March 23, 1998 |
Bill Leonard looks over robes displayed at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. He works in security there but had the day off yesterday. It was the opening day for "Wade in the Water," a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibition on African American sacred music that includes lectures and live music. The portrait at left is of the Roberta Martin Singers, a gospel-music mainstay in the 1930s through the '50s.
June 30, 1997 |
As part of the city's Welcome America! extravaganza, neighborhoods are holding festivals on different days, and yesterday was West Oak Lane's turn. The Gospelrama at Awbury Park featured - in addition to gospel music - ethnic foods, games, amusements and a talent show. Drill teams performed their routines on East Haines Street, which is now a source of community pride. In the week before the festival, volunteers converged on the 1300 block to remove graffiti, add landscaping, and repair broken concrete.
June 18, 2010
Legendary funk guitarist Garry Shider, 56, whose work with Parliament-Funkadelic earned him a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, died Wednesday at his home in Upper Marlboro, Md. He had been diagnosed with brain and lung cancer in March. Mr. Shider was known to millions as "Starchild" or "Diaperman" because of the loincloth he often wore onstage. Mr. Shider, who was born in Plainfield, N.J., started his career as a child, performing gospel music in churches. He was still a teenager when he first met P-Funk mastermind George Clinton and soon became a mainstay of that musical family.
September 8, 1988 |
Starting in December, "Gospel 900" will replace the silenced "Talk 900" on the radio dial spot occupied by WDVT (AM/900) until it went off the air in July. A Virginia religious broadcaster has bought the station and plans to install a format featuring gospel music, as well as radio sermons. The new owner, subject to Federal Communications Commission approval expected in 30 to 45 days, is the Norfolk-based Willis Broadcasting Corp. It is headed by Bishop L.E. Willis of the Church of God in Christ.
February 4, 2015 |
PHILADELPHIA'S reputation as a center of gospel music owed much to people like Irma Beattie Brown Coleman. Irma and the late David Collier formed United Gospel Singers, which performed at churches throughout the Philadelphia area and in other cities on the East Coast in the '60s and '70s. Among her innovations was the introduction of young boys and girls as soloists at well-attended gospel programs, many at Tindley Temple United Methodist Church on South Broad Street. She organized numerous other gospel groups over the years and served as a teacher seeking to bring out the nascent talents of young singers.
September 15, 1997 |
'For those of you who think gospel music has gone too far, you think we've gotten too radical with our message, well, I got news for ya: You ain't heard nothin' yet. " Thus begins "Stomp," the smash gospel, crossover R&B and rap hit from Kirk Franklin and G.P. (God's Property). Franklin takes the moral offensive, attempting to lead our youth of the hip-hop generation to Jesus. This tune places many contemporary African-American gospel-music lovers back into the debate between spiritual and secular music that originated in the early 1900s.
January 26, 1993 |
Just as his music moved generations, the passing of Thomas A. Dorsey, the "Grandfather of Gospel," has been deeply felt by local ministers, musicians and others touched by the musical style he created. "I have certainly recognized he was prophetic, he realized where our music must go if we were to use it to communicate with our religious community," said the Rev. Paul Washington, rector emeritus of the Church of the Advocate and interim pastor at St. Simon's church. "There are a lot of young people who have come to the church, found a music to enjoy, to participate in, and be appreciated, because of Dorsey.
February 17, 1993 |
Bishop Andrew J. Ford Jr., pastor and founder of the Highway Church of Christ, died Saturday. He was 63 and lived in Cherry Hill. Bishop Ford had pastored Highway Church of Christ, at 4031 Germantown Ave., for the past 38 years. He was also diocesan bishop of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for Highway Church of Christ Inc. "He had a unique personality and a unique way of drawing people together," said his son Andrew. "He made anyone he talked to feel comfortable and feel free to be themselves.
October 13, 1986 |
Much like the stylish hats of the women, the choirs, soloists and ensemble groups who performed last night at the second annual Kentucky Fried Chicken Gospel Music Competition at the Academy of Music had their own style and unique way of expressing themselves. Delois Barrett Campbell, lead singer of the gospel group the Barrett Sisters, once said that gospel music was more than just notes and lyrics. It is, she said, "a way of life. " Last night gave testimony to that as the performers on stage became one with the audience.
August 25, 2013 |
Anyone paying attention to this summer's local gospel music scene knows that gospel, nationally and in this city, is on the upswing. The Spirit of Philadelphia has been hosting packed Gospel Lunch Cruises on selected Saturdays, with local gospel singers the Disciples and the Pearls serenading passengers. One sails this weekend, and there are additional dates in the fall. Last week, the Crazy Praise Dance Showcase at Baptist Worship Center on James Street welcomed Mary Mary, one of gospel's premier duos, who sang to 2,000 attendees.