"Happy birthday, Delois Barrett Campbell!"

GMF remembers the Royal Lady of Gospel, Delois Barrett Campbell, on what would be her 87th birthday.  Born March 12, 1926, Campbell was a prominent member of the Roberta Martin Singers for nearly 20 years and the lead singer of her sibling trio, The Barrett Sisters, who continue to perform.  Campbell passed August 2, 2011, at age 85.

For years, birthday musicals were hosted in her honor in Chicago and brought in singers and guests from far and near.

This year in February, The Barrett Sisters celebrated the release of a feature length documentary movie entitled The Sweet Sisters of Zion: Delois Barrett Campbell and The Barrett Sisters, detailing the extensive career and travels of the internationally recognized group.  GMF’s Libra Boyd talked with the film’s producer and director Regina Rene about the project.  Read the interview here.

“Happy birthday, Delois Barrett Campbell!'”

Help the Barrett Sisters release their long-awaited documentary film

For more than 60 years, Delois
Barrett Campbell and The Barrett Sisters have performed gospel music
throughout the United States and overseas.  They have made media
appearances with Johnny Carson, Patti LaBelle, and Oprah
Winfrey and are counted among pioneers in
gospel music alongside Thomas A. Dorsey,
Mahalia Jackson, Roberta Martin, Theodore Frye, and Sallie Martin. 
Still, perhaps you know them best from their performance in the critically
acclaimed movie Say Amen, Somebody. 

One remaining dream for the renowned 80-something year-olds is the release of The Sweet Sisters of Zion: Delois Barrett Campbell and the Barrett Sisters, the long-anticipated documentary film tracing their extensive careers
and contributions to gospel music through rare performance footage and interviews with sisters Delois, Billie, Rodessa and others.
But the Barrett Sisters need the help of their family, friends, fans, and well-wishers around the world. 
The film is finished; however, expenses for its release are mounting and your financial support is much needed.  Your contributions will pay for the costs of filming, packaging, promoting, and distributing the independently produced movie,
as well as hosting a premiere screening in Chicago on February 16,
2013.
Go to www.indiegogo.com/TheBarrettSisters to make your contribution, claim your thank-you gift(s), watch sneak peeks, and stay updated throughout the campaign.

This documentary is sure to be treasured for generations to come as a commemorative piece of gospel music history about one of the genre’s greatest female trios.

An Open Letter to the NAACP Image Awards – Memorial Segment Omissions

Editor’s Note: International gospel music veterans Delois Barrett Campbell and Jessy Dixon passed away in August and September 2011, respectively; however, both were excluded from the NAACP Image Awards memorial segment.  The following inquiry was initially sent as a private email to the Image Awards on Friday, February 17, 2012, immediately following its airing on NBC.  After waiting nearly one month for a response, I sent a second email Thursday, March 15, 2012.  To date, I still have not received any acknowledgment of my emails.
 
 

Dear NAACP Image Awards:

I am extremely disturbed that two giants in gospel music, Delois Barrett Campbell and Rev. Jessy Dixon, were omitted from the 2012 program’s memorial segment.  Certainly, gospel music has been the foundation of the African-American experience and should be revered as such.

President Barack Obama posits that “the potent words of gospel gave strength to a generation that rose above the din of hatred to move our country toward justice and equality for all.”  Delois Barrett Campbell was one such voice.  She is hailed as “The Royal Lady of Gospel” and recognized internationally for her pioneering contributions to the art form.  Media coverage of her passing was massive, and her three-day funeral services brought tributes from President Obama, Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson, Rev. Jesse Jackson and others.  The New York Times published a well-written article chronicling her seven-decade career.

Singer/songwriter/musician Rev. Jessy Dixon’s discography includes collaborations with Paul Simon, Diana Ross, Earth, Wind & Fire, Billy Preston, and James Cleveland–and this is the short list.  The Chicago Sun-Times published a piece detailing his impact on the music industry.  The 54th Grammy Awards mentioned him in its memorial segment; unfortunately, the NAACP Image Awards did not.

I submit this inquiry: If we do not esteem our own, who will?  If we do not honor our own in death as we have celebrated our own in life, who will?  If we fail to recognize those who blazed trails for Jennifer Hudson, Aretha Franklin, Richard Smallwood, Donald Lawrence, and Kirk Franklin, who will?

I am kindly requesting a reply and explanation of these omissions.  Thank you in advance for taking time to address my concern about these exclusions.  I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Libra N. Boyd, Founder & Editor
Gospel Music Fever™

Delois Barrett Campbell "Her Legacy Lives On" Musical – March 11

Click flyer to enlarge

On what would be the weekend of her 86th birthday, the life and legacy of Delois Barrett Campbell will be celebrated at Chicago’s First Church of Deliverance.  Some of Chicago’s finest–including Shekinah Glory Ministry, Chicago Mass Choir, Kim Stratton, and DeAndre Patterson–will gather in tribute to the internationally renowned soprano vocalist of the famed Roberta Martin Singers and the phenomenal Barrett Sisters.  Admission is free.

Campbell, recognized as “The Royal Lady of Gospel,” exchanged time for eternity on August 2, 2011 (see related story).  This year, she was honored posthumously at the Stellar Gospel Music Awards, during which new trophies were unveiled bearing her name among the inscriptions of several other gospel greats. 

Set for release later this year is a documentary chronicling the life and career of Delois Barrett Campbell and the Barrett Sisters.  For the trio, it is a career that spans more than 60 years.

Delois Barrett Campbell “Her Legacy Lives On” Musical – March 11

Click flyer to enlarge

On what would be the weekend of her 86th birthday, the life and legacy of Delois Barrett Campbell will be celebrated at Chicago’s First Church of Deliverance.  Some of Chicago’s finest–including Shekinah Glory Ministry, Chicago Mass Choir, Kim Stratton, and DeAndre Patterson–will gather in tribute to the internationally renowned soprano vocalist of the famed Roberta Martin Singers and the phenomenal Barrett Sisters.  Admission is free.

Campbell, recognized as “The Royal Lady of Gospel,” exchanged time for eternity on August 2, 2011 (see related story).  This year, she was honored posthumously at the Stellar Gospel Music Awards, during which new trophies were unveiled bearing her name among the inscriptions of several other gospel greats. 

Set for release later this year is a documentary chronicling the life and career of Delois Barrett Campbell and the Barrett Sisters.  For the trio, it is a career that spans more than 60 years.

Stellar Award winners of non-televised categories announced at pre-show

Dorothy Norwood and family of Delois Barrett Campbell receive special awards

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever

Gospel music’s version of the Grammys is taking place this weekend in Nashville.  The first winners of the 27th annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards were announced last evening at the 2012 pre-show, held before a capacity crowd at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center.  Hosts of the non-televised event were Byron Cage and Maurette Brown Clark.
 
“Gospel’s Greatest Storyteller” Dorothy Norwood received the Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legends Award.  The Caravan alumna’s career spans more than half a century. 
 
Left: Dorothy Norwood accepts the Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legends Award, recalling her years of traveling during the era of racial injustice and discrimination.
 
In addition to the awards presentations, a special award was given to the daughters of pioneering gospel great Delois Barrett Campbell, who passed away August 2011.  Because of her internationally renowned contributions to gospel music with the Roberta Martin Singers, the Barrett Sisters, and as a solo artist, her name will be inscribed on the Stellar Award.

Right: Mary Campbell, daughter of Delois Barrett Campbell, speaks as other daughter Sue Campbell-Ladd (far right), presenter Erma Davis, and cousin Skip Barrett look on.
 

Categories and winners announced at the pre-show are as follows:

Contemporary Male of the Year
VaShawn Mitchell

Traditional Female of the Year
Beverly Crawford

Contemporary Female of the Year
Kim Burrell

Contemporary Choir of the Year
Shekinah Glory Ministry

Choir of the Year
Ricky Dillard & New G

Traditional Choir of the Year
Mississippi Mass Choir

Traditional CD of the Year
How I Got Over – Smokie Norful

Contemporary CD of the Year
Hello Fear – Kirk Franklin

Praise and Worship CD of the Year
Triumphant – VaShawn Mitchell

Instrumental Gospel CD of the Year
Music Remastered and Sacred Organ – Moses Tyson, Jr.

Children’s Project of the Year
Teen Pure In Heart Live – Pure-N-Heart

Music Video of the Year – Long Format
Church on the Moon – Deitrick Haddon

Urban Inspirational Single or Performance of the Year
“Nobody Greater” – VaShawn Mitchell

Quartet of the Year
The Rance Allen Group

Producer of the Year
Kirk Franklin

Recorded Music Packaging of the Year
Make It Loud! – Martha Munizzi

Special Event CD of the Year
Bishop Morton Celebrates 25 Years of Music – Bishop Paul S. Morton

The Stellar Awards continues tonight at the Grand Ole Opry with hosts Dorinda Clark-Cole and Marvin Sapp.  Stay close to GMF for the complete list of this year’s winners. 

Photo Credit: Stellar Gospel Music Awards

 

Gospel Legend Delois Barrett Campbell of The Barrett Sisters: Labor to Reward

GMF learned from Bob Marovich at The Black Gospel Blog that gospel legend Delois Barrett Campbell of The Barrett Sisters and formerly of the Roberta Martin Singers entered into eternal rest today.  She was 85 years-old.

I cannot say enough about what Mother Delois meant to me on a personal level.  I have not known a more genuine, kind-hearted, faith-filled, and tenacious person.  Our conversations and exchanges are ones that I will keep private, hold dear, and cherish always.

Delois Barrett Campbell was rare and is irreplaceable.  I love you, Mother Delois.

The Campbell and Barrett families have our sincerest, heartfelt sympathy.  We do rejoice, however, that Mother Delois has gone from the labors and cares of this life to rest and reward.

Arrangements are as follows:

Musical Tribute
Tuesday, August 9th
7 PM
Trinity United Church of Christ
400 West 95th Street – Chicago

Visitation
Wednesday, August 10th
6 PM
Trinity United Church of Christ

Homegoing Celebration
Wednesday, August 10th
7 PM
Trinity United Church of Christ

Interment
Thursday, August 11th
Oak Woods Cemetery

Please read more about her passing and career at The Black Gospel Blog and www.cbsnews.com.