Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sister Pope and the Pearly Gates - Jesus Tore My Heart To Pieces (Eddo 166)



Jesus Tore My Heart To Pieces

THIS JUST IN:
Sister Lucille Pope & The Pearly Gates will be honored during the Twentieth Anniversary Celebration of the GMWA Quartet Division 'Salute to The Pioneers' at their annual convention, held this year in Atlanta, Georgia. It's great to see Sister Lucille, who is still out there performing, get some home-town kudos!
You Go, Sister!

6PM, WEDNESDAY, JULY 30, 2014
HYATT REGENCY HOTEL
265 PEACHTREE ST NE
ATLANTA,GA 30303

For tickets and information, please contact GOSPEL MUSIC WORKSHOP AMERICA at 919-274-6340 or visit their website at gmwanational.net.

The newly unearthed (and just awesome) promo photo above was taken back in the early sixties, when Sister Pope and The Gates were recording for the local eddo label.

According to our friends at 45cat, The Gates had the only three releases on eddo, which was owned by a gentleman named Ed Sheahan. Shane (as he phonetically renamed himself) was a dee-jay on WRIX radio in Griffin, GA, which is Sister Lucille's home town. Ed has stayed 'in the business', and is now president and CEO of Shane Media Services out in Texas. Although Sister Lucille wrote today's selection, another name that kind of jumps out at you on the label is that of the publisher - 'Lowery Music', owned, I'm sure, by Atlanta music impresario Bill Lowery. It's all good!

All of the eddo 45s were picked up for distribution by other labels, including this one which was also released as Checker 5004 in 1964. It is, in my opinion, the best of the bunch. Check out the Gates, man! When Sister Pope starts preaching there towards the end, you just know the Holy Ghost is in the house!

Take a look at this late eighties performance from Sister & the Gates:



Amen! This wonderful woman has been putting the sunshine in all of our lives now for over sixty years. May God Bless and keep her, Brother Lewis, and all Pearly Gates past and present.

God is always on time!

1/9/14:
I am pleased to announce that our good friend Sister Lucille Pope-Alexander and her Pearly Gates have been chosen to be the 2014 inductees to the American Gospel Quartet Convention Hall of Fame. As I'm sure you know by now, we believe Sister Lucille represents all that is right and real in Gospel Music, and it does our heart good to see that she is finally getting some of the recognition she deserves!

The induction ceremony will be held at:

6PM on FRIDAY, JANUARY 24, 2014
GREATER ST. JOHN BAPTIST CHURCH
2401 CARLOS AVENUE SW
BIRMINGHAM, AL 35211

For tickets and information, please contact the Convention at 205-798-4093 or visit their website at agqconvention.ning.com.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Pilgrim Travelers - I'll Be Home For Christmas (Specialty 934)



I'll Be Home For Christmas



Originally released by Specialty on 78 in 1952, I picked up this red vinyl Holiday re-issue sometime in the eighties, and it's been heavy in the Christmas rotation ever since. I think it's the most hauntingly beautiful rendition of this old chestnut that I've ever heard. These are The Travelers in their pre-Lou Rawls period, led by Keith Barber and Kylo Turner.

"If I don't see you in person..." May God bless you and your family this Christmas.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sister Lucille Pope- 99 1/2 Won't Do (Nashboro 1008)



99 1/2 Won't Do



This just in from Brother Lewis Alexander - There will be a tribute to our friend, the Great Lady of Georgia Gospel, Sister Lucille Pope-Alexander, on Sunday, November 4th at 4pm.

The joyous celebration will be held at Breakthrough Ministries, 2921 North Expressway, Griffin, GA, under the direction of C & S Sounds. The event will be hosted by Sandi Collins and Lady Voncile Belcher. The program will feature Praise & Worship by Pastor A. Williams and United In Faith, the Saint Luke Male Chorus and Pastor Catherine Williams, along with special tributes by The Old Mount Calvary Combined Choir, The Sons of Zion and The Traveling Aires.

Tickets are just $15, and can be purchased at the door. For more information, please contact C & S Sounds at 770-468-5694, or email them at justrtmusic@gmail.com.

I think you all know how I feel about Sister Lucille, and one listen to this positively incendiary 45 we have here today should tell you why. As The Pearly Gates just bring it on home behind her, Sister's impassioned vocals take hold and never let go. Step aside, Wicked Pickett! If there is one person on the face of this earth that has made it all the way to that mythic 100%, I believe it has to be Sister Lucille Pope!

May God Bless and keep you, Sister, We Love You!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Blind Boys of Alabama featuring Solomon Burke - I Pray On Christmas (from Go Tell it On The Mountain)


I Pray On Christmas

Here's one that our hero Solomon Burke cut with The Blind Boys of Alabama back in 2004 for their Grammy Award winning Christmas album Go Tell It On The Mountain. Written by Harry Connick, Jr, I think Solomon is speaking for all of us when he proclaims:

"I Pray On Christmas,
That the Lord Will See Me Through.
I Pray On Christmas,
He'll Show Me What To Do...

"I Pray On Christmas,
That the Sick Will Soon Be Strong.
I Pray On Christmas,
That the Lord Will Hear My Song."


Amen.

Merry Christmas To You!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Concert of Hope for Michael Hubbard

Our friends Jus B'Cuz will be holding a benefit concert for Michael Hubbard, the 14 year old Riverhead High School student who was horribly burned in a tragic accident last June.

The concert will be held at 4pm on Saturday, October 29th at the historic Jamesport Meeting House, 1590 Main Road, Jamesport, NY.

Tickets are $15, and can be purchased in advance by calling the numbers listed below:

516.885.8020
516.885.8287
631.298.7232

This concert is sure to sell out, so be sure to get your tickets soon.

We are all in this thing together... thank you!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Jackson Southernaires - Travel On


Travel On

Why Malaco Matters



On Friday, April 15th, Malaco Records' historic studio and headquarters at 3023 West Northside Drive in Jackson, Mississippi was destroyed by an EF2 Tornado. Although I've written about the company a few times in the past, I've been concerned, for the most part, with the essential role they played in keeping Southern Soul music alive during the seventies and eighties. They did something else, however, that was equally important, and I'd like to try and focus on that for a moment here.

In 1975, before Dorothy Moore's mega-hit recording of Misty Blue picked them up out of almost certain bankruptcy, Malaco founders Tommy Couch and Wolf Stephenson had the foresight and courage to read the writing on the wall and go where authentic Southern Black music was headed - back where it came from in the first place; the Church.

They made a decision to open up their own Gospel division, and brought in local legends The Jackson Southernaires to help them with the project. The group was unhappy with the fact that their Peacock contract had been sold to corporate giant ABC by Don Robey a couple of years before, and were looking to make a change. Down Home, the groundbreaking album they would record as the inaugural Malaco Gospel release in 1975, is simply fantastic, as indicated by this hauntingly deep cut we have here today. Just great stuff.

The Southernaires, who had been around since 1940, were being led at the time by the energetic Franklin Delano Williams. Couch and Stephenson were smart enough to appreciate what they had, and made Williams their 'Director of Gospel Operations'. In addition to The Southernaires' own string of nineteen top ten Gospel albums that were to follow, Williams, as A&R man and producer, would bring legends like The Soul Stirrers and The Angelic Gospel Singers into the Malaco family as well. It was during his watch that Malaco would acquire the Savoy label in 1986, making it the largest Gospel recording company in the world.

Following in the Savoy tradition, Frank Williams would go on to form The Mississippi Mass Choir in 1988. The live album they recorded as their initial Malaco release would go straight to number one, as did the follow-up God Gets The Glory. After William's unexpected death in March of 1993, the Choir's It Remains To Be Seen would stay at the top of the Gospel chart for a full year. Although a great loss to the company, Malaco's Gospel division soldiered on without him, and remains to this day the beating heart of Gospel Music in this country.


When I knocked on the door at Malaco almost five years ago, it was Jerry Masters who let me in, and allowed me to sit with him and Darrell Luster in the control room as they mixed down Apart From The Vine, a track from the soon to be released Sensational Nightingales album, The Gales. At the time, I don't think I fully appreciated how much Gospel Music had grown to become the bread & butter of the company, and how much love and attention they took in keeping things real.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Malaco and its employees for all the years of hard work and dedication to great American music, and offer to help in any way I can in their efforts to rebuild.

You guys rock.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Gospel Legacy of Bishop Solomon Burke