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This engaging documentary uses a trove of candid oral history interviews, archival photos, broadcast and music recordings to paint a portrait of Rev. Clay Evans, an important leader in the Civil Rights movement, award-winning Gospel Music artist, and a trailblazer in broadcast ministry.
The Story of Gospel Music provides a thorough overview of the history and performers of gospel vintage recordings. Viewers feast their eyes and ears on some of the most soulful concert footage ever recorded. The biggest names in spiritual music, including Aretha Franklin, Mahalia Jackson, The Edwin Hawkins Singers, The Dixie Hummingbirds, The Reverend Thomas Dorsey, and The Fisk Jubilee Singers perform. The program was originally broadcast on PBS's Great Performances series.
The Reverend Dr. James Edward Cleveland (December 5, 1931 – February 9, 1991)
was a gospel singer, musician, and composer. Known as the King of Gospel music, Cleveland was a driving force behind the creation of the modern gospel sound by incorporating traditional black gospel, modern soul, pop, and jazz in arrangements for mass choirs. Throughout his career, Cleveland appeared on hundreds of recordings and earned 4 Grammy Awards. 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.
Sister Inez Andrews born Inez McConico (April 14, 1929 – December 19, 2012)
was an American gospel singer, songwriter and recording artist. Her soaring, wide-ranging voice — from contralto croon to soul-wrenching wail — made her a pillar of gospel music. She sang lead on The Caravans first breakthrough hit, "Mary Don't You Weep", and also had hits as a solo artist with crossover recordings such as "Lord Don't Move The Mountain".
(January 23, 1929 -January 3, 1995 in )
was an American gospel vocalist, and composer. She was a member of The Caravans, the most popular touring gospel group from the late 1950s to the mid-1960s. She later launched a successful solo career, recording over 16 albums in Los Angeles for Audio Arts Inc. Along the way, George wrote over a hundred songs, and was twice nominated for a Grammy in 1969 & 1979, for Best Soul Gospel Performance. In 2017, she was inducted into the
Memphis Music Hall of Fame.
(June 4, 1943 - July 31, 2014)
was known for his work at radio station WTLC, for his gospel recordings and for founding the StarQuest talent competition
His gospel recording label, Aleho, issued dozens of albums between 1992 and 2003, and he led the Indianapolis Mass Choir in the 1980s. At the time of his death, Hobbs served as vice-chairman of the Gospel Music Workshop of America.
(July 1, 1942 – January 8, 2015)
was an American gospel singer, songwriter, arranger, record producer and pastor. Referred to as "the father of modern gospel music" by contemporary Christian and gospel music professionals, Crouch was known for his compositions "The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power", "My Tribute (To God Be the Glory)" and "Soon and Very Soon"
(July 18, 1941 – July 28, 1988) was an American gospel musician and former pastor, organist, and accompanist of St. James Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan. Rev. Nicks released his first musical project in 1985, Come Unto Jesus with Sound of Gospel. He would release some albums while he was still alive, and others posthumously .
(August 29, 1929 – October 8, 2010) was an American gospel singer, songwriter, actress, and humanitarian. She was popularly referred to as the "Queen of Gospel Music". In the early 1950s Walker founded her own Gospel music group The Caravans. Her discovery of artists resulted in the nickname "Star Maker"
(born December 31, 1949), is an American gospel musician. He started his music career, in 1984, with the release of, I Still Love the Name Jesus . He went to the University of Akron, who while there at the college Mattie Moss Clark, trained him how to hone his craft, and presented him at Midnight Musicals put on by The Church of God in Christ.
(March 26, 1925 – September 22, 1994)
was an American gospel choir director and the mother of The Clark Sisters, a world-renowned gospel vocal group. Clark is credited for creating the three-part harmony (separating vocal parts into soprano, alto and tenor), a technique which is prevalent among gospel choirs today.
(August 19, 1943 – January 15, 2018)
was an American gospel musician, pianist, choir master, composer, and arranger. He was one of the originators of the urban contemporary gospel sound. He (as leader of the Edwin Hawkins Singers) was probably best known for his arrangement of "Oh Happy Day" (1968–69), which was included on the "Songs of the Century" list.
(October 30, 1955 – March 15, 2016)
was an American Christian singer. At 14, Coley was a member of the ensemble "Helen Stephens and the Voices of Christ". He began performing with Edwin Hawkins in the Edwin Hawkins Singers and then worked with James Cleveland, Tramaine Hawkins, Sylvester, Pete Escovedo and others. Albums of his include Just Daryl, He's Right On Time: Live From Los Angeles, When The Music Stops and others.
(born March 25, 1942) is an American singer and songwriter. Franklin began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was minister. In 1960, at the age of 18, she embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records
(born September 18, 1939) is an American Gospel music singer and television host from Nashville, Tennessee and the host and executive producer of several cable television's gospel music programs including the former Bobby Jones Gospel. Jones is referred as the Ed Sullivan of gospel music. He has assisted numerous gospel stars in propelling their talents of numerous gospel stars and has a lot of trophies racked up at his Nashville home for his contributions to music. Bobby Jones Gospel was canceled and went off the air in 2015.
Willie Neal Johnson and the Gospel Keynotes were long-time friends, Ralph McGee, Rev. J. D. Talley, Charles Bailey, John Jackson, Lonzo Jackson, and Archie B. McGee. After rising to popularity across the Southwest the group signed to Nashboro Records where they scored a major hit with Show Me the Way. They received a Grammy nomination in 1980 for Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now. The Gospel Keynotes went on to record over 20 LPs for Nashboro.
was an American Baptist minister and civil rights activist. Known as the man with the "Million-Dollar Voice", Franklin served as the pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, from 1946 until his retirment in 1979. Franklin was also the father of American singer–songwriter Aretha Franklin.
Commissioned is an American, urban contemporary gospel group. The group recorded twelve albums over a period of seventeen years. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, the six original members were Fred Hammond, Mitchell Jones, Keith Staten, Karl Reid, Michael Brooks, and Michael Williams.
(born May 29, 1935)
is an American gospel singer and songwriter. She began touring with her family at the age of eight, and in 1956, began singing with Mahalia Jackson. In the early 1960s she was a member of The Caravans, and in 1964, she embarked on a solo career, recording her first album, Johnny and Jesus. Her 1991 album Live with the Northern California GMWA Mass Choir reached the Number 1 position on Billboard′s Top Forty.
The Mighty Clouds of Joy was formed in 1961 and started out in a tradition-based style. Based in Los Angeles, California, the original group members include Joe Ligon (d. 2016), Johnny Martin (d. 1987), Ermant Franklin Jr., Artis Turnbough (d. 1999), Elmo Franklin (d. 2008), Richard Wallace, Leon Polk and David Walker.