gospel news, notes & reviews

Gospel News, Notes & Reviews

Southern Gospel Music Association To Honor Dolly This Month


The Southern Gospel Music Association (SGMA) will award its 2010 James D. Vaughan "Impact Award" to Dolly Parton, according to Executive Director Charlie Waller. Waller said that the award is presented to those whose careers make a significant impact on the Southern gospel music industry and expand the scope of the music.

"Dolly Parton is the most honored female country performer of all time," Waller said. "Her efforts on behalf of our music at Dollywood have been instrumental in the establishment of our museum and hall of fame as well as providing a home for many of our artists to share their talents on the stages at Dollywood in front of millions of people."

He added that the Country Music Hall of Fame member has encouraged tremendous opportunities for the exposure of Southern gospel music on television, recordings, and in live performance venues throughout her career.

Parton plans to appear in person to accept the honor on Sept. 29, 2010 at the SGMA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Singing News Fan Awards. The event is being held at DP's Celebrity Theatre inside Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN.

Dolly Parton, 'He's Alive,' from the 1989 CMA Awards

Past recipients of the award include: Bill Gaither, James Blackwood, Les Beasley, Bob Brumley, Mosie Lister, Paul Heil, Eva Mae LeFevre, J.G. Whitfield, Lari Goss and Barbara Mandrell.

Tickets are $70, which includes admission to Dollywood, free parking, lunch, and reserved seating for the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony/Singing News Fan Awards. Dollywood will be open and all shows, rides and shops will be operating.

DP's Celebrity Theatre will host the annual celebration of inductees to the Hall of Fame at 3 p.m. honoring, "Little" Jan Buckner-Goff, Danny Gaither, Sam Goodman, Bill Hefner, Connie Hopper and Arthur Smith. Performers scheduled to appear are Booth Brothers, Brian Free & Assurance, Greater Vision, Inspirations, Karen Peck & New River, Kingdom Heirs, Legacy Five, Perrys, Triumphant Quartet, and the Whisnants.

Groups performing in venues throughout the park during the day include: Kingdom Heirs, Florida Boys, Booth Brothers, Triumphant Quartet, Dove Brothers Quartet, Chuck Wagon Gang, Diplomats, Southern Sound Quartet, Tribute Quartet and the LeFevre Quartet. SGMA Hall of Fame members planning to attend include Bill and Gloria Gaither, Les Beasley, Jerry Goff, Jack Pittman, Bill Shaw, Eddie Wallace, Charlie Waller, Don Light, Lou Hildreth, Derrell Stewart, "Lady" Mull and Ed Hill. Other guests include Guy Penrod, Jason Crabb, Ronnie Hinson, Gerald Crabb and "Little" Willie Wynn.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Southern Gospel Music Association. The Southern Gospel Music Association is a non-profit organization that maintains the Southern Gospel Museum and Hall of Fame, the only facility honoring this genre of music, for the historic preservation of the accomplishments of the music and its people. Museum hours match those of Dollywood. Donations are tax-deductible. Individuals and businesses may donate to assist with honoring inductees with special bronze plaques that are displayed in the Hall of Fame. For more information about the museum or its inductees, visit http://www.sgma.org.

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Bob Marovich's Gospel Picks

debbie orange singsDebbie Orange
Debbie Orange Sings Church Live
Safety Zone Publishing Co. 2010

Debbie Orange Sings Church Live is a whole lotta scrumptious traditional, Chicago-style singing and musicianship.

Her bluesy sound tempered slightly with a dash of contemporary styling thrown in for good measure, Orange is the penultimate church mother, testifying through song in front of a congregation, her energy barely contained within the church's four walls.

Orange recorded her debut album at St. John Missionary Baptist Church, where she is a member. On the album, she delivers new arrangements of classics and traditional-sounding songs in a deep, commanding evangelist's growl. Every note Orange sings pays homage to two of her inspirations, Albertina Walker and Shirley Caesar. For example, on the opening track, "God's Got Angels," Orange bends and worries notes in an elongated version of the Angelic Gospel Singers' standard "Angels Watching Over Me." "Safety Zone" is a fiery duet with Pastor Wendell Lowe on the classic quartet selection, "Standing in the Safety Zone."

The St. John church choir supports the singer so ably and prominently throughout the project that the cover could almost have read Debbie Orange and the St. John Missionary Baptist Church Choir. Thanks be to the choir directors, Patricia Hill, Nathaniel Chavis III and Chedwick Allen Cathey, the latter being the longstanding maestro of the world-famous Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer Warriors. In fact, when Orange and the choir perform the church-wrecking "He Worked It Out" and awkwardly-titled but steaming "Congregational Medley Compilation," you can hear Cathey's Cosmopolitan influence on the arrangements as plain as day, with frenetic triplets on piano punctuating the performances for propulsive impact.

Those two tracks are the album's standouts, although "God Is Good" is a mid-tempo pew rouser for which Chicago church choirs are so well known.  Another traditional piece is "Worthy of Thee," written by the late Aubrey Pettis, talented singer and composer for the Helen Robinson Youth Chorus.

Minster Sherwin (Butch) Yancy of the famed Yancy Family of singers and musicians (Marvin, Kevin) deserves credit for a marvelous production. Recommended.

gPod Picks: "He Worked It Out," "Congregational Medley Compilation."

Debbie Orange Sings Church Live is available at Digstation

mighty sincere voicesMighty Sincere Voices
Sing, Sing in Glory
OverBoard Records 2009

The Mighty Sincere Voices possess that soulful, languorous style of quartet singing that is as distinctly southern as the bluebonnet.

On their full-length project, Sing, Sing in Glory, the quartet from Navasota, Texas, made up mostly of men from the Creeks Family, delivers a handful of selections clearly developed during gospel programs where they can extend a song for maximum audience impact, or as long as time allows. "God Will Take Care" and "Lord, You Been Good" are two fine examples of the Mighty Sincere Voices eking every ounce of soulfulness out of their performance.

A couple of the songs on Sing, Sing in Glory riff a little on the classics. "God Specializes," with its uniquely quartet arrangement, borrows from the popular Roberta Martin title. Memories of 1920s evangelist Washington Phillips working for the Lord and singing, "I sure do love my job" are conjured up on "Jesus Got Me Hired," when the quartet answers lead singer Terrence Creeks that they "so do like my job."

The group's sweet spot is the drive-tempo song, especially the title track, which has a hint of old-style quartet technique in the locomotive rhythm of its lyrics. "God's Got a Blessing" and "Jesus Got Me Hired" benefit from the group's up-tempo treatment and bumping backbeat. These are the types of arrangements that quartets use to finish their programs so the energy and spirit in the room are at their peak as they step down from the stage, waving handkerchiefs in gratitude to God and the appreciative audience.

Sing, Sing in Glory is nicely produced by Willie Elvin and Tyrone Creeks.  They keep the voices front and center so the quartet's lyrical lessons, testimonies and reflections are clear and declarative.  Still, be sure to check out Tyrone Creeks' awesome seething Hendrix-inspired lead guitar licks.

gPod Picks: "Sing, Sing in Glory," "God's Got a Blessing."

bob marovichBob Marovich's reviews are reprinted with permission from Mr. Marovich's Black Gospel Blog, "The definitive blog on black gospel music of yesterday, today and tomorrow." For the most up to date news from the world of Black Gospel, check out Bob's latest news and reviews at http://www.theblackgospelblog.com/.



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