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’m Saved And Sanctified (And Running For My Life And Filled With The Holy Ghost!)

A great uptempo old school (1973) traditional song from Rev. Maceo Woods & The Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir. This should get your motor running so you can head out on the highway looking for adventure in whatever might come your way today.  (This song moves right along…I’m exhausted by the end of the 25 second intro!!)  Great vamp starting at 4:13…the walking bass line is perfect.


  1. I'm Saved And Sanctified Rev. Maceo Woods & The Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir 5:36


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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

Over There

They really DID make great music “back in the day”! Here is a gem from an arcane “lost” album from James Cleveland working with The New Jersey Mass Choir back in 1983. This is THE BEST; the song grabs you from the opening measure and doesn’t let you go! I love the vamp where the voices split on the stereo…but it fades away all too fast…it leaves you wanting MORE!


  1. Over There 4:42


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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


This Is A Wake-Up Call

This should start your day off right…or Wright, as the case may be.

An excerpt from Timothy Wright’s “Who’s On The Lord Side”. This is from the part where they ask those in the audience who are “on the Lord’s side” to GET UP!!!


  1. Who's On The Lord's Side (Get Up Excerpt) Rev. Timothy Wright 1:02


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He Shall Hide Me

Today’s offering is from the remarkably talented and energetic, Ricky Dillard and his New Generation Chorale.


  1. He Shall Hide Me Ricky Dillard and The New Generation Chorale 6:49


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Twinkie’s Organ Prelude (High Place)/Endow Me

I LOVE The Clark Sisters. And I REALLY love it when Twinkie just plays her B3.


  1. Twinkie's Organ Prelude (High Place)/Endow Me The Clark Sisters 10:06


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Today’s post is a two song mash up I made that starts off with Twinkie on the B3 playing a riff she calls “High Place”…a piece of B3 organ music that really does take me to a very high place. I love the chord progressions starting around 2:05.  This is followed by the entire group of Clark Sisters performing their song “Endow Me” live in Charlotte North Carolina (Yup, props to NC DP and Dana!).

Have a blessed day.