Tag: gospel music

10 Year-Old Willie Myrick Escapes Kidnapper by Repeatedly Singing Gospel Song

willie-myrick

10-year-old Willie Myrick in Atlanta escaped a kidnapper in the most improbable way. On the night of March 31, Myrick was outside taking care of his pet Chihuahua. The boy spotted a few dollars near a tree. When he walked over to the money, a man grabbed Willie and forced him into a four-door Honda Civic.

“He was cursing at me, telling me to shut up, and didn’t want to hear a word from me,” Willie recalled to WSB-TV in Atlanta. “He said if I told anyone he would hurt me, like, in a bad way.”

The man drove around for three hours before leaving Willie on the side of a road in East Point, Ga. According to the fourth grader, the reason the man released him is because Willie irritated him with gospel music. Willie sang the track, “Every Praise” by Hezekiah Walker repeatedly until he was set free.

Stranded miles from his home, Willie went door-to-door seeking help. After one person turned him away, an elderly man across the street called the police and contacted Willie’s guardian.  Willie escaped the situation physically unscathed. He was examined at a hospital before returning home.

Community leaders in Atlanta are now stepping up to help find Willie’s kidnapper. According to WSB, a group of churches, civic organizations, and businesses are offering the $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the kidnapper.

“Our concern is not just the city of Atlanta boundaries,” said Michael Langford, speaking for the coalition behind the reward. “It’s the society in general. It’s metro Atlanta. We’ve seen a number of attacks.”

But as authorities continue their investigation, Willie’s family is offering their own praise that his love of gospel music might have saved his life.

article by Ralphie Aversa via news.yahoo.com

Stevie Wonder Announces New Gospel Album

Stevie WonderAccording to Rolling Stone, soul star Stevie Wonder is working on a new album called Gospel Inspired By LulaDuring an interview with the magazine, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer said his upcoming gospel album is a tribute of his late mother, Lula Mae Hardaway, who is credited as a co-writer on many of his classic hits including “I Was Made to Love Her” and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours.”

“I promised her I would do it,” he said. “She always wanted me to do it before she passed away, the untimely passing away. We’ve been working on some songs and some ideas.”

Although the project will include traditional tunes, Wonder said he want the music to cross religious lines.

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“Bountiful’s” Cicely Tyson Moves Broadway Audiences to Sing Along to “Blessed Assurance”

Not long after the curtain rises on the second act of “The Trip to Bountiful,” the Broadway revival of the Horton Foote play at the Stephen Sondheim Theater, something unusual happens. Cicely Tyson, as Mrs. Carrie Watts, sits on a bus station bench in a small Texas town. She is on the run from her abusive daughter-in-law and henpecked son in Houston, desperate to see the family farm in Bountiful once more before she dies.

Audience members join in as Ms. Tyson sings “Blessed Assurance.”  Overcome with emotion, she begins singing an old Protestant hymn, “Blessed Assurance.”

From the first note, there’s a palpable stirring among many of the black patrons in the audience, which the play, with its mostly black cast, draws in large numbers. When Ms. Tyson jumps to her feet, spreads her arms and picks up the volume, they start singing along. On some nights it’s a muted accompaniment. On other nights, and especially at Sunday matinees, it’s a full-throated chorus that rocks the theater.

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Spelman Twins Kristie and Kirstie Bronner Make History As School’s First Co-Valedictorians

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Kristie (pictured left) and Kirstie Bronner (pictured) are identical twins with identical grade point averages, so why shouldn’t they share the honor of being Spelman College‘s first-ever sister co-valedictorians, reports WSB-TV.

The road to one of this country’s leading historically Black colleges was not a walk in the park for the girls; they worked hard to maintain their high grade point averages in high school.  According to Kirstie Bonner, who spoke with WSB-TV, “Before we came to college, we prayed that we would keep 4.0′s all the way through, but I don’t think we ever really expected it.”

But apparently there is strength in numbers, and as sisters who have traveled along the same path, sharing the same educational goals for success, the young women seemed to fuel each other, as evidenced by their noteworthy standing at Spelman, “You can have strength together,” Kristie points out.

When the young women arrived at the Atlanta college, they said they really pushed themselves to the limit to maintain excellent grades, even making themselves physically ill.  Eventually, both Kirstie and Kristie learned from their mistakes, self-corrected, and managed their college workload in a way that would not negatively affect their health.

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Labelmates Shirley Caesar, Bishop Paul S. Morton and James Fortune & FIYA Score Big On Gospel Charts

eoneLight Records artists James Fortune & FIYA, Shirley Caesar, and Bishop Paul S. Morton’s hit singles continue to inspire and be embraced by fans all over the country, with their stronghold on the latest Gospel charts in the Top 5 at #3, #4, and #5 respectively.  Uplifting and bringing encouragement to fans with the awesome strength and power of faith, the rousing and contemplative tracks continue to have a lasting impact, collectively spending over 90 weeks on the Gospel chart thus far between the three artists.  With award-winning melodies and dynamic Gospel, the empowering messages from James Fortune & FIYA’s Hold On (#3), Shirley Caesar’s God Will Make A Way (#4), and Bishop Paul S. Morton’s Your Best Days Yet (#5) remain a big hit with listeners, with their Top 5 impact on the latest Gospel radio chart (for May 11, 2013).

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R.I.P. Cleotha Staples of the Staples Singers

 

APphoto_Obit-Cleotha Staples

Cleotha ”Cleedi” Staples (pictured), the eldest member of the famed soul/gospel group, The Staple Singers, passed away on Feb. 21 of causes related to Alzheimer’s disease. The performer had battled the disease for over a decade, according to Philly.com.  She was 78.  Cleotha was born in Drew, Miss., on April 11, 1934 to Roebuck “Pops” Staples and his wife Oceola. She was soon followed by siblings Pervis, Yvonne, Mavis and Cynthia.

After relocating to Chicago in search of better employment opportunities, Cleotha’s father managed to work a few manual labor jobs while Oceola toiled at a hotel stint overnight. Pops began to teach his children gospel songs in order to keep them entertained during the evenings while their mother worked. Pops’ sister Katie enjoyed her brother and his family’s singing so much that she invited them to sing at her church one Sunday morning in 1948. Congregants loved what they heard and begged for three encores.  This event marked the beginning of the Staples family’s professional singing career.

The Staple Singers “Respect Yourself” On Soul Train: 

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