So, today finds me in update New York while I attend a 4 day gospel music workshop with my great niece who goes to St. Lawrence University here in Canton NY and who sings in the school’s gospel choir. Last night was the first of 4 rehearsals which will culminate in a concert Saturday evening in the performing arts center at St. Lawrence. There will be over 100 voices, a 7/8 piece band and the directors are remarkable. The school’s Asst. Chaplin directs the choir and the band leader and co-director and one of THREE keyboardists is one Mario Vaughn a musician with The Chicago Mass Choir.
At any rate, this is one of the songs from the repertoire, Hezekiah Walker’s latest, hugely popular song, “Better” (Think “Every Praise“). Like almost all Hezekiah songs, its remarkably simple and HIGHLY infectious…I’ll give you an earworm warning right now.
A great, slow, traditional gospel song from my favorite choir, The Florida Mass Choir. This was recorded in 1992 at the Victory Church in Lakeland Florida. (A simple country church as evidenced by the photo below of the sanctuary! I’ve been there!!!)
If you want another take on the theme of “All night and all day, angels watching over me”, be sure to listen to “Angels” by Richard Smallwood and Vision.
Another great song from the late Thomas Whitfield’s choir, Thomas Whitfield and Company. The more I learn of his work, the more amazed I am at how many wonderful songs he wrote.
This song is based on the old traditional song “Over My Head”, the title being taken from the lyric, “…I hear music in the air”. At 8 minutes long, the song isn’t short, but more than half the song is the vamp (with a super female lead doing the fills) that goes on and on and on and…
Here is something from Ms. Dorothy Norwood, “The World’s Greatest Gospel Story Teller”. Released in 1999, this song has a little Caribbean beat to it and features The Wilmington Chester Mass Choir on backup vocals. The song was recorded live and released in two parts which I have edited together into one seven minute musical experience. Enjoy.
The Lord Is A Wonder Parts 1 & 2Dorothy Norwood7:31
I’ve posted a couple of versions of this song already, but make no never-mind, it’s a great song that deserves attention. On this cut, a group of various gospel greats sing “Highway To Heaven” (formally titled “Walking Up The Kings Highway” and composed by Thomas A. Dorsey) at a meeting of over 100 “Gospel Legends” at Bill and Gloria Gaither’s studios in Alexandria, Indiana.
Highway To HeavenGospel Legends5:00
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1st piano player/director – the late Rev. Donald Vails
2nd piano player – Elder A. Jeffrey LaValley of Flint, Michigan
Organist – the late Billy Preston
Singers include Dr. Margaret Douroux, Richard Smallwood, Jesse Dixon, Al Hobbs, Danniebelle Hall, The Barrett Sisters, The Caravans, Debbie Austin, Richard “Mr. Clean” White, Bishop Walter Hawkins, Jennifer Holiday and many, many more.
A nice contemporary rendition of a song that has been given several different settings over the years. This is from The St. James Adult Choir from Detroit’s St. James Missionary Baptist Church. (Okay, yes, I love the B3 in the song too.)
I stumbled across this cut the other day and it’s wonderful. It is interesting that when you look up this song on YouTube there is ALWAYS a notation that the lead singer/soloist is one of the origianl Caravans, Ms. Cassietta George. But that solo comes at the end of the song after a wonderful make solo for the rest of the song. NO WHERE is this singer mentioned. I recognized the voice as that of Calvin Bernard Rhone who sang the lead on the song “It’s Alright“. Calvin deserves major props for the work he does on this song.
God Leads His ChildrenJames Cleveland and The Southern California Community Choir7:17