Possibly the biggest mentee to John P Kee would be R&B and gospel star Michael Speaks. Born in Benton Harbor, Michigan, moving to New York City, and now living in Los Angeles, California, this follower of the “Prince of Gospel” came out with an album in 1995 entitled “No Equal.” The biggest hit on the CD is his remix of the famous John P. Kee classic “Jesus Is Real.” I’ve included John P Kee’s orginal version if you want to compare versions. There is no doubt in my mind that Michael Speaks is real.
This song was written by Sandra Crouch, twin sister of Andraé Crouch.
Sandra won a Grammy Award in 1984 for “Best Soul Gospel Performance, Female”, and was nominated for a Grammy in 1986 in the category “Best Soul Gospel Performance, Duo, Group, Chorus or Choir” for her album Completely Yes. During the late 1960s through the early 1970s, she played the tambourine on a number of Motown recording sessions.
Walking with the KingLos Angeles Chapter of the GMWA Mass Choir6:14
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Sandra was born on July 1, 1942, in Los Angeles, California along with her twin brother Andraé. Until his death in January 2015, she and her brother co-pastored Christ Memorial Church of God in Christ in Pacoima, California. On the day of her brother’s death, Crouch released the following statement: “Today my twin brother, womb-mate and best friend went home to be with the Lord. Please keep me, my family and our church family in your prayers. I tried to keep him here but God loved him best.”
Dr. Margaret Pleasant Douroux is a gospel composer, educator and author.
A veteran recording artist, she conducts workshops throughout the United States and Europe and has written more than 100 songs, including “We’re Blessed,” “Rivers of Joy,” “Give Me A Clean Heart,” “If It Had Not Been For The Lord On My Side,” “Trees,” “I’m Glad,” “He Decided To Die,” and “What Shall I Render.”
I Feel AlrightNorman Hutchins with Dr. Margaret Douroux and the Heritage Mass Choir6:26
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Her songs have been recorded by the Mighty Clouds of Joy, Pastor Shirley Caesar, the Rev. James Cleveland’s Gospel Music Workshop of America Mass Choir, and the Rev. Clay Evans.
Her career includes five years as minister of music and adult choir director for Mount Moriah Baptist Church of Los Angeles and was minister of music and choir director for Greater New Bethel Baptist Church of Inglewood, Calif., for more than 30 years.
Douroux retired from the local church music ministry in 2015 after 64 years of service. She also worked 13 years with LAUSD as an elementary school teacher, guidance counselor, and school psychologist. Douroux earned her B.A. degree at CSU-Los Angeles, her M.S. degree and an advanced Master’s Degree at USC, and her Ph.D. at the University of Beverly Hills.
Douroux continues to be living legend in Los Angeles in her role as the founder and CEO of the Heritage Music Foundation, an organization focused on the advancement and preservation of gospel music.
This is a really powerful song I stumbled upon recently. This woman can SANG. If you like this, you’ll can love the video of this live performance. Go to: https://youtu.be/Z-ZV61eDLXI
Jekalyn Almonique Carr (born April 22, 1997) is an American singer, songwriter, author, and motivational speaker. She was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Gospel Performance at the age of 18 in 2016. She wrote a book, You Will Win, which was published in 2018 and tied into a single released by the same name. The single stayed at #1 on the Billboard Gospel radio charts for 6 weeks. Carr has also been featured on Greenleaf on the Oprah Winfrey Network and in upcoming film Never Heard. Carr was also honored by Ebony magazine as one of the POWER 100 most influential people in 2014 in the world
Can’t believe that I have yet to post this song. James Early taught it to Joyful Voices many years ago and we performed it at a concert at the Berklee Auditorium. I can still hear James saying “it’s blessn…not bless-ing…blessn!”
Our last post was from Tramaine Hawkins. Here’s a great song from the master himself, the late, great, Walter Hawkins. This was recorded at one of his annual “Love Alive” seminars and features soloists Shirley Miller and Yvette Flunder.
Full & CompleteWalter Hawkins & The Love Center Choir13:27
A beautiful song from one of the great contemporary female gospel singers, Ms. Tramaine Hawkins. Tramaine was married to the late, great, Walter Hawkins.
She scored several hits as a solo artist in the 1980s while signed to Light Records and released now-classic albums, such as her 1979 self-titled debut, Tramaine; and its 1983 follow-up Determined. Songs such as “Changed,” “Goin Up Yonder”, “He’s That Kind Of Friend”, Jesus Christ Is The Way” and “Highway” quickly became staples and fan favorites.
Tramaine was briefly a member of the 1970s soul female singing group Honey Cone. Honey Cone later recorded the R&B hit “Want Ads” that made its way back into the gospel genre by being sampled on Mary Mary’s 2005 hit “Heaven“.
Della Reese was a founder member and the early star of this group, but by 1968 when this song was recorded she was long gone and the group was firmly based around the mighty Sister Earnestine Rundless and her daughter, Laura, who later had solo success as Laura Lee. Laura is featured on this cut which is a James Cleveland song.