal!

Keep on….keep on…keep on movin!

Vamp to end

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


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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Step Aside

Get outta the way.  Step back and let God do it.

Hold on, don’t give up. Don’t you worry, you don’t have to cry.
‘Cause God sees, He sees what you’re going through oh yes he does.
God is willing, and he’s able; this didn’t catch Him by surprise.
So, if you would,
just trust Him and step aside.

I just love the way the song ramps up starting at 2:16…


  1. Step Aside 4:07


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and because I can’t get enough of that last part, I made myself a file of Yolanda Adams doing the end of HER version of Step Aside. I can listen to THIS over and over and over…I’m not sure why I get so into this…but I do!


  1. Step Aside - End 2X Yolanda Adams 3:12


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Happy New Year

Don’t Give Up Now

I find this song interesting because a.) the soloist/vocalist doesn’t really have a lovely voice and b.) the song isn’t all that special, but nonetheless I found myself really moved by it every time I listen to it. The choir doesn’t bill itself as a youth choir, and it’s not, but the high voices sue make it sound like one.  A diamond in the rough one might say.


  1. Don't Give Up Now Steven Daniels and The Shiloh Gospel Choir 4:19


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Happy a fun, safe New Year’s weekend, and I’ll be back with more next year.