"God Has Been So Good to Me" – The Brooklyn Allstars

“God Has Been So Good to Me”
The Brooklyn Allstars
From the CD, Live in Richmond, VA (2013)
4 Winds Records

“Even a blind man can see how good God’s been to me,” declare The Brooklyn Allstars in their uptempo number, “God Has Been So Good to Me.”  The single, which expresses a widely shared sentiment, appears on the group’s CD, Live in Richmond, VA, due out today.

Founder Rev. Thomas Spann, whose bass ad libs are sprinkled along the single’s backdrop, talked with GMF’s Libra Boyd in June about the Allstars’ signature sound.  You can read it here: Brooklyn Allstars’ Thomas Spann reflects on “signature sound that I didn’t realize I had”.

Brooklyn Allstars' Thomas Spann reflects on "signature sound that I didn't realize I had"

By Libra Boyd
 
Thomas Spann
A fan approaches Rev. Thomas Spann sporting a wide grin and extending a slightly trembling hand, hailing, “The Legend! The Legend!” Rev. Spann graciously returns the gesture, “My man! Good to see you,” making apparent that he appreciates his supporters as much as they appreciate him. Admiration for the quartet veteran is immediately perceivable by the number of fan interruptions that continue throughout our early evening interview just prior to one of the Brooklyn Allstars’ concerts.
Since organizing the Brooklyn Allstars in 1948, Spann has worked the gospel circuit with his group’s instantaneously recognizable styling, which is directly attributed to his own bass vocals. Along the way, they’ve racked up a couple of gold records (“they say they were gold; I just say they were good,” Rev. Spann interjects) and toured extensively. Now, at 88 years old, Rev. Spann is assisted by a cane and sits onstage with mic in hand during some of the group’s mild numbers such as “No Cross, No Crown.” But you can rest assured that his voice still booms and when the Spirit moves him on tunes like “Stood on the Banks of Jordan,” he springs from his chair to join in with group member Sonny McClary, with whom he now shares lead tasks. Theirs is a sound that stands apart in traditional quartet music.
I guess that’s what I say the longevity or success of the group is attributed to—the signature sound that I didn’t realize I had for a lot of years until I got a chance to compare it to a lot of other artists; then I realized it was so different that I decided to change it one time,” reflects Spann. He admits that the group almost lost its following when he tried to alter it.
I was rejected; I had no idea I had that many fans, and I didn’t know that that many people cared one way or another, you know, about what we were doing.”
They still care. As a matter of fact, their loyal fan base is what keeps them going more than six decades later; and they’re picking up a younger generation of quartet heads with their current release, Just Look At Me Now. Among the tracks on the Malaco/4 Winds project is a 4-song throwback medley that includes “I’ve Got My Ticket,” a number first recorded in 1950 that Rev. Spann says bears the group’s trademark sound.
“And [our fans] still want us to do that song most places we go right now,” he adds. Hopefully, those places will continue to be many for the man known to his fans as “The Legend.”
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Thanks to Malaco/4 Winds’ Darrell Luster and YouTube, you can watch the Brooklyn Allstars (Rev. Spann with Bobby Butler and Sonny McClary) and Luster rehearse a snippet of “I’ve Got My Ticket” a cappella.  

Willie Carrington, founding member of The Mighty Harmonaires, goes from labor to reward

Willie Carrington

GMF extends its sympathy to the family of Mighty Harmonaires’ original member, manager, singer, and lead guitarist Willie Carrington, who passed away Wednesday, June 15th. 

Carrington founded the quartet group more than 40 years ago, which over the years has consisted of family and close friends.  Carrington’s son Richard, the group’s current lead guitarist, also served a brief stint with the Brooklyn Allstars as bassist.  In addition to their travels along the east coast, the Harmonaires are heard live each Sunday morning on Roxboro, NC’s WRXO (1430AM) and WKRX (96.7FM). 

Carrington will be remembered for his love of God, love of people, and love of music.  Below is the obituary from the Hester, Whitted & Daye Funeral Service website.

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Deacon Willie Richard “Mena” Carrington, Jr., age 79 of 300 Newell Street in Roxboro left to be with the Lord on June 15, 2011 at Duke Medical Center. He was a life time member and Deacon of the Prospect Hill Baptist Church where he served for many years. 
 
He was the manager, leader and retired lead guitar player for The Mighty Harmonaires of Roxboro, NC for over 40 years. 
 
He leaves to cherish his memory two children–his daughter, Cynthia Petty and husband Steven; his son William “Richard” Lee Carrington, Sr. and wife Antoinette both of Roxboro, NC; and six grandchildren–Tiffany Cash (husband Steve); William Richard Lee Carrington, Jr. “RJ” (wife Terri); Cinzia Petty, DeAngelo Lunsford, Stavonna Petty and Alicia Toler.  He is also survived by six great grandchildren.  Carrington is survived by three sisters–Essie Edwards of Baltimore, MD; Lucille Bailey and Virginia Lester of Roxboro, NC; two sisters-in-law–Hallie Blackwell of Roxboro, NC and Mattie Howard of New Jersey; three brothers-in-law–Gaither Williams, Jr. of Pennsylvania; Jerry Williams and Clarence Blackwell, Sr. both of Roxboro, NC. 
 
Viewing:
Saturday, June 18th
1-8 P.M. (the family will be at the funeral home 7-8 P.M.)
Hester, Whitted & Daye Funeral Service – 603 South Main St, Roxboro
 
Funeral:
Sunday, June 19th
2 P.M.
Prospect Hill Baptist Church – 301 Bethel Hill School Road, Roxboro