70/80 GOSPEL (blog)

blog #3 - The Music Of Danniebelle Hall

The late and the GREAT Danniebelle Hall was an amazing singer and songwriter, musician, arranger, and lyricist.  I remember when she came to our church (Prayer Garden Church Of God In Christ in San Jose, California) when I was about 4 or 5 years old.  My mom told me she was there.  It was during a Sunday night service, I think.  No one knew she was coming.  She just came unannounced. 

I used to sing solos in church when I was little, and my mom taught me to sing two of Danniebelle’s songs: (1) Mary Had A Little Lamb (2) Turn It Over To Jesus.  I never really felt that I did either one of her songs justice when I sang them.  But my mom said I sang them well and the people at church seemed to like them, so………

I used to sit in the backseat of my parents’ El Dorado Cadillac and listen to Danniebelle sing-----and of course I would sing along with her. I just loved her music.  I especially loved her live album recorded in Sweden entitled, "Live in Sweden with Choralerna".  I also remember seeing her in concert a few times.  Those were FANTASTIC memories.  Incidentally, before she became a solo artist, she sang with the unparalleled Gospel artist Andrae Crouch and the Disciples.  By the way, I LOVE ANDRAE CROUCH!  He will be featured in one of my future blogs.

Anyway, back to Danniebelle at my church.  My mom told me she was there so naturally, I wanted to hear her sing!  Somehow, my mom gave word to a lady in our church.  I do not remember who she was, but she told me that I would have to request for her to sing.  In my mind, I wondered how I would make a request.  And what was a request anyway?  I was only about 4 or 5 years old.

Toward the end of that night’s service, I was told that I was to make my request for Danniebelle to sing.  Appropriately, my mom told me what to say when it was time for me to go before the congregation to make my request.  I was just a little bit nervous, and extremely confused.  But I was willing to do whatever I had to do to hear Danniebelle sing.  

Finally, I was called upon.  I walked to the front of the sanctuary and there was a man who stood me upon the alter so everyone could see me.  He handed me the microphone.  In my little voice I said, “I would like to request Sister Danniebelle to sing a song.”  Those were the words my mom gave me to say.  Thank God for my mom. 

When Danniebelle came up to sing, she gave me that big wonderful smile of hers and she hugged me so tightly.  Then she told me, “You are so cute.”  Oh my gosh!  I did it!!!  I made my request!!!   I cannot even remember the song she sang.  But I do remember that I actually felt loved by Danniebelle Halll.  What an amazing night that was.

And now, without further ado, here are some of the greatest hits of Danniebelle Hall:


blog #2 - Praise Belongs To God by Elbernita "Twinkie" Clark

Twinkie Clark is an amazing singer, organist, and song writing genius!  She is one of the legendary, gospel singing Clark Sisters.  She released a PHENOMENAL solo album in 1979 entitled, Elbernita “Twinkie” Clark - Praise Belongs To God.   Everyone calls her “Twinkie” Clark though.  She looked so Regal on her album cover wearing a red rose in her hair. 


It was 1980 or 1981….mabye.  I was a little girl (of 4 or 5 years old), she came to our church (Prayer Garden Church Of God In Christ located in San Jose, California). She was sitting two or three rows ahead of my mom and me in the sanctuary.  She was visiting our church because we were having our annual music workshop.   Normally, a group of famous gospel singers and musicians would come and teach classes on subjects relative to music, like theory and vocal training. 


A host of people from all over The United States would participate in the workshop.  Everyone would be divided into separate choirs of children, teens, and adults, and would learn new songs taught by the gifted gospel celebrities in order to sing them during a series of concert nights.  Later on, my mother told me this workshop was conducted by Dr. Mattie Moss Clark, the mother of The Clark Sisters.  She was the International Minister of Music of The Churches Of God In Christ.  So, this event was a BIG deal!  I could not wait to go back to the chapel where I, along with all of the other children would have fun learning our new songs!!!


Now, I believe that a couple of the other Clark Sisters (Twinkie’s sisters) came to our church as well.  Unfortunately, I am unable to recollect which ones and how many there were.  I do remember them bringing a very special person with them.  I only knew her name to be:   SISTER IRIS.  Oh my goodness!!!  I loved Sister Iris!  I am so emotional as I write this.  She was the one who taught me, along with the other children new songs to sing for our designated concert night.  She was incredible.  She was so loving and caring.  She was a wonderful song teacher and a great singer too.  She even had me, alongside three other girls to sing a special part in one of the songs she taught us.  I loved every last one of those songs she taught us!!!  You know, I still remember a few of them to this day.  They pop into my mind every now and then.  I will always remember Sister Iris.  I am so thankful to The Clark Sisters for bringing her with them.    


Anyway, back to Twinkie Clark.  As I was saying, I was sitting with my mom, awaiting my dismissal to go to my class when I saw her.  I could not believe that Twinkie Clark was sitting so close to us at the church.  I was just so in awe of her.   My mom said, “Well, why don't I just go down there and introduce you to her.”  I shook my head NO!  In my mind, I just couldn't meet her. Afterall, my mother didn’t know her.  So, how was she going to introduce me to Twinkie Clark?!


Her music was such an inspiration to my life. I just couldn't meet her. Imagine, little me; little Joshland shaking the hand of THE amazing, incomparable TWINKIE CLARK!!  My mind was frantic. 


I was thinking about how I was always listening to her singing on the 8-track player while riding in the backseat of my grandmother's Chrysler LeBaron.  I would be back there just enjoying every note she sang and played on that album.  I would sing along with her too.  Therefore, I thought that I could not meet her.  I was just so in awe of her.  What would I say.  What could I say?  So, I decided not to meet her that day. Like I said.  I was only about 4 or 5 years old.  I am now 41 years of age at the time of this writing.  But back then, that was my reasoning. 


She was so amazing, and I loved all 6 songs on this album.  She wrote all of the songs; she sang all of the songs; she played the keyboards, the synthesizer, and the organ on all of the songs; she mixed all of the songs; and she produced all of the songs.


She still means so much to me as a recording artist, songwriter, musician, recording engineer, producer, and arranger. She is a queen!  She is a genius!  She is an icon!  She is AMAZING!  And I envision myself meeting her at the right place and at the right time.  So, without further ado, here it is!   Listen to Praise Belongs To God by Elbernita “Twinkie” Clark on Spotify:  https://open.spotify.com/user/4e0pz5p0leqwq8xnb0ccf6fwx/playlist/6lDkxnmKXDX2HMnUlxfBHh?si=BQ43o7H8Rq6KDgle0WEiLQ


blog #1 - I Feel Like Going On by The Rance Allen Group



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