January 1, 2012 |
NEW YORK - It's easy to roll your eyes at Joyful Noise, a broad-stroke dramedy about a small-town gospel choir struggling for greatness. Easy, that is, until the song "Man in the Mirror" kicks in. It's only a few minutes into the movie, as the choir at Divinity Church in impoverished Pacashau, Ga., is still reeling from the death of its longtime director (a briefly glimpsed Kris Kristofferson). The appointment of his longtime second-in-command, a mother of two played by Queen Latifah, over his widow (Dolly Parton)
December 14, 2011 |
DINA MARIE TURCHI'S parents didn't always want to know what she was up to. Like jumping out of airplanes. Her mother, Marie, doesn't even know where her daughter did her skydiving. All she knows is that when Dina invited her mother and her little niece Briana to watch her parachute from the sky, her mother said, "No way. " In addition to not wanting to see her child risk her life for thrills, she didn't want Briana, then about 3, to witness the feat because "she might want to do it. " Dina Marie Turchi packed a lot of living into a tragically short life.
November 25, 2011 |
You could call Serena Sol Brown - singer, musician, and radio personality - a triple threat, as her friends like to say. But that would be leaving out a lot. Let's see. She also writes songs. And produces and promotes artists. And did I mention deejaying and acting? What are we up to now? Octuple threat? Suffice it to say that Serena Sol's artistic journey has taken her in and out of so many facets of the music industry that that she probably could run a label herself.
October 7, 2011
Bill Toms For 19 years, Bill Toms played lead guitar for Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers, the underappreciated Pittsburgh band whose muscular rock draws from the same well as that of their pal Bruce Springsteen. You'll hear some of the Boss' influence on Toms' seventh solo studio album. What sets the work apart, though, is the commanding way he charts his own course as a rock-and-soul man. As you'd expect from an album titled Memphis (though it was mostly recorded in West Virginia)
September 27, 2011 |
CHICAGO - Jessy Dixon, 73, a singer and songwriter who introduced his energetic style of gospel music to wider audiences by serving as pop singer Paul Simon's opening act, died Monday. Miriam Dixon said her brother died Monday morning at his Chicago home. She said he had been sick but declined to provide additional details. During a more-than-50-year career, Mr. Dixon wrote songs for several popular singers, including jazz and rhythm-and-blues singer Randy Crawford. He later wrote songs performed by Cher, Diana Ross, Natalie Cole, and Amy Grant.
September 27, 2011 |
CHICAGO - Jessy Dixon, a singer and songwriter who introduced his energetic style of gospel music to wider audiences by serving as pop-singer Paul Simon's opening act, died yesterday. He was 73. Miriam Dixon said her brother died at his Chicago home. She said he had been sick but declined to provide details. During a more than 50-year career, Dixon wrote songs for several performers, including jazz and rhythm and blues singer Randy Crawford. He later wrote songs performed by Cher, Diana Ross, Natalie Cole and Amy Grant.
September 13, 2011 |
WHEN Betty Spivey was 10, an elder at Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church heard her "toying" with the piano keys. Obviously, Betty was not just toying, because Presiding Elder Arnold D. Nearn assigned her to play at the AME's South District Sunday School Convention that year. "Nervous and uncertain of her talent, she majestically played her first song, 'Where He May Lead Me,' which set the course for her service as a pianist and organist in God's church," her family said.
August 4, 2011
Delois Barrett Campbell, 85, a member of the award-winning Barrett Sisters trio who electrified audiences worldwide with their powerful gospel harmonies, died Tuesday at a Chicago hospital after a long illness, her daughter Mary Campbell said. The Barrett Sisters, raised on Chicago's South Side and coached to sing by an aunt, grew up to become what music critic Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune has called "the greatest female trio in gospel history. " The sisters recorded their first album together, Jesus Loves Me, in the mid-1960s.
July 23, 2011
After reading Monica Yant Kinney's column on the new archbishop of Philadelphia ("Chaput isn't the change reform-minded Catholics had in mind," Wednesday), I am somewhat curious as to how she is qualified to write on matters of faith. In particular, she scolded Archbishop Charles Chaput for chastising "cafeteria Catholics for daring to put their lives before faith. " That statement is puzzling beyond belief. Being a Catholic has always meant putting your faith before your life. It is what countless martyrs did for almost 2,000 years in professing their faith in Christ and His holy church.
June 26, 2011 |
Rejoice & Shout , filmmaker Don McGlynn's raucous new documentary about gospel music in America, reaches all the way back to 1902, when Virginia's Dinwiddie Colored Quartet made the first African American religious recordings, almost two decades before the first jazz and blues records. Listening in on the music that came out of black Baptist and Pentecostal churches in the century since, Rejoice & Shout focuses attention on big-name and not-so-big-name gospel greats, from Mahalia Jackson and the Staple Singers to the Golden Gate Quartet and Swan Silvertones.