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Archive for the ‘Gospel’ Category

Died On This Date (April 21, 2016) Prince / Musical Genius

Posted by themusicsover on April 21, 2016

Prince Rogers Nelson
June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016

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Photo by David Plastik – Click To Order Quality Prints – Discount code: 10OFF

Prince was his given name, and that’s all he needed to become one of the most well-known, influential, innovative and gifted musicians, songwriters, singers, producers, and performers pop music has ever known.  Born and raised in the Minneapolis area, Prince would eventually come to represent what was known as the Minneapolis sound – a marriage of funk, rock, synth pop, new wave, and dance.  He released his first album, For You, in 1978 and what followed was an astonishing run of 39 albums over the course of 35 years.  Some double, and even triple, albums.  But it was 1984’s soundtrack to his film, Purple Rain, that first sent Prince into the stratosphere. It was his first album to top the Billboard album charts and went on to sell a staggering 13 million in the US alone. Purple Rain is often regarded as one of the top five greatest albums ever made – of any genre.  He was far from done though, as he went on to be recognized with 32 Grammy nominations, winning seven throughout his career.  In  all, Prince scored four #1 albums in the US, and an additional 12 landed in the Top 10.  As a performer, there were very few who could match him when it came to captivating his audiences.  That was put on international display when he did the Super Bowl Halftime show in 2007.  As torrential rains hammered the stage like no other time in Super Bowl history, Prince took the storm and made it his stage prop to gloriously add an exclamation point to his final song, “Purple Rain.”  Rumor has it that when the show’s director asked out of concern what they should do to protect him, the band, and the dancers from being electrocuted, Prince replied, “can you make it rain harder?”   Since 2014, Prince released four new albums, and legend has it that he has enough finished material in his vault to keep releases coming for years if not decades to come.  Whether they will ever see the light of day is debatable.  On April 21, 2016, Prince was found unconscious in an elevator within his studio complex, Paisley Park.  Attempts to revive him failed and he was pronounced dead on the scene.  He was just 57.  Cause of death was not immediately known, but foul play or suicide were not initially suspected.

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Posted in Funk, Gospel, Musician, Pop, R&B, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Died On This Date (January 9, 2015) Popsy Dixon / The Holmes Brothers

Posted by themusicsover on January 9, 2015

Willie “Popsy” Dixon
July 26, 1942 – January 9, 2015

popsy-dixonPopsy Dixon was the drummer and harmony vocalist for American Soul/Gospel/Blues group, the Holmes Brothers.  Formed in 1978, the trio built a legion of loyal followers thanks to their heavenly harmonies and overall sound that was once described by the New York Times as “deeply soulful, uplifting and timeless.”  It was Dixon’s impeccable drumming and beautiful falsetto that made the group complete. Formed in Christchurch, Virginia, the Holmes Brothers moved to Harlem during the ’80s to try their luck in the city’s blues clubs.  They signed their first record deal in 1989 and went on to release 12 albums, including three that landed in the top five of the Billboard Blues Album charts.   The list of artists they recorded with includes Joan Osborne, Willie Nelson, Peter Gabriel, and Van Morrison.  In 2014, they received an National Endowment For The Arts National Heritage Fellowship.  Popsy Dixon was 72 when he died of liver cancer on January 9, 2014.

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Posted in Blues, Gospel, Musician, Singer | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Died On This Date (January 8, 2015) Andrae Crouch / The Father of Modern Gospel Music

Posted by themusicsover on January 8, 2015

Andrae Crouch
July 1, 1942 – January 8, 2015

andrae-crouchAndrae Crouch was a Gospel music pioneer in that he almost single-handedly crossed it over to the mainstream over the course of his career.  Crouch took to music at an early age, and had already written his first Gospel song by the time he was 14.  In 1960, he formed his first group, the Church of God in Christ Singers, that also counted Billy Preston as a member.  That lead to the Disciples which lasted until 1979, when Crouch went on to his successful solo career.  His best known songs are “My Tribute (To God Be the Glory),” “Soon and Very Soon,” and “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power.”  Over the years, Crouch collaborated with the likes of Elton John, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Madonna (to name just a few).   He also contributed original music to several films and television shows, most notably,  The Lion King and The Color Purple,  for which he earned an Academy Award nomination.  Throughout a career that spanned nearly 50 years, he won seven Grammys, four Dove Awards, and numerous other accolades.  Andrae Crouch was 72 when he died on January 8, 2015 while in the hospital after suffering a heart attack five days earlier.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus at Bob Dylan Examiner for the tip.

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Posted in Gospel, Musician, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Died On This Date (April 16, 2013) George Beverly Shea / America’s Beloved Gospel Singer

Posted by themusicsover on April 16, 2013

George Beverly Shea
February 1, 1909 – April 16, 2013

george-beverly-sheaGeorge Beverly Shea was an American Gospel singer and composer who was widely refereed to as “America’s Beloved Gospel Singer.”  Thanks in part to his numerous appearances at Billy Graham‘s many crusades along with subsequent recordings and radio appearances, Shea is considered one of Gospel music’s first true International stars.  Born in Ontario, Canada, Shea became a naturalized American citizen in 1941.  He was taught the violin, piano and organ as a youngster, but it was eventually his beautiful baritone voice that got noticed while singing at his father’s church.  He eventually moved to New York and then Chicago where he became a featured soloist on Graham’s weekly radio program.  Thanks to Shea’s singing, the show’s ratings skyrocketed almost overnight.  He went on to sing on other programs but ultimately worked alongside Graham over the next seven decades.  Throughout his career, Shea soloed on upwards of 500 recordings on over seventy albums.  He recorded several of his own albums as well.  His most famous recording is his rendition of “How Great Thou Art.”  As a composer, Shea’s most popular songs are “I’d Rather Have Jesus” and “The Wonder Of It All.”  He won a Grammy for Best Gospel Recording in 1966, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.  He’s also won countless awards from various Gospel and Christian music associations.  George Beverly Shaw was 104 when he passed away on April 16, 2013.


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Died On This Date (March 27, 2013) Gordon Stoker / Member Of Elvis Presley’s Jordanaires

Posted by themusicsover on March 27, 2013

Gordon Stoker
DOB Unknown – March 27, 2013

With Elvis

With Elvis

Gordon Stoker is best remembered as a member of Elvis Presley‘s backing vocalists, the Jordanaires.  He also acted as their manager.  Just 15 when he became a professional musician, Stoker eventually played piano on WSM’s Grand Ole Opry  radio program.  In 1949, he was picked up by the Jordanaires Gospel group to play piano.  Within two years, he was singing tenor in the group.  In 1956, Presley invited them to be his back up singers both live and on record.  Stoker can be heard on such records as “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You,” “I Got A Woman,” and “Heartbreak Hotel.”  The group continued on – with Stoker remaining until the time of his death – after Presley passed away in 1977.  The list of other artists that were backed by the Jordanaires on record includes Ricky Nelson, Johnny Cash, Ringo Starr, Patsy Cline, George Jones, Dolly Parton, Ween, and Kristen Chenoweth.  Gordon Stoker was 88 when he passed away on March 27, 2013.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

Thanks to Paul Bearer for the assist.

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