"Nothing Better" – Corey J

“Nothing Better”
Corey J
From the EP, Worship is a Beautiful Thing (2014)
Available at iTunes

Corey J - Love is a Beautiful Thing cover art

“You never look at my faults / You never judge me when I’m wrong / You always pick me up when I fall…”

These lyrical sentiments support Corey J’s summation that there’s “Nothing Better” than the prevailing attributes of a loving God.   It’s a reflective lyrical journey for Corey J, whose life is a miracle itself. (He was born with no heart rate and no pulse, and amid other complications, was given little more than three days to live.) 

“Nothing Better” is one of four songs on the EP entitled, Worship is a Beautiful Thing.  With its unhurried pace and musical airiness, the Christian pop track leaves sufficient space for Corey’s melodic tenor vocals.

Corey J. Yancey is a native of Oxford, NC, and serves in music ministry at Christian Faith Center in Creedmoor, under the leadership of Senior Pastor Brenda and Co-Pastor Timothy Timberlake. Presently, he has a full-length project in the works that’s set to drop in June 2015.

Danny Yancey, NC educator and church music director, a finalist for Grammy Foundation award

Danny Yancey, NC educator and church music director, a finalist for Grammy Foundation award

Congratulations are in order for NC educator Danny Yancey, one of 10 music teachers selected from over 7,000 nominees as a finalist for the second annual Music Educator Award presented by The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation.

According to www.grammy.com, “[The] Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators
(kindergarten through college, public and private schools) who have made
a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education
and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining
music education in the schools.”

If Yancey is chosen as recipient from the 10 finalists, he will be flown to Los Angeles to accept the honor, attend the Grammy Awards, and receive $10,000.

Yancey teaches choral music at Martin Gifted & Talented Magnet School in Raleigh.  He is also the music director at Durham’s Monument of Faith Church. He cites his father, Pastor Willie Yancey, and his uncle, Detroit Yancey—gospel singers/writers/musicians and recording artists—as his earliest significant music influences.

History: Complete Early Recordings – The Yancey Family Singers

The Yancey Family Singers
History: Complete Early Recordings
Yancey Family Ministries (2013)

Yancey Family Singers cover art

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever

The Yancey family is to the North Carolina city of Oxford what the Winans are to Detroit.  Full of singing, writing, and musical talent, the 11-sibling family has shared their brand of traditional gospel throughout the region for decades; it’s a legacy passed on to them by their parents, Melcina and the late Willie G. Yancey.  Their longtime supporters probably own the first vinyl records released under the name The Yancey Family Singers.  For younger ones like me—who own the more recent CDs and mp3s by those who’ve become solo artists in their own right—it’s a real treat to be able to step back in time via History: Complete Early Recordings, a 30-track double-disc compilation of the family’s early LPs and 45s.  The Yanceys are grateful to collector John Glassburner who supplied them with several of the hard-to-find original recordings that they were not able to easily access.

The CD set features music from two of their 1970’s albums, God Brought Us From A Mighty Long Way and Mind Your Own Business as well as several singles.  The set also includes two early 70’s tracks from The Yancey Glorietts, younger siblings of The Yancey Family Singers.  The presentation of the early performances is as initially recorded, and there doesn’t appear to have been any remixing or remastering (which may explain the volume adjustments you’ll need to make and the clipping you’ll hear on just a few of the tracks).  Among the standouts is “God Brought Us From A Mighty Long Way,” a retrospective musical narrative through which Willie N. Yancey recalls the family’s humble beginnings—when there were only four siblings and their father worked for a meager wage (60¢/hour), while Mother Yancey handmade their clothes to help make ends meet. Yet, “we were thankful…He brought us from a mighty long way.”

The compilation boasts its share of homespun quartet selections, including the punchy “Jesus Never Let Me Down” and sauntering “He Loves Me”—both of which hint at stylings of the Williams Brothers and Jackson Southernaires.  One might even think the Keynotes’ Paul Beasley showed up for a vocal workout, but it’s actually the keen falsetto of Willard Yancey on “Jesus Don’t Leave Me.”  Another tune, “Poor Man Cry,” ambles into country music territory and still another, “Pray for the Nation,” wallows in bluegrass as it tugs on our social consciousness.

The folksy “God’s and Satan’s War” puts sister Susie out front, while “I Had A Dream” and “You And God” are respectively plaintive and cautionary, capturing the piping vocals of a preteen Larry Yancey on the former and a barely teen Gloretta McNeil née Yancey on the latter.  Along with a pair of “mother” songs, the remaining numbers are quintessential Yancey gems that bespeak Dorothy Norwood’s endorsement of the singing family as the “best kept secret of Granville County.”  Of course, in the minds of all the Yanceys’ longtime friends, fans, and followers far and near, the secret has long been out.

“God Brought Us From A Mighty Long Way” – “He Loves Me”- “I Had A Dream”

Fever Meter
SMOKIN’ (4 of 5 Stars)

GMF Anniversary Giveaway! (April 27)

Today wraps up the month-long celebration of GMF’s first anniversary.  Thank you for joining in the celebration and thank you for reading Gospel Music Fever.  As we enter our second year of being your “RED HOT blog spot for all things gospel,” we look forward to continuing to bring you news, interviews, articles, reviews and more on your favorite gospel artists.

Here is today’s trivia:

In September 2011, GMF quoted this renowned gospel singer, who called national singing aggregation the Yancey Family “the best kept secret in Granville County [NC].”  She also features them as songwriters and lead vocalists on her current CD.

4/30/12 1:06 PM EST – Congratulations to Joyce Thorpe who was the first to email us with the correct answer: Dorothy NorwoodYou can read a bit more about the Yancey Family here.

Be the first to email the correct answer to [email protected] and receive the Yancey Family’s CD, All in One.

Yancey Family Ministries presents Harbour House Convention, Sept. 28 – Oct. 1

The Harbour House 2011 Convention, presented by Cornerstone Christian Community Church and Yancey Family Ministries, starts today and continues through Saturday, October 1.  This year’s theme is “Work While It Is Day.”  All convention proceeds go to the Harbour House Ministry, which provides transitional housing for broken, bruised and battered persons in Granville and neighboring NC counties. 

This year’s convention will feature preaching by Pastor James Isaac, III, Dr. M.R. Weaver, and Minister Chad Downey.  Music will be rendered by Vision A Capella Group, SwS Music Group, the Baldwin Family, and others.

The Yancey Family

Saturday’s service will feature the Yancey Family in concert.  Called “the best kept secret in Granville County” by legendary gospel singer Evangelist Dorothy Norwood, all eleven Yancey siblings have sung and/or played an instrument since childhood.  Collectively, they emerged to become one of the most requested groups in the area.  Upon hearing Gloretta Yancey McNeil’s project, Thou Art Worthy, Evangelist Norwood, taken by the family’s talent and anointing, presented the Yancey Family in its first “live” recording.  The project will be released in the coming months on Movonia Records. 

Convention At-A-Glance

All services will be held at Cornerstone Christian Community Church, 3237 Knotts Grove Road, Oxford, NC 27565.  An offering will be received nightly.  

Wednesday, Sept. 28 – 7 PM
Guest speaker: Pastor James Isaac, III (New Hope Granville Baptist Church)

Thursday, Sept. 29 – 7 PM
Guest speaker: Dr. M.R. Weaver (Seed Time & Harvest Fellowship)

Friday, Sept. 30 – 7 PM  Youth Night
Guest speaker: Min. Chad Downey (Raleigh International Church)

Saturday, Oct. 1 – 5 PM
Musical featuring the Yancey Family and the Baldwin Family

"Absolutely, Positively" – Shaunda

“Absolutely, Positively”
From the upcoming CD, Sweet Smelling Savour
Available at Shaunda Music

“Absolutely, Positively” is for lovers.  With only piano accompaniment–which Rashaunda McNeil, known simply as Shaunda, plays when performing live–and tender background vocals, Shaunda takes us on an acoustic stroll through the intense emotion of a fulfilling love affair.

You see, this sister is in love.  Just ask her, and she’ll tell you about “JC.”  Shaunda will even tell you how He gave her the inspiration for this neo-soul worship ballad.

“I was playing around with some beautiful chords in the practice room of [North Carolina] A&T’s music room, and I asked the Lord to give me some words. As I was playing I saw the phrase ‘ABSOLUTELY no eating or drinking in this room’–no joke,” she laughs.  “Then I said to myself, ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY.  From there, the words to ‘Absolutely, Positively’ flowed out….Even though seeing the word ‘absolutely’ sparked a start, I honestly believe the lyrics that flowed were in my heart already, from a life of worship to God.”

Whether ministering with Kim Burrell and Earnest Pugh, opening for Mali Music at a neo-soul gathering, serenading couples on their nuptial day, or working within the music and young adult ministries at Cornerstone Christian Community Church (her home base in Oxford, NC), it’s clear that worship is the essence of her being and therefore the thrust of her ministry to others.

“Absolutely, Positively” is currently available at Shaunda Music.  The full-length project, Sweet Smelling Savour, is currently being completed; GMF will keep you posted.