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beyond the blue


Gospel News & Notes


james phelps

Clefs of Calvary Founder James Phelps Dead at 78

Gospel and R&B singer James Phelps, who performed with soul greats including Lou Rawls and Sam Cooke, died in Los Angeles on October 26 from complications of diabetes. He was 78.

Elder Lee M. Harris, who co-wrote an autobiography of Phelps, said the singer died at a Los Angeles hospital, apparently from complications of diabetes.

Clefs of Calvary, 'Troubles of This World,' from the 1962 album, Baptized. James Phelps, lead vocal.

Phelps was born in Shreveport, La. In his late teens he moved to Chicago, where he performed with several gospel groups including the Gospel Songbirds, the Holy Wonders and the Soul Stirrers. It was with the Holy Wonders that Phelps performed with Rawls. He met Cooke while a member of the Soul Stirrers.

Phelps was a founder of the group Clefs of Calvary and had a hit single "Love is a Five-Letter Word" in 1965 with Chess Records.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

James Phelps's solo hit, 'Love Is a Five-Letter Word,' released by Chess Records, 1965


Trin-i-tee 5:7 Loses Adrian Anderson, Moves On As Duo

Trin-i-tee 5:7 (from left): Chanelle Haynes, Angel Taylor, Adrian Anderson. Ms. Anderson is leaving the group to pursue other business interests.

Music World Gospel recording artists Trin-i-tee 5:7 (aka T57), the first Gospel girl group to be awarded a Gold album (for 1999's Spiritual Love) and widely touted as "the En Vogue of Gospel music," is losing Adrian Anderson and will continue as a duo with original members Chanelle Haynes and Angel Taylor. Anderson is leaving to devote her energies to her Halo Tu beauty company.

New Orleans natives Haynes and Taylor have performed together since their days as high school classmates and have been best friends for nearly 20 years. As part of a group, they have professionally recorded together for 14 years.

"The evolution of Trin-i-tee 5:7 has come with many beautiful seasons, and great accomplishments," said Taylor and Haynes. "We've been tremendously blessed to have been given the opportunity to inspire so many through our music. A new season has come upon us, and we realize by embracing this change, the best is yet to come. Now as a duo we look forward to sharing our hearts and souls with you through our music on our newest project, A New Day."

The duo will release their forthcoming project, A New Day, in the first quarter of 2011.

Adrian Anderson officially joined Trin-i-tee 5:7 ten years ago in 2000, replacing former group member Terry Brown. "The season of transition has presented itself," said Anderson. "I move forward to a new season, launching my beauty company, 'Halo Tu' Beauty,' which celebrates kindness, love and glamour, and working corporately in the entertainment/music industry. To all of our fans, I love you and will continue to share my artistry and creativity in various ways. I partner with you in my new journey."


Heavens Highway Announces Addition of Holly Nash to Group

holly nashMississippi southern gospel powerhouse Heavens Highway has added Holly Nash to its lineup.

"We are so excited about Holly singing with us now," said the group's David Timms. "She's got an incredible voice, and the desire for ministry in her life is great. We know God has big plans for this ministry, and we believe Holly is the right person for the job!”

For her part, Nash is thrilled with the new challenge ahead of her. "All I have ever wanted to do is sing. Nothing else seems to matter at that moment other than me singing to my Father. It's an intimate moment for me and a place where no one else can go except for me. What I experience will never be obtained by someone else. That's how awesome God is."

Nash, who was raised in Oklahoma, was inspired by a multitude of artists , including CeCe Winans, Cindy Morgan, The Isaacs, Lanny Wolfe, Michael English, The Gaithers, and many more. Her husband, Jonathan, has been involved in music ministry as well and is currently serving in the United States Navy. The couple is expecting their second child in May 2011.

Heavens Highway has been making its mark at Southern Gospel radio. Fresh on the heels of scoring their first Singing News and Top 40 hits ("Longing to Go" and "When God Makes a Promise"), the group recently released its new single, "Set Me Free From Me."

For more information on Heavens Highway, visit the group's website. You can also visit the band on MySpace.


Brent Mitchell Takes Tenor Post In Gold City

Gold City has announced that Brent Mitchell has joined the quartet as tenor vocalist, filling the vacancy created by the departure of Josh Cobb.

"No one dislikes change more than I do," says Gold City's Daniel Riley. "But changes do happen. Often times, people don't always understand the reason behind the changes—we don't always understand it ourselves, as it can come quickly for any of a huge number of reasons.

"Josh Cobb is an incredibly talented person and we've enjoyed our time with him. We wish him the very best in his future endeavors.

"Brent will officially start his role with Gold City November 11," continues Riley. "Many Southern Gospel fans will remember Brent from his tenure with Mercy's Mark. He possesses a very distinct tenor voice, and we're very excited to welcome him to our group."

'Somebody Touched Me,' performed by Brent Mitchell, Josh Feemster, Craig West and Chris West

Mitchell, his wife, Heather, and their seven-year old daughter, Ivy, live in Moulton, AL, and he is looking forward to joining the legendary quartet. "I grew up listening to this music," says Brent. "It has always been a dream of mine to be part of a legacy like Gold City. I am excited to have an opportunity once again to sing the best music in the world."

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