Celebration by Albertina Walker

In the early 1950s, Walker founded her own Gospel music group The Caravans, enlisting fellow singers from The Robert Anderson Singers. The Caravans’ membership has included: James Cleveland, Bessie Griffin, Shirley Caesar, Dorothy Norwood, Inez Andrews, Loleatta Holloway, John McNeil, Cassietta George, and Delores Washington. Her discovery of these artists resulted in the nickname “Star Maker”. Walker retired The Caravans in the late 1960s, performing as a solo artist.

Take Me Back by Andrae Crouch

Andraé Edward Crouch was an American gospel singer, songwriter, arranger, record producer and, pastor. Referred to as “the father of modern gospel music” by contemporary Christian and gospel music professionals, Crouch was known for his compositions “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power”, “My Tribute (To God Be the Glory)” and “Soon and Very Soon”

Amazing Grace by Aretha Franklin

Aretha Louise Franklin was an American singer, songwriter, actress, pianist, and civil rights, activist. Franklin began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where her father C. L. Franklin was a minister. At the age of 18, she embarked on a secular-music career as a recording artist for Columbia Records. While Franklin’s career did not immediately flourish, she found acclaim and commercial success after signing with Atlantic Records in 1966. Hit songs such as “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)”, “Respect”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, “Chain of Fools”, “Think”, and “I Say a Little Prayer” propelled her past her musical peers. By the end of the 1960s, Aretha Franklin had come to be known as the “Queen of Soul”.

The Very Greatest by Clara Ward

Clara Mae Ward was an American gospel artist who achieved great artistic and commercial success during the 1940s and 1950s, as leader of The Famous Ward Singers. A gifted singer and arranger, Ward adopted the lead-switching style, previously used primarily by male gospel quartets, creating opportunities for spontaneous improvisation and vamping by each member of the group, while giving virtuoso singers such as Marion Williams the opportunity to perform the lead vocal in songs such as “Surely, God Is Able” (among the first million-selling gospel hits), “How I Got Over” and “Packin’ Up”.

I Beat the Devil by Clarence Fountain

Originally a member of the popular gospel group – The Blind Boys of Alabama, Clarence Fountain too out time every once in a while to release his singles. The group was founded in 1939 in Talladega, Alabama and has featured a changing roster of musicians over its history, the majority of whom are or were visually impaired.

I’ll Fly Away by Harmonizing four

The Harmonizing Four was an American black gospel quartet organized in 1927 and reached peak popularity during the decades immediately following World War II.

Sources disagree as to the original members when the group was established in 1927 to sing for school functions at Richmond, Virginia’s Dunbar Elementary School. Some sources include Thomas Johnson and Levi Hansly as founding members.

Headline News by Inez Andrews

Sister Inez Andrews born Inez McConico and better known as Inez Andrews was an American gospel singer, songwriter, and recording artist.Her soaring, wide-ranging voice — from contralto croon to soul-wrenching wail — made her a pillar of gospel music. The Chicago Tribune stated that “Andrews’ throaty contralto made her low notes thunder, while the enormous range of her instrument enabled her to reach stratospheric pitches without falsetto” and that “her dramatic delivery made her a charismatic presence in the church and on stage.

This Too Shall Pass by Marion Williams

In 1946, while visiting a friend in Philadelphia, Williams happened to sing before an audience that included Clara and Gertrude Ward. They recognized her talent and offered her a job. A year later, she became part of the Famous Ward Singers. Her growling, hands-on-the-hips vocal style made her one of the group’s undisputed stars.

It’s Going To Rain Again by Sensational Nightingales

The Sensational Nightingales are a traditional black gospel quartet that reached its peak of popularity in the 1950s when it featured Julius Cheeks as its lead singer. The Nightingales, with several changes of membership, continue to tour and record.

Love Is Catching On by Mighty Clouds Of Joy

The Mighty Clouds of Joy was formed in 1959 in Los Angeles, CA as a traditional-based style group. It wasn’t until 1961 as the group became famous, they added bass,drums, and keyboards to the standard guitar backup and developed a funky sound that split the difference between gospel, and rhythm and blues. In a break with tradition, the groups sound incorporated Soul, R&B, and Rock; all of which flourishes into their musical mix (one of their early hits was produced by Gamble and Huff) without diluting the essential religious essence of their material. Unlike other gospel groups, its members dressed stylishly — they used the same tailor as the Temptations — and worked slick choreography into their act. Thus not realizing they were setting a standard and paving a way for future gospel soul groups for decades to come. They became one of the most influential gospel groups in the US.

Written by:
Anthony Olushola Undiandeye

Anthony Olushola Undiandeye is a passionate and dedicated creative who finds joy in providing solutions to problems. An astute lover of God, and a critic of all things creative content creator, radio host, and social media manager.  Shola tells it as he sees it.

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