Another Day’s Journey

I love the sheer, raw power of LaShun Pace’s voice,  and this old traditional song showcases it perfectly. The simple dominant bass drum beat, the solo voice and the choir grab you at the start and suck you right in.  Other than the opening piano riff, the song is acapella all the way through until about 2:00 when the choir and the band come in for a brief vamp at the end.

 

  1. Another Day's Journey LaShun Pace-Rhodes 2:34

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Pressing On

I’m amazed at what I don’t know.  I tripped across this song this morning, and it just took me and GRABBED me. Whew…sooooo powerful. And those Muscle Shoals musicians add so much to the song.

The question.  IS THIS A GOSPEL SONG…a TRUE GOSPEL SONG??  Because even though it is performed by the incredible Ms. Alicia Keys, and backed up be an awesome Baptist Church choir, it was written by a white man; Bob Dylan, for his “Saved” album released in 1980. 

Discuss.

 

  1. Pressing On Alicia Keys 5:28

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Peace Be Still

I can’t believe I’ve yet to post this song;  it is one of James Cleveland’s very best.  The song was originally recorded in 1963 and released as the title cut on his “Peace Be Still” album with The Angelic Choir of the First Baptist Church of Nutley, NJ.   

This particular track is from an album Cleveland recorded many years later (1984) while in concert with the Donnie Harper’s New Jersey Mass Choir. To me it’s almost better than the original. 

 

  1. Peace Be Still Rev. James Cleveland & The Cleveland Singers with The New Jersey Mass Choir 8:16

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The reference to the late Martin Luther King at near the end of the song (7:00) is both moving and a bit heart breaking given the state of race relations in the U.S. today.  It is also poignant as stories of the destruction in Texas from hurricane Harvey continue to flood in (yes, pun intended, sorry).

Special Gift

I have a Special Gift for you today. A wonderful (or should I say Marvelous) song from the late, great Walter Hawkins’ Love Alive V recording released in 2001.

I was listening to my iPod yesterday when this song came on. I don’t remember ever downloading it or hearing it before, but it grabbed me from the beginning and just got better and better.  I haven’t checked the album credits, but I’m 99% sure the lead is sung by Yvette Flunder; you can’t miss her gravelly voice, and some of the lyrics she uses on the fill during the vamp are straight from her song “There’s Power In His Name“.  Enjoy!!

 

  1. Special Gift Walter Hawkins 5:10

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Without The Lord

I found this song on YouTube, and thought I’d post it because I liked it.  I just researched the artist, King Louis H. Narcisse on Wikipedia.  What an amazing bio.

This song is kind of like Bobby “Blues” Bland meets gospel.  If you were ever unsure that blues, R&B, soul and gospel are all intertwined and part and parcel of the black musical experience, now you know.

 

  1. Without The Lord King Louis H. Narcisse 2:51

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Louis H. Narcisse (April 27, 1921 – February 3, 1989), also known as King Louis H. Narcisse, was an African-American religious leader and the founder of the Mt. Zion Spiritual Church. He claimed religious leaders of the time such as Father Divine, Daddy Grace and, James F. Jones were his divine predecessors. [I’ve heard the names, but know nothing more about these “divine” pastors with colorful names – RLS]

He was an organizer and spiritual healer in Oakland, California. He was also a gospel minister, vocalist, musician, and composer with whom gospel singer Mahalia Jackson often collaborated.

Louis Herbert Narcisse was born on April 27, 1921 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Stella Narcisse. His father, Jesse Narcisse, was killed in a shipboard accident before his birth. The youngest of four siblings, Narcisse came from a devout Baptist family. At an early age, young Narcisse knew that he had been touched by the hand of God.[5] His family found out early on that Narcisse was something very special, a religious child prodigy who was reserved but loved to pray and sing spiritual music.[5] His singing talents were first locally recognized in New Orleans when he was a teenager, where Narcisse won five radio auditions. As a teen, he became a soloist at church services and funerals.
Ministry

At 18 years old, Narcisse entered into the Christian ministry in the summer of 1939. Narcisse migrated to California during World War II when God spoke to him to come to California. He found a job in Hunter’s Point Shipyards in San Francisco, California as an electrical worker earning $85 a week. He lived at a Hunter’s Point War World II Housing Project.[3]

In South San Francisco the Mt. Zion movement began with a small prayer meeting,”[2][3] from there Narcisse founded Mount Zion Spiritual Temple in Oakland on November 8, 1945 under the credo “It’s nice to be nice.” The church was named after his boyhood church in New Orleans, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, which had been the place of his baptism, but Narcisse’s Mount Zion Spiritual Temple was actually a Spiritualist church in the African-American Spiritual Church Movement tradition. As his popularity grew, he presided over several churches in Oakland, Sacramento, Houston, and Detroit, and travelled between them.

Source: Wikipedia

So Good

A nice piece of contemporary R&B gospel from Karen Clark-Sheard’s 2nd album released in 2002. Karen was of the members of the FABULOUS Clark Sisters from Detroit Michigan.

In 2001 Karen was faced with a life-threatening crisis when a blood vessel burst during a scheduled hernia surgery. Her doctors only gave her a 2% chance of survival due to her complications. After the blood clot was surgically removed, Karen fell into a coma. The coma lasted three and a half weeks, but she made a miraculous recovery. Despite citing hernia surgery, fans continue to speculate that she had undergone a gastric bypass operation which led to the complications of hernia and brain aneurysm because after the ordeal Sheard returned in 2001 looking 1/3 of her size.

Though the release performed well on the charts and Karen’s vocals were in excellent form, the slick contemporary R&B production was not openly embraced by her core audience of traditional gospel music listeners.

 

  1. So Good Karen Clark-Sheard 4:06

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Carry Me Home

And speaking of HOME, it is good to be home.  Yes, they almost had to “Carry Me Home” because of my funky knee, but all is well and I will deal gracefully with whatever comes next.

This is an old Keith Pringle song that I love. Great pounding bass and drums, fine piano, nice B3 and a great choir; all the ingredients needed for a great uptempo song.

Nice to be back at it. Enjoy!!!

 

  1. Carry Me Home Keith Pringle and the Pentecostal Community Choir 4:07

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Oh, one more thing.  The Cambridge Center for Adult Education has invited me back this fall to do a 4 class series on the great Mass Choirs of Gospel.  Classes will be held weekly from 3:30-5:00PM starting on November 8.  It should be both informative and lots of fun!!!

 

If You Believe

  1. If You Believe Keith Pringle 6:23

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Are You Willing

  1. Are You Willing Trinity All Nations Combined Choir 9:30

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His Name Is Jesus

  1. His Name Is Jesus UCLA Gospel Choir 3:41

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