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.
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 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
I don’t know exactly why I love this song so much, I just do. In August I published a version from Shara McKee. Pastor Rob and Shara McKee are Senior Pastors of The Pentecostals – One Church, in Katy Texas just west of Houston.
Today I’m publishing Yolanda Adam’s original song, just to give her and the song some airplay
A beautiful, torchy, song from Vickie Winans (once married to Marvin Winans of “The Winans” fame who sang the song I posted yesterday).
We Need a Word from the LordVickie Winans4:29
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The music industry is a hard one to survive in. It’s always about the money, not the music. To wit, here is a bit from Vickie’s entry on Wikipedia.
“In 1990, Vickie signed, not to a gospel recording company but to Geffen Records. Geffen was bought by Universal Records and Winan’s contract was shifted to sister label MCA Records. Dealing with a company that hadn’t signed her, she found herself being subtly pushed to tone down the Christian message in her music. ‘They don’t tell you, but you get the vibe,’ she said in 1999. ‘I don’t ever, ever, ever want to be in that predicament again. It’s one thing when you just sing a song where you don’t use the actual name of Jesus, but it’s a whole ‘nother thing when you TRY not to use the name. For me, the name of Jesus will never be distasteful in my mouth. He’s always the answer'”.
“Her 1991 MCA release was “The Lady” which included production by R. Kelly, husband Marvin Winans, and her son Mario. The nine-song album was missing the name Jesus and controversially contained a rendition of West Side Story’s “Somewhere”. MCA then sent Winans to that year’s Stellar Awards television broadcast with dancers – a move that shocked the conservative Christian community, leading to the Winans having to issue a public apology.”