Right Now Let The Savior Bless You

Absolutely classic James Cleveland.  Everything about this song is soooo James Cleveland…his solo voice, the somewhat strident sound of the choir, the piano part, the format of the song. This is “The King of Gospel Music” at his very best.

 

  1. Right Now Let The Savior Bless You James Cleveland and the Southern California Community Choir 5:02

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I’m So Thankful

In the 60’s James Cleveland made a deal with Savoy records to help them find new talent.  Cleveland agreed to record 8-10 albums a year under the title “James Cleveland Presents…”. All Cleveland had to do was to find a choir he thought he had merit and perform on ONE TRACK on the album.  These albums were usually made in one marathon 7-8 hour recording session.  Many of the choirs, including Harold Freeman & New Friendship Church Choir, hailed from Chicago, the birthplace of traditional gospel.  This cut dates back to 1976.

 

  1. I'm So Thankful Harold Freeman & New Friendship Church Choir 2:34

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I’m Saved

Another gem from James Cleveland’s Southern California Community Choir, “I’m Saved” from their 1990 album “Having Church”. The intro to this song is a bit unique; most songs don’t have spoken intros, and the wonderful string of adverbs that Ms. Annette May Thomas lays down to describe just how “saved” she is, is just magnificent. We should all feel so strongly in that which we believe, regardless of what it may be. Somebody say “Amen”!  (Oh and Happy 4th of July!)

“I’m glad to report…unapologetically, unashamedly, unequivocally, unquestionably, undeniably, I am saved! Absolutely, positively, gladly, willing, cheerfully, lovingly, and anxiously, I am saved!” 

 

  1. I'm Saved Southern California Community Choir 5:14

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We Shall Walk Through The Valley In Peace

As many of you know, The Reverend James Cleveland (December 5, 1931 – February 9, 1991) was a gospel singer, arranger, composer and, most significantly, THE driving force behind the creation of the modern gospel sound, bringing the stylistic daring of hard gospel and jazz and pop music influences to arrangements for mass choirs. He is known as the King of Gospel music. He was the first gospel musician to earn a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1984. The soloist on this song is Carolyn Brown.

 

 

  1. We Shall Walk Through The Valley In Peace James Cleveland & The Salem Inspirational Choir 4:25

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Born in Chicago, Illinois, Cleveland began singing as a boy soprano at Pilgrim Baptist Church where Thomas A. Dorsey was minister of music and Roberta Martin was pianist for the choir. He strained his vocal cords as a teenager while part of a local gospel group, leaving the distinctive gravelly voice that was his hallmark in his later years. The change in his voice led him to focus on his skills as a pianist and later as a composer and arranger.  From the 1970s until 1990, Cleveland would bring together a number of artists to back him on appearances and records. He also continued to appear and record with some of the most notable gospel choirs of the time. For his pioneering accomplishments and contributions, he is regarded by many to be one of the greatest gospel singers that ever lived.

Don t You Know (I Need Him Now)

A dusty, moldy oldie from the archives…early James Cleveland music from 1972 after we started out on his own.

 

  1. Don t You Know (I Need Him Now) Rev. James Cleveland & The Southern California Community Choir 3:20

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(On The) Battlefield For My Lord

I’m back at my posting and I’m on a Charles Fold kick.  This man was one of the very best of the best and made some wonderful music.

In the comments section on YouTube there is one comment that sums it all up perfectly: “Lawwwd have mercy!!!! Sing it Charles! Can’t you see him carrying his armor and marching in? Siiiiinnnngggg Charles, I said siiiinnnggg it!”

 

  1. (On The) Battlefield For My Lord James Cleveland and The Charles Fold Singers 8:28

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God Made Something Beautiful

Some good old James Cleveland music. Here he is singing with The Philadelphia chapter of the GMWA in 1983.

 

  1. God Made Something Beautiful Rev. James Cleveland & the Philadelphia Mass Choir 4:41

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By The Grace Of God

From one of James Cleveland’s early albums with the Southern California Community Choir.  This is classic Cleveland all the way.

 

  1. By The Grace of God Rev. James Cleveland & the Southern California Community Choir 2:56

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Meet Me There

I’m SOOOOO excited.  I’ve been looking for this song for so long…a couple of decades, really  I’ve Googled the lyrics a zillion times (“If you miss me from singing down here; come on up to heaven, I’ll be waiting up there.”) and NEVER found the song, until today.

 

  1. Meet Me There James Cleveland and The GMWA Mass Choir 3:22

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This song was one one of the very first gospel albums I bought in 1985, James Cleveland and The Gospel Workshop of America – Live in Atlanta, 1984.  (I just stumbled on the song list this afternoon after all these years) All of the songs on that double album were dear to me, but this one always stayed with me. Written by a young Donald Lawrence, and complimented by the beautiful lead by Robin Rowe, I present to you, “Meet Me There”.

A Song In The Midst Of The Storm

You can always count on James Cleveland and The GMWA Mass Choir to offer up a great song.  Looks like I’m a day late posting this song, but it’s still great, storm or no storm.  This cut is from the 1985 Live recording from Madison Square Garden in New York City.

 

  1. A Song In The Midst Of The Storm James Cleveland and The GMWA Mass Choir 5:34

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