Better

  1. Better Hezekiah Walker 4:31

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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.

For All You’ve Done

Something a little different today. A beautiful, simple vocal piece accompanied by only an acoustic guitar and claves. “Gospel” per se?  Probably not.  Lovely and soulful, yes.  Very nice.

 

  1. For All You've Done Stephen Daniels and The Shiloh Gospel Choir 4:08

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Worship and Adore

This song still brings  a smile to my face every time I hear it…the opening chords are forever etched in my mind as the intro to “Bobby Jones Gospel” that run of Sunday nights on BET in the starting in the early 80’s. The 30 second intro clip of this song was accompanied by a fairly poor quality aerial video of Nashville as a helicopter turns and does a dive descent to follow the Cumberland River into the heart of town while a voice over said “From Nashville, the gospel capital of the world, it’s Bobby Jones Gospel”.

 

  1. Worship And Adore Bobby Jones & New Life 2:56

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I was really addicted to “Bobby Jones Gospel” and after first seeing it, began taking notes on the artists that appeared so I could hunt down their music on cassette tape. I’d wait for the next show all week long and was finally rewarded when I heard the opening chords to “Worship and Adore”.

Bobby Jones had a super band that played live each week; Ralph Lofton on keyboards, Robert Lee “Pops” Popwell on bass, director Derrick Lee on keyboard, and a great white funky guitarist named Jim Long who attended Berklee before heading to Nashville to find his fame and fortune in the gospel music world.  He also had a great group of singers…usually a quartet called “New Life” who are the singers on this track.

“Bobby Jones Gospel” in various forms, ran for 35 years on BET and aired its last episode last year in July 2016

Enjoy!!

Worthy Is Your Name

A nice, simple Praise and Worship song for your Sunday morning. These songs are so simple, yet so effective and memorable. I love ’em.

 

  1. Worthy Is Your Name Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago

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All Around

Okay…all week long I have had a terrible, lasting, case of “ear worm” caused by editing the rehearsal tracks for a new song Joyful Voices is learning, Israel Houghton’s “All Around” from 2004.

So, I thought I’d post the song and try to find out from my listeners (all 20 of you!!!) if this song really is all that catchy, or whether my ear worm is just related to me listening to the song as much as I did while editing the rehearsal tracks.

Let me know if this song has any effect on you. I love it!

 

  1. All Around Israel Houghton 5:39

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He Is Lord

Here is a praise and worship song with a nice reggae/Caribbean vibe to it from Boston’s own Freda Battle. It was written by Herb Jones, a well known gospel music figure in the Boston area. I believe Herb is Minister of Music at Sharon Molden’s church in Brockton. Many years ago when JVOI was between permanent directors, Herb came to be a “guest director” for an rehearsal and it was a most memorable evening. He is a great musician, teacher, writer/composer and a wonderful person.  I believe JVOI might have sung this under James Early’s direction; it sounds soooo familiar.

 

  1. He Is Lord Freda Battle 5:29

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The Highest Praise

As I’ve told you many times before, I’m a sucker for children’s choirs, and this is a great example why. This is an offering for the Church of God in Christ (GOGIC) International Children’s Choir, and, for those that don’t know by now, COGIC takes their gospel music very seriously. This might be a “childrens” choir, but they are perfectly rehearsed and all-pro in every way.

 

  1. The Highest Praise Church of God in Christ International Children's Choir 4:42

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Te Alabamos (Oh, Lord We Praise You)

A familiar contemporary praise and worship song with a great Caribbean/island beat. Wonderfully simple and straight forward…throw in a little Spanish for variety and modulate a few times and that’s all you need!

The Heritage Christian Center is a christian “mega-church” in Aurora Colorado. (Complete with valet parking and a Starbuck’s Cafe in the “lobby” of the church!)

 

  1. Te Alabamos (Oh, Lord We Praise You) Bishop Leonard and The Heritage Christian Center Mass Choir 4:33

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I’m Gonna To Praise Him

This song features Dr. Judith Christie Mcallister, often referred to as “The First Lady of Praise and Worship”. (As previously noted, Byron Cage is the “Prince of Praise”. I love these titles!!)  This is a classic Praise & Worship song that has a total of about 13 lyrics…”I’m gonna praise Him; Been so good to me, set my spirit free”, and Judith is a master at delivering these kinds of otherwise “simple” songs.

 

  1. I'm Gonna Praise Him West Angeles COGIC Mass Choir 4:15

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Born and raised in Harlem, her father was from Jamaica and her mother from Barbados. Her mother was a church pianist and taught her daughter to play at an early age. She attended Oral Roberts University and in 1992 she became Music Director at West Angeles Church of God in Christ (COGIC). In 2009, she was appointed the President of the International Music Department (COGIC), the position first established by the late, great, Mattie Moss Clark.

This particular song was recorded in 2007 with Judith fronting her West Angeles COGIC Mass Choir.

Praise Him

Sing along time! This is a cut from the old “Geoff Hicks Inspirational Choir”, (predecessor to Joyful Voices of Inspiration) back in the day…well, 2000.  It’s perfect for just singing a long and having a little “church” for fun.

 

  1. Praise Him Geoff Hicks Inspirational Choir 4:11

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For those of you who might not know the song, or who want a quick refresher, the lyrics are about as simple as they get:

CHORUS
Praise Him, Praise Him
Praise Him, Praise Him
My Lord, blessed savior    [you can substitute “Jesus” for “My Lord” if you care to]
He’s worthy to be praised
(2x)

REFRAIN
From the rising of the sun
Until the going down of the same
He’s worthy, Jesus is worthy
He’s worthy to be praised….
(Back to top)

CHORUS
Glory, Glory
Glory, Glory
My Lord, blessed savior
He’s worthy to be praised
(2x)

REFRAIN  (omitted from this cut, but normally part of the song)
God’s is our rock
Hope of salvation
A strong de-liverer
In Him will I always trust…

CHORUS
Praise Him, Praise Him
Praise Him, Praise Him
My Lord, blessed savior   
He’s worthy to be praised