Legends: The Winans

Happy Black History Month!!!


The Very Best Of The Winans

The Winans are a group of four brothers from a Gospel Music dynasty.  The late David Winans Sr. and Delores Ransom Winans parented ten musically-inclined children: David Winans Jr., the late Ronald Winans, twins Marvin Winans Sr. and Carvin Winans, Michael Winans, Daniel Winans, Bebe Winans, Cece Winans, Debbie Winans, and Angie Winans.

Ronald, Marvin, Carvin, and Michael are the members of this legendary Contemporary Gospel Music Quartet.


Introducing The Winans

The Winans appeared on the music scene in 1981 with their debut release entitled Introducing The Winans, which was produced by Bill Maxwell and Andrae Crouch.  The single entitled The Question Is set the tone for this new era in Gospel Music.  The Winans wrote and sang songs that demonstrated  their close, personal relationship with God, which was very fresh and new for audiences both inside and outside of the church.

Introducing The Winans (Album) was nominated for the 1981 Grammy in the category of Best Soul Gospel Performance, Contemporary.


Long Time Comin'

In 1983, Long Time Comin’ was released to rave reviews.  The first track on this release is entitled If Ever I Fall, which discusses the concept of God being with His children in the event of a fall from His Grace; however, it is better know that His children do not have to fall at all because of God’s power of salvation.  This was a revolutionary concept that empowered many new Christians, such as , myself.

Long Time Comin’ (Album) was nominated for the 1983 Grammy in the category of Best Soul Gospel Performance By A Duo Or Group.


Tomorrow

In 1984, The Winans released the highly anticipated album entitled Tomorrow.  The title song is an evangelistic masterpiece that challenges the sinner to choose the Lord, for tomorrow very well may be too late.  This album enabled The Winans to cross over to secular radio stations with these honestly written songs.

Tomorrow (Album) won the 1985 Grammy Award for Best Soul Gospel Performance By A Duo, Group, Choir Or Chorus.


1985LetMyPeopleGo-12Inch

In 1985, The Winans left Light Records to sign with Quincy Jones’ label entitled Qwest Records.  The first single released on this new label was the Let My People Go (Specially-Priced Maxi-Single)The Winans joined the roster of artists, with this song, that challenged the South African Government to end their oppressive system.

Let My People Go

Shortly after the mega-success of the Specially-Priced Maxi-Single, the album Let My People Go was released and embraced by audiences inside and outside of the church.  The first track on the album was a huge surprise for listeners, which is entitled Choose Ye (with Vanessa Bell Armstrong).  This was a God-ordained paring.  Every song on this album opened new horizons for Gospel Music.  This album was so ground-breaking that it is being used to represent the Gospel Music genre at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.

Let My People Go (Album) won the 1986 Grammy Award for Best Soul Gospel Performance By A Duo, Group, Choir or Chorus.

Choose Ye (with Vanessa Bell Armstrong) was nominated for the 1986 Grammy for Best Soul Gospel Performance By A Duo, Group, Choir or Chorus.


1986Ain'tNoNeedToWorry-12Inch


1986Ain'tNoNeedToWorry-7Inch

In 1986, The Winans expanded the boundaries of Gospel Music when they released the mega-hit Ain’t No Need To Worry (with Anita Baker) (Specially-Priced Maxi-Single).  Many Gospel Music fans raised their eyebrows and questioned: “Why Anita Baker?”  “Why did The Winans not work with any fellow Gospel Music Artists on this project?  Regardless of the controversy, audiences embraced this song as new Gospel Music Classic.


1986TheRealMeaningOfChristmas

Later the same year, The Winans stepped into the Christmas Music area after releasing the mega-hit The Real Meaning Of Christmas (Specially-Priced Maxi-Single).  This song challenged the secular icons of the Christmas Season and declared, “The real meaning of Christmas is Christ.”


Decisions

In 1987, the Decisions was released.  This album included an LP version of Ain’t No Need To Worry (with Anita Baker), as well as other ground-breaking songs; such as, Millions and Breaking Of Day.  The other mega-hit from this album is a song entitled Love Has No Color (with Michael McDonald), which was another opportunity for The Winans to challenge listener to improve their attitudes towards race and politics.

1987LoveHasNoColor-12Inch

1987LoveHasNoColor-7Inch

1987GiveMeYou-12Inch

This notable album yielded two additional singles that crossed over to secular radio entitled, Love Has No Color (with Michael McDonald) (Specially-Priced Maxi-Single) and Give Me You (Specially-Priced Maxi-Single).

Ain’t No Need To Worry (with Anita Baker) won the 1987 Grammy Award for Best Soul Gospel Performance By A Duo, Group, Choir or Chorus.

Decisions (Album) won the 1987 Grammy Award for Best Soul Gospel Performance By A Duo, Group, Choir or Chorus.


Live At Carnegie Hall

In 1988, The Winans released their one and only live recording entitled The Winans: Live At Carnegie Hall.  The album contains live versions of all of their hits, as well as depicting the praise and worship experience that was common during their concerts.

The Winans: Live At Carnegie Hall won the 1988 Grammy Award in the category of Best Gospel Performance By A Duo or Group, Choir or Chorus.


Return

In 1990, The Winans pushed the boundaries of Gospel Music, again, with the release of Return.  The mega-crossover hit It’s Time (with Teddy Riley).  Unfortunately, many Gospel Music Fans decided to boycott this album.  However, this album still sold Multi-Platinum Status in spite of the boycott.  This album contains other awesome collaborations; such as, Everyday The Same (with Stevie Wonder), A Friend (with Aaron Hall and Damon Hall), and When You Cry (with Kenny G).

Return (Album) was nominated for the 1990 Grammy in the category of Best Soul Gospel Album.


All Out

In 1993, The Winans released All Out, which contains the hits It’s Not Heaven If You’re Not There (with Lalah Hathaway) and If He Doesn’t Come Tonight (with Ricky Van Shelton).

All Out (Album) won the Grammy Award in 1993 in the category of Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album.


Heart And Soul

In 1995, The final album that the original members of The Winans would release is Heart & Soul.  This finale album yielded an updated version of The Question Is, which was intelligently crafted with appropriate life references.  The other notable tracks on this album are Paradise, Count It All Joy, and Please Believe In Me, which features the powerful lead vocals of the late Ronald Winans.

Heart & Soul (Album) was nominated for the 1996 Grammy in the category of Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album.


The Winans are legends.  The Winans are Black History.

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Copyright 2018 – 2019 DJ HiPrayze, L.L.C. | All Rights Reserved | Created by Brian N. Brooks

Living Legend: Tramaine Hawkins

Happy Black History Month!


TramaineDavisHawkins


The reigning First Lady of Contemporary Gospel Music, Tramaine Hawkins, was born Tramaine Aunzola Davis on October 11, 1951 in San Francisco, California.  She started her career in 1966 as a member of the Heavenly Tones.  The group recorded an album entitled I Love The Lord.


Tramaine joined The Edwin Hawkins Singers on their 1969 release entitled Let Us Go Into The House Of The Lord, which featured the Grammy Winning, crossover hit Oh Happy Day (with Dorothy Combs Morrison).  Her soaring soprano lead vocals were featured on the songs entitled I Heard The Voice Of Jesus (with Rueben Franklin and Donald Cashmere) and Joy, Joy (with Ruth Lyons).


Many Gospel Music Fans will be surprised to learn that the legendary Tramaine spent a short time in her career as a member of the R&B group Honey Cone, who recorded the hit song entitled Want Ads.


Tramaine became an official member of The Hawkins Family in 1971 when she married Walter Hawkins.  This power couple became parents of two amazing children, Walter “Jamie” Hawkins, and Trystan Hawkins.


In 1973, The Edwin Hawkins Singers released an album entitled New World, which further featured the ground-breaking lead vocals of Tramaine Hawkins on the songs entitled Jubilation, Precious Memories, and Someday.


Starting in 1975, Tramaine became a principle lead singer with two of the Gospel Music Groups that moved the genre into a new era: Walter Hawkins & The Love Center Choir and The Hawkins Family.  The songs that helped solidify Tramaine’s status The First Lady of Contemporary Gospel Music are: Changed, Goin’ Up Yonder, Jesus Christ Is The Way, He Brought Me, You’re Everything To Me, He’s That Kind Of Friend, and Coming Home.


Tramaine


In 1979, the album that launched Tramaine Hawkins’ career into the stratosphere was released and was simply entitled Tramaine.  Music lovers inside and outside of the church were blown away by this album.  The boundaries of Gospel Music were further expanded.  The first song on the album entitled Look At Me is up beat and full of life and celebrates the fact that Christ has set us free!  Every song on Tramaine is innovative and fresh.

This album was nominated for a Grammy in 1980 for the Best Soul Gospel Performance, Contemporary.


Determined


In 1983, Tramaine’s sophomore project was released entitled Determined.  This album, which was produced by the late great Walter Hawkins, yielded many innovative hits, such as, Rescue Me, Set Me Free, and Can’t Find The Words.  The most notable single from this album is the jazz-flavored Greatest Lover, which pushed the boundaries of people’s perception of Gospel Music.

This album was nominated for a Grammy is 1983 for the Best Gospel Performance (Female).


1985FallDown


In 1985, Tramaine Hawkins set the Gospel Music Industry on its ear with the release of the 12-inch single entitled Fall Down (Spirit Of Love).  During this time, she dropped her last name and was simple known as Tramaine.  This release changed Gospel Music forever with its thumping beat and cross-over appeal.  Many Gospel Music fans were shocked to learn that this song was being played on secular radio stations and in dance clubs. Ms. Hawkins actually performed this song in dance clubs, which was very controversial.  Personally, I was so exited that Tramaine Hawkins lead the charge for Gospel Music Singers to go into all the world and preach the Gospel, which is a command that Jesus Christ has given to all of his followers.  BRAVO, Lady Tramaine Hawkins!!!

In addition, to Fall Down (Spirt Of Love), two additional 12-inch singles entitled In The Morning Time, and Child Of The King were released to further solidify this new movement in Gospel Music.


1985InTheMorningTime


1986ChildOfTheKing


The Search Is Over

In 1986, the album entitled The Search Is Over was released to rave reviews and applause by audiences both inside and outside of the church.  This album included LP Versions of the hits that were mentioned earlier.  The single, Everybody Ought To Know, is a “sho’nuff” Gospel Music song that demonstrates that Tramaine Hawkins is truly the First Lady Of Contemporary Gospel Music!  If you have never heard Everybody Ought To Know, you are missing a major classic song.

This album was nominated for a Grammy in 1986 for Best Gospel Performance, Female.


Freedom

In 1987, Tramaine further expanded the reach of Gospel Music once again.  The album Freedom was released on compact disc (CD).  Prior to the release of Freedom, no other major Gospel Music Artists had released music in this new revolutionary digital format.  Personally, Freedom was the first CD I ever purchased.

The title sang Freedom was produced by Tito Jackson of the famous Jackson 5, with background vocals performed by Tito Jackson, Randy Jackson, Jackie Jackson, and Jermaine Jackson.

Freedom yielded two ground breaking 12-inch singles entitled Freedom and The Rock.


1987Freedom


1987TheRock


The Joy That Floods My Soul

In 1988, Tramaine Hawkins reclaimed her last name and released an album entitled The Joy That Floods My Soul.  This album yielded the more traditional sounding gospel music hit entitled What Shall I Do, which was written by Quincy Felding, Jr.

This album was nominated for a Grammy in 1988 for Best Soul Gospel Performance, Female.


Tramaine Hawkins...Live

In 1990, the album Tramaine Hawkins… Live! was released to triumphant reviews and applause.  This project opens with I Still Want You, which features instrumental solos by the late great legendary Jazz saxophonist Stanley Turrentine.  Next up, the song entitled The Potter’s House, which became a mega-hit and legendary duet with Walter Hawkins.  This album yielded the first song written by Tramaine’s son, Jamie Hawkins, entitled Cheer Up.  Two of the songs featured the legendary guitarist Carlos Santana entitled Who Is He and Lift Me Up.  In my opinion, Praise The Name Of Jesus is the most powerful track on this album.  This was one of the first Praise and Worship Songs recorded by a major Gospel Artist.

This album was such a musical triumph, it earned Tramaine Hawkins a Grammy Award in 1990 for Best Traditional Soul Gospel Performance.


To A Higher Place

In 1994, To A Higher Place was released to rave reviews and further expanded the scope of Gospel Music.  This album contains a ground-breaking duet that is revolutionary, entitled I Found The Answer, which features the vocals of the late legend Mahalia Jackson.  Another pleasant surprise that appears on this album occurs at the opening of the song It’s Never Too Late, which is narrated by the late legendary actor and civil rights activist Ossie Davis.  In my opinion, the most-notable song on this album is Tramaine classic performance of Amazing Grace.

This album was nominated for a Grammy in 1994 for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album.


Still Tramaine

In 2001, Tramaine Hawkins released Still Tramaine which contains the last recorded duet with Walter Hawkins entitled It’s Your Power.  This album is loaded with Gospel gems.  The song entitled Justified By Faith is a song that reveals the fact that the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ reconciles all of us back to God.  By His Strength (Remix) is an awesome song to work out to while feeding your soul with encouragement.


I Never Lost My Praise - Live

Tramaine Hawkins’ latest release is entitled I Never Lost My Praise, which has introduced a whole new generation to the awesomeness of this living legend.  This album features classic Tramaine Hawkins gems, such as, Excellent Lord which features vocals by Kurt Carr.  The title song, I Never Lost My Praise, features background vocals by Patrick Lundy and The Ministers Of Music.


There are so many projects and artists that Tramaine Hawkins has contributed to that it is impossible to list them all.  Some of the other artists that Tramaine Hawkins has worked with are West Angeles Church Of God In Christ Angelic Choir, Edwin Hawkins, The Rosa Parks Tribute Singers, and Shirley Miller.


Tramaine Hawkins continues to record and perform.  She is a living legend!!!

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Copyright 2018 – 2019 DJ HiPrayze, L.L.C. | All Rights Reserved | Created by Brian N. Brooks

Legends: Andraé Crouch (1942 – 2015)

Just Andraé

Happy Black History Month!


On July 1, 1942, Andraé Edward Crouch was born, along with his twin sister, Sandra, in San Francisco, California.  Andraé Crouch started his music career at a very young age playing for services at his parents’ church.


During the early days of Andraé’s career, many church-going people referred to his music as being too worldly.  In addition to the sound of his music, Andraé and his group dressed like all of the other young people of their day.  They dressed in bell-bottom pants with platformed shoes, which was very different than the perceived image of how Christians should have presented themselves.


Andraé Crouch was the inventor of Contemporary Gospel Music as we know it today.  He had the gift from God and the courage to challenge the status quo of the boundaries of Gospel Music.  The songs that Andraé wrote and recorded where anointed enough to usher the Saints into the Presence of the Lord, while at the same time simple enough to introduce the Sinners to the Lord Jesus Christ for the first time.


The song entitled Bless His Holy Name taught a generation of listeners how to enter the Presence of the Lord.  The Holy Bible tells us in Psalm 103:1 (KJV), “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.”  In another of Andraé Crouch‘s compositions entitled Bless The Lord (Chant), generations of listeners were encouraged not to forget all of God’s benefits.  A proclamation of the solution to all of life’s problems was introduced to the listeners within a song entitled Jesus Is The Answer.


In addition to the music, Andraé Crouch introduced the world to some of the most anointed singers that world has ever heard, such as, Sandra Crouch, Tramaine Davis (who is known as Tramaine Hawkins after marrying Bishop Walter Hawkins), Bili Thedford, Danniebelle Hall, Tata Vega (who was the singing voice of the character Shug Avery from The Color Purple), and Howard Smith.  Many other artists were discovered by Andraé Crouch, who produced their debut albums.  These artists include The Winans and Kristle Murden.


Also, Andraé Crouch worked with an impressive list of well-known artists on countless projects, such as, Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Chaka Khan, Kim Burrell, Take 6, Crystal Lewis, Fred Hammond, Marcus Cole, El DeBarge, Karen Clark Sheard, Marvin Winans, and Yolanda Adams.


Andraé Crouch’s influence can be heard and seen on both the big and small screens.  He worked very closely with Quincy Jones on the film The Color Purple to bring us the epic song entitled God Is Tryin’ To Tell You Something where the character Shug Avery  found redemption.  In addition, his work was featured in many television shows, such as, Beverly Hood, Cousin Skeeter, In Search Of Dr. Seuss, In Living Color, and The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson.

Andraé Crouch’s work will be experienced by countless future generations, whether in church, on the radio, on television, or in the movies.  His music will always be in rotation on DJ HiPrayze Radio.


Andraé Crouch is Black History!  He may be gone, but he will never be forgotten.

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Copyright 2018 – 2019 DJ HiPrayze, L.L.C. | All Rights Reserved | Created by Brian N. Brooks

Remembering Sarah Gaines

RememberingSarahGaines

On January 17, 2019, Sarah Gaines, a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother, transitioned into the presence of the Lord.


Sarah Gaines was a Gospel Music Pioneer as a member of the legendary duo Billy & Sarah Gaines.  Their music bridged the gap between the audiences of Contemporary Christian Music and Gospel Music.  People of many races and backgrounds attended their concerts.


Billy & Sarah Gaines released eight albums throughout the duration of their blessed career entitled Billy & Sarah Gaines, Come On Back, Friends Indeed, He’ll Find A Way, Love’s The Key, No One Loves Me Like You, Signature Songs: Billy & Sarah Gaines, and Through The Years.


Personally, I consider Billy & Sarah Gaines to be pioneers in the Progressive Gospel Music Movement of the 1980s, along with artists, such as, Babbie Mason, Larnelle Harris, Bebe & Cece Winans, Candi Staton, Helen Baylor, Vernessa Mitchell, and Phil & Brenda Nicholas.


As a solo artist, Sarah Gaines recorded and produced two projects entitled Sarah Gaines presents Miss Kitty and the Neighborhood Play Place and Sarah Gaines presents Miss Kitty and the Neighborhood Christmas Show, which are ground-breaking recordings in the Children’s Music genre.


Sarah Gaines and her music will always be a part of the Soundtrack of our lives.  God has used her angelic voice to uplift and encourage us.  Her music and memory will always remain in rotation on DJ HiPrayze Radio.


We miss you, Sarah Gaines!!!  We will never forget you!!!  We look forward to seeing you again when we arrive into the Glory of God face-to-face.


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Copyright 2018 – 2019 DJ HiPrayze, L.L.C. | All Rights Reserved | Created by Brian N. Brooks

Legends: Mahalia Jackson (1911 – 1972)

 

MahaliaJackson

Happy Black History Month!


Mahalia Jackson was born on October 26, 1911 in New Orleans, Louisiana. At the age of 16, she moved to Chicago, Illinois where her career was launched in 1929.

Her first crossover hit single entitled I Will Move On Up A Little Higher was released on November 23, 1954. Music lovers from all walks of life fell in love with this ultimate singer.

The list of her timeless hits is endless. These songs include: Didn’t It RainCome On Children, Let’s SingI Found AnswerGreat Gettin’ Up Morning; and Elijah Rock.

Over the years, many artists have covered her hits. These artists have included Aretha FranklinBrooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Larnelle Harris, Babbie Mason, Tramaine Hawkins, and Wintley Phipps.

In recent years, artists have recorded posthumous duets with this musical legend. The most notable recordings are Search Me, Lord released by Onitsha from her album entitled Church Girl and I Found The Answer released by Tramaine Hawkins from her album entitled To A Higher Place. Both of these recordings are new Gospel Music Classics waiting to be discovered by generations unborn.

In addition, Mahalia Jackson has appeared on the silver screen. In 1958, Mahalia portrayed the character by the name of Bessie May in the film entitled St. Louis Blues where she shared the silver screen with other icons; such as, Nat King Cole, Eartha Kitt, Cab CallowayElla Fitzgerald, and Ruby Dee. In 1959, Mahalia portrayed herself in the film entitled Imitation Of Life, starring Lana Turner and John Gavin where she sang the Oscar Nominated song entitled Trouble Of The World.

Mahalia Jackson is a legend. She is Black History!

Stay tuned to DJ HiPrayze Radio to hear the incredible and timeless music of Mahalia Jackson.

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Copyright 2018 – 2019 DJ HiPrayze, L.L.C. | All Rights Reserved | Created by Brian N. Brooks
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