Sponsored by the Kirby Cultural Arts Complex – Fifty-four years ago, 30-ish year-old Frances Torain…
Family, friends, and the gospel community are preparing to bid Tessie Hill farewell this week. The gospel great died Sunday night, July 28, 2019.
In the 1960s, the Detroit singer was often a featured vocalist with the Original Church of God in Christ Radio Choir. The church was pastored by her husband, the late Rev. Lonnie Hill. In the 1970s, she continued recording as a solo artist signed to the HOB and Peacock labels. Among her standout recordings was “Great Things” from her self-titled vinyl LP. Lady Hill’s latest recording, Stepping Out, was released in 2015.
Over the weekend, Pastor Shirley Caesar took to Facebook to express condolences, remembering Lady Hill as a powerhouse.
“What could I say about the late great Tessie Hill, better known to many others as ‘Mama Tessie’? Well, I can tell you that I met her many years ago when I was singing with the Caravans. [She was] one of the ‘singingest’ women that you’d ever want to hear. Late last year, 2018, she came to our church in Raleigh, NC…and when that woman started singing in our morning worship, I had to sit my little self down. That woman had such a powerful and an anointed voice! And I want you to know that we will forever be thankful and grateful that God blessed her to come and to be such a wonderful blessing to all mankind. Those that knew her, those that sat under her singing ministry, we will forever remember Tessie Hill.”
Arrangements for Tessie Hill are as follows:
Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Noon – 8 PM
Swanson Funeral Home
14751 W. McNichols
Wednesday, August 7, 2019
10:30 AM – Family Hour
11:00 AM – Service
Citadel of Praise
20280 Lyndon Street
Charles J. Edison
24444 W. 7 Mile Road
This video posted to Facebook by Jacqueline Brinkley on October 29, 2017, shows Hill singing at the Mount Calvary Word of Faith Holy Church, where Pastor Caesar serves as senior pastor.
Libra Nicole Boyd, PhD is a musician, award-winning author, gospel music aficionado, and the founder and editor of Gospel Music Fever™. Her commitment to journalistic integrity includes bringing you reliable gospel music content that uplifts and advances the art form. Libra is presently working on several scholarly projects about gospel music in the media as well as gospel music in social movements.