Duke Voice Care Center hosts vocal workshop series, features opera singer Estes

In conjunction with World Voice Day on April 16, 2011, Duke Voice Care Center will host a day of workshops on vocal health and good voice habits for both singers and non-singers.  International operatic bass-baritone and professor, Simon Estes, will be featured.  He will first facilitate a free Master Class on Friday, April 15, before discussing his life and singing career during a Saturday bonus session.  Estes has several CDs to his credit, including Simon Sings His Favorite Gospels and Spirituals.

Event Information

  • Saturday, April 16, 2011
  • 11:30am – 5pm
  • Renaissance Raleigh Hotel at North Hills, 4100 Main at North Hills St., Raleigh, NC
  • Admission is FREE; refreshments provided
  • For more information, contact 888-ASK-DUKE or dukehealth.org/events

    Beverly Crawford joins Kirk Franklin on his newly released CD

    Press Release from JDI Records

    (New York, NY) Gospel Superstar Kirk Franklin features gospel’s it girl and JDI Records artist Beverly Crawford on his newly released CD Hello Fear on Gospocentric/Fo Yo Soul/Zomba. After a nearly three year hiatus from recording, Kirk Franklin returned with the most highly anticipated gospel release of the year.

    The top selling gospel artist of all-time, with over 12 million records sold, Kirk Franklin is renown for his collaborations, and his selection of Grammy winner Beverly Crawford speaks volumes about the resurgence of her career as one of the top female artists in gospel.

    Fresh on the heels of her of electrifying performances at the BET Celebration of Gospel & the Stellar Awards, Beverly Crawford’s smash hit single “It’s About Time For A Miracle!” continues to burn up gospel radio.  Likewise, everywhere you turn on TV, radio and on her 100-city tour, the red-hot Beverly Crawford continues to demonstrate why she is universally regarded as one of the top vocalists in the world.

    With a legion of ardent fans including Ochocinco, President Obama, Fantasia, and Natalie Cole, Beverly Crawford’s new CD Live from Los Angeles – Vol. 2 is garnering rave reviews all over the country.

    Editor’s note: Crawford is also scheduled to join Shirley Murdock for her first “live” CD/DVD recording slated for April 28th.  See GMF’s related post here.

    Lee Williams takes concert detour to visit shut-in fan

    Gloryland Gospel Blog shared this moving story from Daytona Times.  God bless Lee Williams of the Spiritual QC’s and James Parks of the Golden Wings Quartet.  Ministry is purposed to extend beyond church walls.

    “Happy birthday, Rev. Al Green!”

    GMF wishes a very happy birthday to The Reverend Al Green, who turns 65 today.

    Green serves his Full Gospel Tabernacle congregation in Memphis as pastor while continuing to travel as both a gospel and R&B performer. Among his accolades are multiple Grammys, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and the distinction of being one of Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Greatest Artists of All Time.”  He is also a Gospel Music Hall of Fame inductee.

    Green’s most recent achievement is that his chart-topping 70’s hit, “Let’s Stay Together” has been selected this year for inclusion in the National Recording Registry for preservation in the Library of Congress.  On that note, happy birthday and congratulations, Rev. Green.

    Great-nephew pens biography on gospel singer-songwriter, Brother Claude Ely

    He was a soulful singer and a Pentecostal Holiness preacher who influenced Ray Charles, James Brown, Little Richard, and Elvis Presley. Now, Brother Claude Ely’s influence is again being recognized in a biography entitled, Ain’t No Grave: The Life and Legacy of Brother Claude Ely.

    Knoxville News has the feature story on the man whose 1950’s recordings earned him the distinction of the “Gospel Ranger” of the Appalachian Mountains.

    Shirley Murdock set to record first “live” CD/DVD

    Shirley Murdock just might shut Charlotte, NC down on April 28. This is the evening of her first “Live” CD/DVD recording, and she’s doing it big. Her label home, Tyscot, promises a “one-of-a-kind evening filled with an abundance of audience participation and entertaining surprises from beginning to end.” When I consider her success as an R&B singer–don’t act like you don’t remember “As We Lay”–and her connections in the R&B and gospel music industry, I get tingly just thinking about what surprises we could be in for. Afterall, her “first” has to be unforgettable.

    Also joining Murdock “live” for the first time are Regina Belle, Beverly Crawford, and Kelly Price. Uh, yeah, this is going to be good. Grammy winner, Cedric Thompson (with projects by Karen Clark Sheard, Donald Lawrence and Tri-City, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, and Marvin Sapp to his credit), is wearing the producer’s cap.

    Murdock’s project is titled, The Journey.

    Event Information

    • Thursday, April 28, 2011 
    • 7pm EST (doors open at 6pm)
    • The Broadcast Group Complex, 8400 Regent Pkwy, Fort Mill, SC 29715
    • Tickets – $12 in advance, $18 on day of show; available via www.ez-tixx.com or 877-993-8499

    What are the GRAMMYS doing with The Gospel?

    Hmm.  The Grammy Academy, if you will, is cutting some categories.  Thirty-one to be exact.

    Apparently, this is the academy’s effort to maintain the prestige and competition of the awards.  Well, that’s what the Recording Academy’s President/CEO, Neil Portnow says.  You know what this means for gospel music right?

    Well, for starters, it means there is a name change to the Gospel Field.  (There are name changes to other fields as well, but this is a gospel music blog.)  The Gospel Field has been renamed the Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Field.  Then, there are category changes.  The 53rd Grammy Awards had the following categories in the Gospel Field:

    • Best Gospel Performance
    • Best Gospel Song
    • Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album
    • Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album
    • Best Southern, Country Or Bluegrass Gospel Album
    • Best Traditional Gospel Album
    • Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album  

    The 54th Grammy Awards will have the following categories in its restructured Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Field:

    • Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance 
    • Best Gospel Song
    • Best Contemporary Christian Music Song
    • Best Gospel Album
    • Best Contemporary Christian Music Album

    It will be interesting (to say the least) to see how this restructuring will directly affect the gospel music industry and its artists.  I can think of a few singers who are definitely going to end up unclassifiable.  Of course, they’ll be made to fit for Grammy eligibility, but is it fair to take them out of their artistic zones and to place them in one that doesn’t quite describe them in hopes of a nomination?  I suspect there are going to be quite a few surprises among the next round of nominees.  And we thought gospel music was already competitive…

    You can get all the details about the Grammy evolution here.

    Sapp, Winans, Hammond among BMI honorees for 2011’s most-played songs

    The BMI Christian Music Awards recently honored 2011’s most-played gospel and christian songs.  The gala event was held April 4th in Nashville and celebrated the songwriters and publishers of the year’s most performed songs on Christian radio and TV, according to the BMI website.

    Among gospel award-winning songs are:
    “The Best in Me” 
    Writers: Aaron Lindsey & Marvin Sapp
    “Close to You” 
    Writer: BeBe Winans

    “God Favored Me”
    Writer: Jules Bartholomew

    “Good News”
    Wrtier: Norman West
    “They That Wait”
    Writers: Michael Bethany, Phillip Feaster, Fred Hammond, Calvin Rodgers, & Dynna Latyse Wells

    Universal Music Publishing Group earned Publisher of the Year honors for:
    “The Best In Me”
    “Beautiful, Beautiful”
    “When the Trumpet Sounds”
    “Stuff of Life”
    “They That Wait”
    BMI is a long-standing American performing right organization that represents more than 475,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in all genres of music.
    For the full story and the complete list of winners, click here.

    Twinkie Clark’s new CD available everywhere today

    How many of us have been waiting for this?  Twinkie Clark’s With Humility CD drops today.  Her nephew, Larry Clark (Denise’s son), handles the production work for this project and is also featured on the CD’s single, “Awesome God.”

    This musical effort is sure to delight Twinkie’s fans.  Of course, the COGIC evangelist takes to the organ and reminds us why she is hailed as “Queen of the Hammond B3.”  We can also expect the presence of the Clark family, as usual; only this time it is the Clark Brothers who are featured with their auntie.  For a special treat, Twinkie is dueting with her mom, the late Dr. Mattie Moss Clark, on what is certain to be a highlight of the album.

    Ben & Jewel Tankard’s New Reality Series “Gospel Cribs”


    Surely, you’ve seen at least one episode of MTV Cribs.  If you’re from a prior generation, you probably even remember Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.  Well, how about this for the Lord’s people:  Ben Tankard’s Gospel Cribs!

    I am stoked already.
    Ben Tankard is recognized as the best selling gospel jazz instrumentalist in the world.  He is also the music producer who is said to have discovered Yolanda Adams. Now, he and his wife Jewel are behind a new reality series.  According to the Gospel Cribs facebook page, Christian artists, actors, pro athletes, and businessmen are going to be showcasing their lavish homes, showing that God’s people can live large too.  I will definitely BOLO (be on lookout) for this show in the fall season lineup.  Do you all think any televangelists will be so gracious as to invite the scrutiny public into their (most likely not-so-humble) abodes?
    I am sure Gospel Cribs, and some of these Christian lifestyles, are going to create quite a buzz, especially among the pharisees.