Bishop F.C. Barnes named as 2015 inductee into NC Music Hall of Fame

Bishop F.C. Barnes is one of eight artists to be inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame for 2015.

Bishop Barnes is recognized nationally for his homespun style of gospel music and particularly for his 1983 chart-topping hit with Rev. Janice Brown, “Rough Side of the Mountain.” The song boosted the duo’s album sales past 500,000 units.

The singer, songwriter, and preacher was also the founder Red Budd Holy Church, which he pastored for 52 years until his demise in 2011 (see “Bishop, singer, and patriarch Barnes has passed”).

The induction ceremony is set for October 15, 2015, at Gem Theater in Kannapolis, NC.  Tickets will go on sale this summer at the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame Museum.  Others in the 2015 class of inductees are Gerald Alston, Nappy Brown, Eric Church, The Fantastic Shakers, Warren Haynes, Chuck Jackson, and Jay Spell.

Update (10/14/15 at 8:17 PM) – As of the date and time noted, there are still a few tickets available for the induction ceremony.  Click here to purchase them online.

Sizzlin’ This Week (9/19/11) – “Yet Love”

“Yet Love”
Luther Barnes & the Sunset Jubilaires
Atlanta International Records (2011)

Luther Barnes is recognized as much for his easy-listening ballads as for his driving quartet tunes and churchy choir numbers.

“Yet Love,” his new single with the Sunset Jubilaires, is soon to be another hallmark of the Barnes repertoire. Its message is one of overcoming life’s hurts and disappointments and choosing the spiritually mature path of love and forgiveness.

Over a warm electric piano–later accentuated with finger-snapping percussion, electric bass, and a full drum kit–Barnes croons beautifully crafted lyrics, recounting emotional journeys to which most relate–brokenness, abandonment, and loneliness.

“But the Word of God in you stood strong,” the Sunset Jubilaires declare. “You’ve learned how to yet love!”

Funeral Arrangements for Bishop F.C. Barnes of “Rough Side of the Mountain” Fame

Arrangements for Bishop F.C. Barnes have been announced by Glessa Morris, booking manager for Luther Barnes Song Ministries.  Barnes passed Monday morning.  He was 82. (See related post here.)

Memorial Service
Friday, July 15th
7-9 PM
Red Budd Holy Church
1108 Luper Street – Rocky Mount
Saturday, July 16th
11 AM
Red Budd Holy Church

Arrangements are by Hamilton Funeral Chapel in Wilson, NC.

Sizzlin’ This Week (7/11/11) – “It Was A Great Thing”

“It Was A Great Thing”
Rev. F.C. Barnes & the Red Budd Combined Choir
From the CD, “LIVE” featuring “Rough Side of the Mountain” (1994)

Bishop F.C. Barnes transitioned in the early hours of yesterday morning at the age of 82 (see the related post here), but not before leaving a rich legacy to be remembered for years to come.

Bishop Barnes founded Red Budd Holy Church in Rocky Mount in 1959.  This week’s pick, “It Was A Great Thing,” features him with the Red Budd Combined Choir.

Thank you, Bishop Barnes, for reminding us of the mercy of Jesus Christ.  Yes, it was a great thing that He did for us!

Bishop, singer, and patriarch Barnes has passed

GMF is sad to report that Bishop Faircloth Barnes passed early this morning.

Bishop F.C. Barnes was the founder of Red Budd Holy Church in Rocky Mount, NC.  He is most recognized, however, for his rise to gospel music fame in 1983 with the blockbuster hit, “Rough Side of the Mountain,” recorded with Rev. Janice Brown.

Singing was seemingly always a family affair for the bishop.  Through the years, in addition to his own group, Bishop F.C. Barnes and Company (his nieces), Bishop Barnes was featured on projects with Luther Barnes, his son; The Sunset Jubilaires, his brothers; and the Red Budd Gospel Choir, which consists of his granddaughter, nieces, and other family and friends.  His sons Samuel, Melvin, and Tony were musicians on several of the recordings.

Recently, Bishop Barnes appeared on Darrell Luster’s (God is God) He Won’t Change album, putting his signature down home flavor on the title cut.

Please keep the entire Barnes family as well as the church family in your thoughts and prayers.

GMF will post arrangements as information becomes available.  Update: Arrangements have been announced.  Click here for service times.

North Carolina adds its name to roster of recording mass choirs

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever  

In a time when many choirs are taking a back seat to church praise teams and ensembles, North Carolina Community Mass Choir (NCCMC) is emerging as a fresh voice in its subgenre.   NCCMC (not to be confused with the North Carolina Mass Choir of the early 1990’s), may not be on your radar like Mississippi and Georgia Mass, but it certainly has an impressive team of singers and industry notables at its helm, starting with its visionary Dr. Thomas L. Walker. 

Walker is the pastor of Rocky Mount’s Ebenezer Baptist Church.  He is also a notable gospel singer, perhaps best known for his circa 1980 smash hit album One Day At A Time, which earned gold record status.  It was he who formed the choir in 2008 to sing for the National Black Caucus, at the request of Congressman G.K. Butterfield.  NCCMC was under the musical direction of James Bellamy and award-winning songwriter and super-producer Ray Braswell, Jr. (Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson & the Spiritual Voices, F.C. Barnes, Ministree, and others).  According to Braswell, who is the choir’s current president, NCCMC had a different moniker at that time.

“The choir was originally named The Promise Choir until leadership changed and I sought after reconstruction for the choir’s growth,” comments Braswell.  “Then I met with Malaco’s producer and artist, Darrell Luster of Durham, and great songwriter, Brian Foster of Henderson.”  

Darrell Luster, formerly of Charles Johnson & The Revivers and The Sensational Nightingales, is the choir’s CEO and primary lead vocalist.  Foster, who is also a musician and leader of the praise and worship group Josiah, is the vice president. Since its founding, NCCMC has performed on Bobby Jones Gospel, and has provided vocals on projects by The Sensational Nightingales (Live in Rocky Mount), Darrell Luster & F.C. Barnes (“He Won’t Change”), and Lil’ Blair & The Fantastic Heirs.  

More recently, the 30+ member choir completed its own debut recording, and according to Braswell, there is something on it for gospel music lovers of all kinds.

“We are taking choir music back to the roots to bring back the traditional sound,” he says.  “Our CD is full of traditional, praise & worship, and contemporary music, so it’s not just for the seasoned saints. It’s definitely for all listeners.”  

NCCMC is currently seeking additional voices as it preps for the upcoming CD release and a DVD recording. Braswell invites interested singers to choir auditions on Saturday, May 28, at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Rocky Mount.  Click the flyer above for details.