What I'm Listening To...

Double Take Tuesday: True Victory

Jeffrey LaValley is probably best known for writing Revelation 19:1 (whose title is often mistaken for Hallelujah, Salvation, and Glory) recorded by New Jerusalem Baptist Church Choir and most recently by Stephen Hurd; however LaValley is another songwriter whose songs always minister to me. This week's double take features his song True Victory which is about Jesus returning for us and taking us to heaven.

True Victory first hit airwaves in 1980 when it was ministered by Keith Pringle and The Pentecostal Community Choir on their debut album, True Victory released under Savoy (the album also included their hit Call Him Up). The song starts out with this funky intro which leads into the verse. But the drive of the song is the vamp where the choir sings, "there's a special place prepared for me". The song overall was ahead of it's time in my opinion, because around this time the traditional choir type songs reigned, whereas this was more of a contemporary sounding song at that point in time.

Speaking of contemporary, what a nice surprise to hear Friendship Baptist Church Mass Choir's cover of the song on their 2005 release, Heaven In The Room
. From the start of the song you hear not only how it's updated a bit with the keyboard, organ,and the guitar, but it also has a slightly more up-tempo beat to it. I don't really have much more to say about their version because it's good, which is rare nowadays that you hear covers that are just as good as the original.

Let me know what you think of the song, which version you liked better, ect. in the comment section below the post. If you've got a request, let me know in the shoutbox to the right.

What's To Come This Week: Old School Friday feature

(here's a few hints: a popular youth choir song back in the 90's, a rearrangement of a hymn...for the answer stay tuned until Friday :-) )


To listen to the songs just click on the album covers. I also want to apologize, towards the end of Keith Pringle's version the record skipped slightly and I couldn't edit it out.

More to come...

Hello to everyone, I pray everyone is doing well. This is just an update as to what's to come very soon for the blog. As you all know I'm still trying to figure out what to post here, I really want this to be an outlet for various types of gospel music, the problem I'm facing is what to do. I've admired such pioneer site such as Gospelflava, Contempogospel, Ken's Gospel Crib, and Nuthinbutgospel, but when trying to find something that will set the blog apart, I can't come up with anything. Whether it's reviews, audio, video, sermons, ect., it's all been done before, so I'll try to do my best in bringing forth what I can.

For those who frequent here or just drop by from time-to-time, should know by now I love older gospel music, but again I don't won't to focus on just that. I've gotten some requests to feature new artists and albums, whether it's a review of a new release, single, or old album. I'm working on a review of some type to post so we'll see, there may be something in the works by Monday. Here's what I'm thinking, Fridays will by Old School Fridays featuring old school tracks (when I've tried this out on other boards, its' been shown as a favorite), have the double take series on Tuesdays, and possibly more to come for other days. I think doing this will give visitors or those who frequent here an expectation of what to expect instead of not knowing when the blog will be updated.

I'm taking requests of any kind, songs you haven't heard in a while that you want to hear, albums you want information on, whatever just let me know in the shoutbox to the right. I do want to thank to everyone for the love and support shown thus far, you just don't know how much that means to me.

Be blessed!

Double Take: Joy, Great Joy

When Alaska Mass Choir hit the scene in 2001, I was excited, mainly because they covered COGIC International Mass Choir's Right Now God which I hadn't heard in years. When I had the chance to purchase the album was I surprised that Dorinda Clark-Cole was nearly all over this album. There were alot of songs that stood out on the album, but the laid-back groove of Joy, Great Joy stuck out immediatley as an instant favorite. Written and also lead by Dorinda Clark-Cole, the choir along with Dorinda bring forth alot of energy to a song whose lyrics express being excited about the joy that Jesus has given to us.

That same energy can be found on the original recorded by Dr. Mattie Moss Clark on the album, Go Tell It: Live From San Francisco UNAC '90. Right away you can hear the difference between the two versions, the original starts off with a faster tempo as well as laced with the organ versus the remake where the keyboards and brass dominated the track. Not only that, but there's kind of give and take for a lack of words in both the original and rendition. In the original, you'll notice there's a verse whereas in the cover there isn't, and in the original doesn't have the vamp in which the rendition has.

Between the two, I prefer the original, but that's just me. Which one do you like an why, as always let me know what's on your mind by commenting in the comment section below...be blessed.


To listen to the songs mentioned, just click on the album cover.

Tye Tribbett & G.A. "Stand Out" Listening Party

Below are tracks to preview from Tye Tribbett & Greater Anointing's upcoming release, Standout that will hit stores May 6, 2008. I'm excited about the upcoming album, I've heard good reviews about it from those who attended the recording. So what are your thoughts about the tracks on this album, are you feeling the album as a whole or not; I would like to know what you think by commenting in the comment section below.

Don't forget to show your support by going out to purchase the album in stores or online. For further information visit Tye Tribbett & G.A.'s website or their MySpace page.

Thanks to Jeremy from Imeem for providing everyone with a sneak peak of the album, it's appreciated.

Old School Throwback: Mattie Moss Clark

Tried Him And I Know Him
Mattie Moss Clark & The Southern California Holy Gospel Music Workshop (1986)
(click on album to listen)

Looking back on songs the late Dr. Mattie Moss Clark sang, this has to be among my top five. I've been an unbeknownst fan of songs she's written or has had presented by other up and coming songwrtiters including her daughter, affectionately known as Twinkie. Why unbeknownst, because there were songs I remember hearing, learning, and singing that I grew to love, but until a several years ago didn't know were recorded by Mattie Moss Clark.

When I heard The Clark Sisters were going to release this song on their album, I was so excited (unfortunately I didn't have the chance to go their live recording). I was so disappointed after listening to their version. I was looking foward to hear all the sisters sing and just get down on this song whose words are so simple yet conveys much conviction, but that just didn't happen. I uploaded this song about a year ago online for those to listen to it before the album came out (being that the album is out-of-print, and many new found Clark Sister fans/supporters hadn't heard it), so I thought I'd share this with everyone again.

As you'll hear, the song starts out with a duet by Twinkie and Mattie Moss Clark, with the choir coming in at the chorus. There have been other songs where the chorus was the entire song but still sounded empty and just needed more "meat" to it to make it more filling to one's soul; however Tried Him And I Know Him pulled it off IMHO and still left me wanting more (and the song is over seven minutes long...lol ). Let me know what you think, if you agree, disagree in the comment section below...be blessed.

Double Take: Tell Jesus

I was talking with a good friend of mine and asking his opinion of more things that should be featured here. One suggestion of his I thought was a great idea and that's to showcase so-to-speak songs that the are widely known or made popular by other artists but were orginally recorded by another artists (hope that makes sense...lol). I've searched the web and have seen that there's a lot of listeners to gospel music, which is great, but when it comes to who may have recorded the song originally, many of those same people have no clue.

Does it really matter who recorded the song orginally, some may say, yes, while others may say, not really, but I think it's nice to know. Often times there can be a slight to almost dramatic difference in how the songs are presented that may affect how it speaks to a person, and other times, there's no difference whatsoever. Hopefully this feature (which I'm still looking for a name to call it because I'm not really feeling: Double Take, so hit me up with your suggestions) will help others become aware of these artists and more of their music if they haven't already.

This week I thought I'd start with Chicago's own Chicago Mass Choir and Malcolm Williams and The Voices of Great Faith. Both choirs recorded Brenda J. Moore's Tell Jesus (who is also well known for writing Perfect Praise, recorded by Walt Whitman and The Soul Children of Chicago) in their own unique way. First recorded on Chicago Mass Choir's 1990 debut album, Right Now, If You Believe, the song starts out with no musical introduction just the sopranos singing "Tell Jesus..." with all the other voices and instruments falling in afterwards. The song begins slowly and smoothly, then with each line of the verse, it's built it up until it seems it can't be contained anymore to just tell the listener to tell Jesus all about it. The drive of the song is the vamp and the end, especially when when the choir splits up pyramid style at the end singing, "tell"...whew! Other than the unmistakeably churchy sound that Chicago Mass Choir brings forth, one also can't help but to notice how the piano and organ, and at times the guitar, enhance the song.

Then there's Malcolm Williams and The Voices of Great Faith's version that was released on their 2002 release, Gotta Make It, with Malcolm Willams singing lead. The song starts out with a piano introduction, with the verse starting out much softer than Chicago Mass' version. Most notably you can hear that they took this song in a different direction. The song is much slower and simple with just the choir and the piano (and at times the guitar) at the beginning, which I think works because you're really focused in on the message of the song without the distraction of the loud music; it's a good mix. The organ then joins in at the vamp, and even still the song still contains that melllow sound to it. Overall you can hear the difference beteween the two, one's tradtional sounding while the other has a heavy contemporary sound to it.

Which one do I like, well, I'm blessed by both and therefore don't have a preference over either. What I would like to know are your thoughts about either version or just the song overall, let me know by writing to me in the comment link below. Be blessed and have a safe weekend!

You can listen to the songs by clicking on the cover of the albums. :-)

What's Up With All The Oldies???

I know some may be wondering, "what's up with all the throwbacks on here," if so the blog isn't going to focus just on gospel throwbacks. The reason alot of these are up because I've shared these on other forums and because I'm trying to get back in the hang of blogging, the html codes, ect., I'm placing these up here for the time being. A bright side to this, many people still haven't heard these tracks, so they're getting to hear and know of artists they may haven't heard in a while or just haven't heard of at all.

Just keep checking back often, I plan on having other material up soon. Things I'm thinking about are album/songs reviews (y'all who know my reviews from the old blog, know I can't do that so well, but I try...lol) and some more features. Like I've written before, I'm still open for suggestions, I've gotten a few so far, so if there's anymore, let me know.

Old School Throwback: Yolanda Adams

I guess I can go ahead and admit I'm a fan of Yolanda Adams' ministry...but not so much of her recent material overall. I don't know what it is, but personally her music/singing doesn't move me as much as it used to. Now Yolanda Adams back in the day was on fire...she brought something special to the track that just made it an instant classic and favorite. So I reached though my collection and pulled out a few oldies that haven't been heard in a while (which one also happens to be a favorite of mine) that feature Ms. Adams before she became so well known, hope that you all are blessed by them.

You Made The Difference
Southeast Inspirational Choir - 1987?
(click on album to listen)

Many remember Yolanda first making her mark on the radio singing lead on My Liberty which was recorded by Southeast Inspirational Choir (written by Carl Preacher) on their album, 10th Annual Praise And Rededication Concert, it was this song that made want to hear more from Yolanda even though I was just a little girl at the time (now I'm telling my age...lol). This song a perfect mix of that traditional gospel in the chorus, contemporary gospel (for that time) in the verse, and then the vamp had like a reggae theme to it. With all of that, there was Yolanda Adams' voice shining through.

Though I was too young to understand the lyrics of the song, now that I'm older, I can fully relate to it. There have so many times when I could in a different place than where I am now, but God brought me through so much that I can thank him for pulling me through it all and changing me for the better.

Edwin Hawkins Music and Arts Seminar Mass Choir
My Trust Lies In You - 1987
(click on album to listen)

I'm going to be straight up, I don't recall this song at all growing up for some reason, but after hearing so many people talk about this song, I had to listen to it. This song is from Edwin Hawkins' Music and Arts Seminar album recorded in Houston, TX. This V. Michael McKay (also a Houstonian :-) )song has Yolanda Adams and Lawrence Matthews (I think, gotta look at the album to double check) singing lead. I'm a big fan of V. Michael McKay's songs (don't be surprised if you see more on here..lol), so I shouldn't have been suprised that I would like this song. The lyrics, well what can I say, who else can you put your complete trust in but Jesus?

Have any comments, memories, anything just let me know by posting in the comment right below. God bless...

Old School Throwback: GMWA Youth Mass Choir

Praise Him -1990
(Click on album to listen)

Win The World For Christ was the debut album of GMWA Youth Mass Choir on the Sweet Rain label and is one of my favorite albums from them. As you all know GMWA (Gospel Music Workshop of America) has introduced us to so many great gospel talents that later became well known to the world. This album was no different, it introduced us to Kim Burrell singing lead on "Praise Him". My favorite part of the song is when it breaks to the vamp and the organ just rips it... a GMWA Youth Mass Choir classic.

Old School Throwback: Jeffrey White & National Mass Choir (feat. a young Hezekiah Walker)

He Did It All For Us - 1984
(Click on album to listen)

This is an old school track from 1984 by Jeffrey White & National Mass Choir out of Brooklyn, N.Y. "He Did It All For Us" can be found on their album God's Way Is A Way Out on the GTS record label. The song features a young Hezekiah Walker and Kevin Palmer singing lead (Hezekiah and his ex-wife Monique were apart of this choir before starting Love Fellowship Crusade Choir).