Walk Around Heaven

I probably don’t post enough songs by male quartets.  If you don’t know about The Mighty Clouds of Joy, you should.  They are one of the venerable male quartets and they’ve cranked out a LOT of records…over 30 in their time. The Mighty Clouds of Joy formed in Los Angeles in 1961 and started out in a tradition-based style. Eventually they added soul, R&B, and rock into their musical mix without diluting the essential religious essence of their material. Thegroup flourished throughout the rest of the 20th century, scoring numerous Grammy Awards and nominations, as well as several hit albums along the way.

 

  1. Walk Around Heaven All Day Mighty Clouds of Joy 3:55

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Oh To Be Kept By Jesus

The Shirley Wahls Singers distinguish themselves by their close and magnificent harmonies and their songs are arranged with great art and refinement. All singers are talented soloists, who express themselves in a variety of styles, and possess a wide array of beautiful and contrasting voices.

Shirley Wahls comes from a rich family background of musicians, singers. By the age of three she was already singing in children’s choirs and Sunday school shows.

At the age of thirteen, Shirley made her first professional tour with her uncle Aaron “T-Bone” Walker as an opening act. After attending Toogaloo College, and the American Conservatory of Music, she joined and performed with such famous gospel groups as the Argo Singers, the The Ward Singers, and the Dorothy Norwood Singers.

 

 

  1. Oh To Be Kept By Jesus The Shirley Wahls Singers 3:42

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In the ’60’s she decided to form her own group, the Shirley Wahls Singers, and was able to attract some of the best living Chicago singers: Tecora Rogers and Ann Bridges, two renowned soloists, and Delores Washington, originally with the Caravans.

 

He Delivered Me

Rance Allen probably has the most unique voice in gospel.  Well…after the late, great James Moore maybe.  Rance had slipped into virtual obscurity when Kirk Frankin sought him out to record a version of “Something About The Name Jesus“.  Allen’s performance on the song introduced his unique style to a whole new generation and his career re-bloomed.

 

 

  1. He Delivered Me The Rance Allen Group 5:30

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Jesus On The Mainline (quartet style)

  1. Jesus On The Mainline Willie Neal Johnson & The New Gospel Keynotes 16:25

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So, Willie Neal Johnson and The Gospel Keynotes are one of the better know names when it comes to the gospel quartets.  Prior to the 1960’s when Jame’s Cleveland changed the face of gospel with large mass choirs and songs that contemporized gospel, gospel was dominated by solo artists, small women’s groups (like the Davis Sisters) and men’s groups, primarily quartets.

The “quartet sound” has never been my cup of tea, mostly because I find it remarkably unexciting and even more that that, just plain BORING.  It has a way of sort of going on and on and on with the band and the singers repeating simple phrases ad infinitum/ ad nauseum.

IF you think I’m being a bit harsh here, make your own determination.  Here is a quartet version of the great song “Jesus on the Mainline”; a 16 MINUTES worth.  Whadda you think??  Let me know…leave a comment.

A Great Day Coming

  1. A Great Day Coming Bill Moss & the Celestials 3:39

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Bill Moss was born in 1931 in Selma, Alabama and sang in a choir led by his sister, the late, great, Dr. Mattie Moss Clark.

He moved to Detroit, Michigan and formed The Celestials with his wife Essie Moss. Bill Moss & the Celestials performed with acts such as The Staple Singers and Mighty Clouds of Joy at venues such as the Apollo Theater in Harlem. The Celestials were one of the first gospel groups to use electric instruments. He was inducted into the International Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2004.

Bill Moss’ two sons are currently involved in Gospel music: Bill Moss Jr. and James (performs as J. Moss). His sister, Mattie Moss Clark, and nieces, The Clark Sisters, are famous gospel music singers as well as anyone who follows this blog will know.

[From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Moss_(musician) ]

 

I Made It

This song grew on me…I wasn’t sure I liked it at first, but the more listened, the more I liked it. Performed by The Canton Spirituals from Canton Mississippi, the song features a cameo from Ms. Albertina Walker, “The Queen of Gospel Music”. (Albertina died in 2010 at age 79). The Canton Spirituals sing in a slightly updated version of the old quartet style that just repeats and repeats and repeats the same phrase over and over, in this case, “I made it”.

 

  1. I Made It Canton Spirituals 5:24

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