Rev. James Cleveland-Medley

James Cleveland singing a medley of his “hit” songs (to date) from the 1975 album, “Jesus Is The Best Thing That Ever Happen To Me” (Yes, that’s Rev. Cleveland’s  gospel-ize version of Gladys Knight’s hit song “You’re The Best Thing That Ever Happen To Me”.

 

  1. James Cleveland-Medley Rev. James Cleveland and The Charles Fold Singers 7:05

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Jesus Is The Light of The World

  1. Jesus Is The Light of The World Rev. James Cleveland & The Charles Fold Singers 5:18

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Jesus, He Never Fails

  1. Jesus, He Never Fails Rev. James Cleveland & the Metro Chicago Mass Choir of the GMWA 5:16

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Ride That Glory Train

  1. Ride That Glory Train Rev. James Cleveland and The Gospel Music Workshop of America 4:40

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Steal Away

  1. Steal Away Rev. James Cleveland & Billy Davis 4:53

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Thank You Lord

  1. Thank You Lord Rev. James Cleveland & the Southern California Community Choir 5:17

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When I Get Home

  1. When I Get Home Rev. James Cleveland & The Cleveland Singers 3:03

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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).

One More Time

I love to run across old James Cleveland songs I don’t know; it’s like uncovering buried treasure.  You never know what might be in the treasure chest, but once you open it you always find something of value.  Case in point, today’s song, “One More Time”.  There is no mistaking this song for anything other than a Cleveland song from the beginning…the chords, the organ, the melody, the piano, the run up the scale before a verse, and finally Cleveland’s rough voice.

I love these ‘thank you for one more day’ songs and I love the way Cleveland put’s it; “One more time. I’m glad to be in the number, one more time.”

Enjoy.

 

  1. One More Time Rev. James Cleveland & The Salem Inspirational Choir 5:36

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I’ve Come To Praise His Name

A nice uptempo song from one of my all-time favorites, Rev. Clay Evans.

  1. I've Come To Praise His Name Rev. Clay Evans & The Ship 3:33

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While researching this song I did come across some disturbing information about Rev. Evans.  Seems that back in the 60’s or so, Rev. Evans made an album (TWO SIDES!!) of a homophobic sermon/rant he gave.  What bothers me the most is Rev. Evans was one of the giants of gospel music and owed a lot to his contemporary, the GODFATHER of Gospel Music, Rev. James Cleveland who was gay and how tragically died of complications due to AIDS.  “The Church” is so good at sowing hatred at times.