Thank You

From 1967, a very funky kind of “gospel” song.  It sounds sort of like Bobby Hebb’s “Sunny” in places…it’s a mash-up of a bunch of pop songs, but the lyrics are clearly gospel lyrics.  I can’t find ANY information on The Twilights, other than the fact that this album is VERY rare.  No idea where they were from.  There are other songs from them on Youtube.

  1. Thank You The Twilights 2:41

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Lord Send Your Power

I really like this song from Bishop Yvette Flunder and The City of Refuge Praise Ensemble’s (CORPE) 1995 CD, “There’s Power”. The reviews of this CD on Amazon are glowing, e.g. “This is the best CD I have ever heard in a long time, the songs have a great message in them. Yvette Flunder and The Praise Ensemble sound just wonderful. I rate this CD as a 5 out of 5 – you should get this CD – I promise you, that would be the best thing you could ever do.”

 

  1. Lord Send Your Power Yvette Flunder & C.O.R.P.E. 7:01

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Happy Memorial Day…have fun doing whatever you end up doing!

Only A Look

Only A Look is a gospel song written by Thomas Whitfield. It expresses generations of prayers for the good Lord to keep the “Balm in Gilead” flowing for his people. This version is performed by James Cleveland & Roberta Martin, as well as members of The Caravans, Albertina Walker, the Barrett Sisters & others.
 
This cut is a nice piece of gospel history combined with some wonderful singing.
 
  1. Only A Look James Cleveland, Roberta Martin, The Caravans, The Barrett Sisters, Albertina Walker 8:19

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Expect Your Miracle

  1. Expect Your Miracle The Clark Sisters 4:31

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Often (incorrectly) called “I’m Looking For A Miracle” after the first line of the song, this 1980 hit for The Clark Sister’s exemplifies their “sound” with unique harmonies and a very contemporary feel to the music.

Just as their mother, Mattie Moss Clark, led the Church of God in Christ’s music program to the gospel forefront in the late 60’s and early 70’s, the Clark Sisters continued raising the musical bar and further pushing the boundaries of the emerging contemporary gospel scene.

Really it wasn’t the Clark Sisters per se pushing the limits, it was Mattie’s daughter Twinkie (Elbertina) Clark, who led the group.  Twinkie plays both organ and piano on this cut. The credits for the “Is My Living In Vain” album that this song is from reads:
Written-By, Keyboards, Synthesizer [bass], Conductor, Arranged By, Mixed By E. Twinkie Clark (oh yeah, she sings too!)

I’m looking for a miracle
I expect the impossible
I feel the intangible &
I see the invisible

The sky is the limit
To what I can have

Just believe and receive it
God will perform it today

I expect a miracle every day,
God will make a way out of no way

 

Come By Here

  1. Come By Here Evelyn Turrentine-Agee 4:33

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Here is a nice take on a song we all know, Kumbaya. Kum ba yah (“Come by Here“) was first recorded in the 1920s. The title may well come from an early version sung in Gullah in the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia called “Come by Yuh”.

Evelyn Turrentine-Agee was born in 1946 as the third sibling in an eighteen sibling household. Her father, Cleveland Tyler, was a deacon in the church, and her mother was Ruthie Mae Tyler. She started singing on stage at the age of three because her father was in a quartet, and later they formed a family gospel girl group, The Tylerettes. She graduated high school by seventeen, and this enabled her to make her first record. Her education would not get forsaken because of her musical acumen and prowess because she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in industrial psychology that she earned at the University of Detroit. Many gospel music groups tried to get her to join them, but her stay with them was rather brief because she had a strong desire for a solo music career.

 

Healing

An online synopsis of Richard Smallwood’s “Healing: Live in Detroit” album calls it “a dynamic, moving performance that demonstrates the power and energy that Richard Smallwood and Vision display in concert.”  Yup, that exactly sums it up.

And of all the songs on the album, “Healing” is the best…IMHO.  The dynamics the singers apply to each and every word is remarkable and shows what an extraordinary group of singers they are and what an exactly director Smallwood is.

This song can reduce me to tears…to me it’s as powerful, if not more so, than his “Total Praise”. (And Smallwood’s soaring single note at 3:52 is remarkable.)

 

  1. Healing Richard Smallwood & Vision 7:52

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God Has Smiled On Me

I can’t believe that I haven’t posted this song yet, because it is a classic written by Rev. James Cleveland, as well as being one of my favorite songs, and one of the first gospel songs I learned.

Here are two renditions of the song. First, the original from James Cleveland’s first big album recorded with The Voices of Tabernacle Choir followed by a beautiful duet by The O’Neal Twins from their 25th Anniversary album.

Gospel music began to take a new direction in 1960, and James Cleveland was one of the moving forces behind this movement. During this time he began to channel his efforts into gospel choirs, and he was concerned about the sound and tone quality of these ensembles. One of the most popular gospel choirs to emerge during the 1960s was the Voices of Tabernacle from Detroit. Writer Tony Heilbut stated, “The Voices” were the most musically disci­plined gospel choir ever, and were like the Mormon Tabernacle”.

 

  1. God Has Smiled On Me Rev. James Cleveland 4:25

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The O’Neal Twins are Edward and Edgar O’Neal.  They started singing in St. Louis, Missouri, in the late 1950s in front of storefront churches. They cut their first record in 1962 and in 1969 they were voted the “World’s Greatest Gospel Duo” by the National Association of Television and Radio Artists.

 

  1. God Has Smiled On Me The O'Neal Twins 4:53

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The Lord Is Blessing Me (Yet again!)

  1. The Lord Is Blessing Me Gospel Legends featuring Milton Biggham 6:19

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Some of the “old songs of the church” just never get stale. Case in point, “The Lord Is Blessing Me”.  Just about a year ago I did a post with two versions of this song, but I found this version and just wanted to share it will all of you.

This recording was part of a CD/DVD package put together by Milton Biggham, one of the founders of the MALACO gospel music label and founder of the Georgia Mass Choir.  He gathers several “gospel legends” together for a weekend of spontaneous singing and let the tape roll.  This is an example of what happens when you let a room full of great gospel singer go at it.  If you watch the video, you can see that everyone is standing in a group “having some church”…nothing fancy, and they just sing when given the cue.  Since all the songs featured in the collection are “old songs”, these folks know them as well as their name.

Pick a note and join in and sing along; it will make your day!!

One More Chance

  1. One More Chance Ricky Dillard and New G 5:55

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From Ricky Dillard and his group “New G” which was orginally called “The New Generation Chorale” before they thought that felt a bit too staid and old school.

Yes, I’m confused here.  The album is titled “Unplugged…The Way Church Used To Be”, but this cut, which I double checked came from this album, is anything but “unplugged” and “old skool”.  Go figure.  But Ricky Dillard rarely follows the rules; his music is always creative and beautifully and perfectly delivered by his singers.

Jesus Is A Love Song

Three years after the Clark Sisters formally disbanded in 1994, Karen Clark (Sheard) released her first solo album, “Finally Karen” in 1997 which was a huge success.  This song is a live recording of her revisiting the song “Jesus Is A Love Song” which the Clark Sisters had recorded many years before.

This woman can SING.

  1. Jesus Is A Love Song Karen Clark Sheard 8:48

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