Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sister Lucille Pope and the Pearly Gates - Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

As you may know, I am a big fan of Sister Lucille Pope.

Through the efforts of my friend Pam Willis-Hovey, I was able to speak with Sister Pope on the telephone not too long ago. Truly a remarkable woman, we spoke for the better part of an hour. She and her Pearly Gates are still out there performing, staying pretty close to their home base near Atlanta nowadays. Although many of the original 'Gates' have passed on, it's still a family operation, led by her husband of 33 years, Brother Lewis Alexander and now including her grandson, Tuqwan Jordan. Sister Lucille told me that she's been called 'the best kept secret in Gospel Music'.

I'd like to change that.

I found today's great selection on a Nashboro cassette I picked up recently. If you listen closely, you can hear the pops and ticks of the vinyl source it was taken from. Although it says on the tape that all the songs were produced by Shannon Williams, I believe it comes from her pre-Nashville days, when she recorded for Ed Sheahan's Eddo label in the early sixties. In any event, it's just great. I love the way Sister Lucille just kind of tells the story of Christmas over the lone guitar and harmony chorus of the Gates.

"Jesus is real," Sister Pope told me. Let's wish him a Happy Birthday.

"Merry, Merry Christmas to you..."

________________________________________________________ 1/17/08

This just in:

Sister Lucille Pope called me the other night to tell me about her big annual birthday celebration, going on this weekend just outside of Atlanta. She sent along the flyer above, and I'd like to do my part to try and spread the word.

The Celebration will be held this Sunday, January 20th at 5pm at:

The Paradise Church of God in Christ
4234 Hendrix Drive
Forest Park, GA 30297

The program will include not only Sister Pope and the Pearly Gates, but The Mighty Sons of Zion, The Young Believers of Christ, Sister Sarah McKinnie and many more. If you are anywhere near the Atlanta area, you owe it to yourself to go hear this great woman of God lift her voice in praise!

Best kept secret no more!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a voice!!!!
Merry Christmas was released as Nashboro 1016 in 1975. Flip side: Silent Night.

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back in the early 1960s, Sister Pope use to come to radio station WRIX in Griffin, Georgia every Sunday morning to do a radio show. I remember when they recorded Almighty God and put it out on a 45. On Sunday mornings the old floor of that radio station would be moving to the spirit of the music.

I was a 16 year old kid back then but I've been a Sister Pope fan ever since. Sister Pope probably doesn't remember me but I was there almost every Sunday morning at the station when they were on the air.

1:10 PM  

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