Walk With Me Lord

  1. Walk With Me Lord Tina Turner 3:36

Embed

Copy and paste this code to your site to embed.

Here is an appropriate song for today since the “Walk For Music” is being held in East Boston this afternoon. This is from the album “The Gospel According to Ike and Tina” (Who knew, right??), one of the last albums the duo recorded in 1974 before their divorce. Tina always said they never ever did anything nice and easy, and they approached their Gospel in the same manner. Drawing on the style she heard in the churches in her youth, Tina brings that same fiery passion to this song.

Walk With Me Lord” is a solo by Tina and probably rates an 11 on a scale of 10. Vocals are top notch and the song is traditional gospel all the way through with a slow, bluesy feel.

That Was Good

  1. That Was Good Maggie Bell 3:05

Embed

Copy and paste this code to your site to embed.

I can’t find ANYTHING about Maggie Bell anywhere online other than about two songs, so I haven’t much to say other than I like this traditional slow song from 1970.

Holy Thou Art God

  1. Holy Thou Art God Richard Smallwood and Vision 8:52

Embed

Copy and paste this code to your site to embed.

Richard Smallwood’s mini masterpiece, Holy Thou Art God.  Just one of 15 great songs on his “Healing – Live in Detroit” album.  At his peak there was no one like Richard Smallwood and his gospel music legacy lives on today.

One of the things that makes Smallwood’s music so beautiful is the incredible dynamics his singers use.  Every word has meaning and ebbs and swells and flows as needed.  Remarkable vocals on this song; nine minutes with only a few lyrics but the song keeps you riveted throughout.

And last but not least, the incredible lead solo vocals were performed by none other than the amazing Vanessa Williams. She initially gained recognition as the first African-American recipient of the Miss America title when she was crowned Miss America 1984 in September 1983. However, a few weeks prior to the end of her reign, she learned that Penthouse magazine would be publishing unauthorized nude photographs of her in an upcoming issue. Williams thus resigned as Miss America on July 22, 1984 (under pressure from the Miss America Organization), and was replaced by first runner-up Miss New Jersey Suzette Charles.

Today Vanessa Williams is one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in entertainment today. She has conquered the musical charts, Broadway, music videos, television and motion pictures. She has sold millions of albums worldwide and she has achieved critical acclaim as an actress on stage, in film and on television.

HalleluYah Anyhow

  1. HalleluYah Anyhow Rev. Oris L. Mays with Rev. Clay Evans & The AARC Mass Choir 5:22

Embed

Copy and paste this code to your site to embed.

Always one of my favorites, Rev. Clay Evans had a way of finding great singers to work with him.  Here is the late Rev. Oris L. Mays singing “HalleluYah Anyhow” with Rev. Clay Evan’s AARC (African American Religious Connection) Mass Choir.

Magnify The Lord

  1. Magnify The Lord Vernard Johnson and the Central California Mass Choir 4:07

Embed

Copy and paste this code to your site to embed.

To my knowledge, there have only been a few solo gospel sax players that really got much notoriety; Angella Christie and Kirk Whalum come to mind.

Vernard Johnson can play for sure and over his career that went from 1973-1992 he recorded 11 albums of gospel soul-jazz-funk.  (His accompanist on piano is singing the solo harmony.)

In 1978 he release an album with the awesome title “Soul Metamorphosis: Rare & Unreissued Gospel Funk 1968-1978”

He Will Stand By Your Side

  1. He Will Stand By Your Side Rev. Cleophus Robinson 4:40

Embed

Copy and paste this code to your site to embed.

Cleophus Robinson was born March 18, 1932 in Canton, Mississippi. His mother, Lillie, was a well known gospel singer in the region. In 1948, he moved to Chicago, where he sang at churches, as well as appearing with the Roberta Martin Singers and Mahalia Jackson.

In September 1949 he made his first recordings for Miracle Records. as Bro Cleophus Robinson. He then relocated to Memphis. After graduating from high school, he began a weekly radio show, The Voice of the Soul.  By 1956, Robinson’s career had stalled. A year later, he moved to St. Louis, Missouri, working at the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church as pastor for over 40 years. In 1964, he started a gospel television show that ran for 20 years. He was often referred to as “The World’s Greatest Gospel Singer”.

He toured Europe in 1969. and released his biggest hit, “Wrapped Up, Tied Up, Tangled Up.” The single enjoyed crossover success with a white audience.  In 1975, he appeared at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and in 1980, he sang at the White House.  Rev. Robinson died in St Louis Mo in 1998.

Try Jesus

  1. Try Jesus Dr. C.L. Johnson 2:28

Embed

Copy and paste this code to your site to embed.

 I love these old, raw, acapella call and response gospel songs. Doesn’t get more basic or more spirit filled than this. For the congregation, the rule seem to be “pick a note…any note will do.”  You might notice that the song sounds and feels a bit reminiscent of “He’s a Battle Axe“.  If you did, you’re right…just wait until the second verse at 1:20.

Jesus Gave Me

  1. Jesus Gave Me Martha Bass 3:24

Embed

Copy and paste this code to your site to embed.

(This is a multi song post…be sure to scroll down to listen to all three songs.) Martha Bass was born on March 7, 1921 in the deep south. After migrating to St. Louis as a young girl, she joined the Pleasant Green Baptist Church, where she was a promising gospel vocalist. She came under the authoritative and watchful tutelage of Mother Willie Mae Ford Smith, the head of the Soloists Bureau in gospel composer Thomas A. Dorsey’s National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses, and it was there that she developed into a “house wrecker” as they are called in gospel.

With Mother Ford’s teaching and a wealth of church singing experience under her belt, she left St. Louis in the early 1950s to travel with the great Clara Ward Singers, but left after one year. Only one recording, “Wasn’t it a Pity How They Punished my Lord”, remains of her time with the Clara Ward Singers.

In the 1960s her album, “I’m So Grateful”, from which this cut was taken, Martha established her as a gospel singer of the first rank.

Martha was the mother of both gospel/R&B singers David Peaston and Fontella Bass, who’s 1966 hit “Rescue Me” was a chartbuster.  (Dig the “groovy” outfit she has on and the all white band backing her up…those were the daze!)

 

  1. Rescue Me Fontella Bass 2:54

Embed

Copy and paste this code to your site to embed.

On the coattails of the success of Fontella’s song, Martha released her own GOSPEL version of “Rescue Me”

  1. Rescue Me Matha Bass 2:20

Embed

Copy and paste this code to your site to embed.

Your Blessing Is In The Making

  1. Your Blessing Is In The Making New Jerusalem Baptist Church 4:38

Embed

Copy and paste this code to your site to embed.

From 1988, another fabulous, big choir song from Jeffery LaValle’s New Jerusalem Baptist Choir.  This song has it all.  Starts slow and works it’s way to a wonderfully energetic ending with a great walking bass line.

Jesus Will

  1. Jesus Will Alexis Spight 8:33

Embed

Copy and paste this code to your site to embed.

Alexis Spight sings an updated version of James Cleveland’s “Jesus Will” at the 2014 Mt. Zion Stellar Awards Weekend in Nashville, TN.  In 2012 Alexis came in 2nd in Season 5 of BET’s “Sunday Best”, a gospel version of “American Idol” hosted by Kirk Franklin.

And if you like the song, here is a wonderful video of the choir from the First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Landover MD performing the song.