Thursday, September 28, 2017

Advice For Gospel Artists- (Especially my Independent brothers and sisters)

If you want your record played on the radio then you have to make music the masses want to hear. If it's one or two word melodies, that's winning right now, then that's what it is. If you are the kind of artist that doesn't create that kind of music then you may not get airplay. THEREFORE you need to learn how to make your own way. Making your own way is attainable but you need to learn what it takes before you go all in and get disappointed.
Those of us, who have survived all of these years, know the value of building fan bases and grass roots marketing which keeps us alive. We don't necessarily endeavor to be stars but rather our mission is to keep working and build/sustain the kind of music ministries that serve our communities. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a star and chasing charts but your business plan and financial statement needs to match your ambition. Longevity is the key not a one night stand in the industry.



Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Black History Month- DMV Gospel Music Heroes


Hey folks, everyday in the month of February, I attempted to honor a DMV Musician and/or singer. These are some highlights from the month. We are blessed in the DC area to have such great musical gifts. ENJOY

Black History Month-2/1/17
DMV Gospel Music Heroes
Today we honor Rev. Dr. Emory Andrews. A native of Tallahassee Florida. He is the director of the Stellar Award Winning Oxon Hill High School Choir and has been teaching in the public school system for 40 years and is retiring this year. He is also the Minister of Music at the Rehobeth Baptist Church, Washington, DC and has a gospel group called Emory Andrews and Faith. Dr. Andrews has always been a great supporter in the DMV area. When Emory smiles you have to smile back. Rev. Andrews we salute you.


Black History Month-2/2/17
DMV Gospel Music Heroes
Today we honor and celebrate the legendary Gerry Gillespie. Gerry studied music under the great Dr. Pearl Williams-Jones at the University of The District of Columbia(UDC). Gerry has played for many secular and gospel greats including William Becton, The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, Yolanda Adams and many more. Gerry is the currently the Gospel Studies Coordinator at UDC and serves on the musical staff at Mt Jezreel Baptist Church, Silver Spring, MD. My favorite memory of Gerry Gillespie is when he absolutely blazed the scat solo on this William Becton song live at the GMWA in Indianapolis, IN (See him at 7:50 on the link below). Gerry Gillespie is a brilliant musician and arranger and today we celebrate him for his accomplishments and continue to pray for him as God brings him thru his health challenges.



Black History Month-2/3/17- 2/5/17
DMV Gospel Music Heroes
Today and this weekend we honor three DMV Gospel Music heroes.
1.There is a hidden(or may be not so hidden) jewel in Washington DC. Here name is Michelle Riley Jones. She has been the Minister of Music and Worship for the Capitol Hill Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Washington DC since 2003. Anyone, who has ever been to the Capitol Hill SDA Church can attest to the awesome music ministry there. Michelle is a liturgist, conference planner, musical consultant, writer and a pillar in the Seventh-Day community and abroad. In 2014,she co-founded a US-based 501(c)3 educational non-profit, Project YES Africa, Inc (www.projectyesafrica.org),providing educational services in township communities in South Africa.There are too many accolades to mention, in this post, regarding this phenomenal women.She is married to Craig T. Jones and has a stepdaughter. I will tell you that she has a sweet spirit and is willing to help out in any way that she can.We honor you today Michelle Riley Jones.
2. When you attend a local DMV gospel event and pan the room you will find the best dressed man and it will be Brian Spriggs. Brian Spriggs is a DMV gospel music supporter, writer and gospel artist in his own right. In 1993 he started Brian Spriggs and NuWorship, a non-profit organization that does a lot in the community. You will often find Brian singing background for Mike McCoy and others if called upon. Brian is also a minister of music and community leader. He, along with his group, support many community organizations including the Ronald McDonald House Toys for Tots campaign and St Ann's Infant and Maternity House. Brian Spriggs and NuWorship newest CD is entitled "Heartbeat Of Worship" is available online at https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/brianspriggsnuworship. We salute you Brian Spriggs.
3. Andre Jones was born in Annapolis, MD on August 28, 1989. Andre Dre Jones's extraordinary musical gift and humility has propelled him to new heights in his career. He is the Minister of Music at the Life Changing Christian Center, White Plains, MD and has supported many DMV based artists, in the city, including Charles Butler, Jimmy Russellnboc, Kevin Terry, Sam Roberts and Y'Anna Crawley. Andre's recent assignment with Jj Hairston has taken his ministry to new levels but it hasn't changed him. Andre is still willing to help artists when he can and has a supporting spirit even when he is not playing. Andre is also 1/3 of the Potters Wheel Production Team. Andre we salute you and it still does not yet appear what you shall be(1st John 3:2). We salute you buddy. You are a DMV hero.




Black History Month-2/6/17
DMV Gospel Music Heroes
She has taught many, mentored many, trained many, mothered many and directed many. She is Dr. Joyce Garrett. She led the world famous Eastern High School from 1972-2005. She is the Minister of Music of the Alfred Street Baptist Church, Alexandria, VA. She has two honorary doctorate degrees, a Presidents medal from GW University, an achievement award from Catholic and has been recognized by Readers Digest as an American Hero in education. Mrs. Garrett has produced choirs for the annual nationally televised programs Kennedy Center Honors and Christmas in Washington. Dr. Joyce Garrett is not only a DMV hero but a national treasure who still knows how to get a Sunday morning choir to rock the house. Mrs. Garrett never limited herself to one style of music but became a master teacher of all. We salute you Mrs. Joyce Garrett.


Black History Month-2/7/17
DMV Gospel Music Heroes
Let me ask you a question? How do you spell relief? Today we honor the life, legacy and community service of Gospel Music Hall of Fame inductee Shirley Ables. Shirley Ables, born February 10, 1933 in Washington, DC is a church musician, choir director, music teacher and an internationally known gospel artist. Most of us, age 40 and over, remember the iconic song "How Do You Spell Relief" in which Shirley Ables and the Joy Gospel Singers released from her album entitled "My Jesus" which was presented by Shirley Caesar. In 2003 she was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall Of Fame and a flag was flown in her honor over the US Capitol Building on October 7, 2003. In obedience to God, Shirley organized the Shirley Ables Music Ministry which teaches students piano, voice as well as other instruments. In addition to learning music, the students are also taught lessons from the bible. Many of her students have grown to become professional musicians and singers, preachers, actors, teachers and recording artists. Shirley Ables we honor and salute you.
Black History Month-2/8/17
DMV Gospel Music Heroes
"The Walker Boyz"
Mark A. Walker and Anthony 'Tony' Walker
What do the Walker boyz have in common? They are both dedicated husbands and fathers. They are two of the greatest musicians God ever made on this planet. They both have resumes far beyond this post. They are highly respected in the Jazz and Gospel arenas. They both love the Lord and are dedicated to their respective church music ministries. Both are and have been very committed to the music ministry of Richard Smallwood for many years. They are both very humble and have helped many of us, in the DMV area, with our careers. Lastly the integrity and character of these two brilliant musicians is about as high as it gets. Many of us are still striving to get where they are. We salute you today Mark A. Walker and Anthony 'Tony' Walker; You are true DMV heroes.


Black History Month-2/9/17
DMV Gospel Music Heroes
Today we salute the incomparable, Stellar Award Winning, Grammy nominated, singer, songwriter and preacher Evangelist Myrna Summers. Evangelist Summers has been singing and ministering the gospel of Jesus Christ for more than 40 years. She has written and/or arranged more than 100 compositions that many have and continue to sing across the world including Uncloudy Day, Oh How Precious (recorded recently by Kathy Taylor), I found Jesus, God Gave Me A Song, His Mercy Endureth Forever and many more. Many remember Evangelist Summers iconic recordings and service at Temple of Deliverance C.O.G.I.C, (Memphis, Tennessee) and Refreshing Springs C.O.G.I.C. (Riverdale, MD) before becoming the treasured Minister of Music at Reid Temple A.M.E. Church in Glendale, MD.
Evangelist Summers ministry has expanded to teaching and training other singers, musicians and liturgical leaders on the importance of living the life they sing and play about. She has a segment on her website called "The Voice" where she encourages singers, musicians and liturgical leaders to "Fully pursue God". Evangelist Myrna Summers is a delight to be around and her smile radiates any room she is in. She is one of the best choir directors I have ever seen and is dedicated to her family. Evangelist Myrna Summers we salute you today. You are a true DMV hero and a national treasure.
P.S. We will always remember her iconic performance with the late Rev. Timothy Wright singing "We're Gonna Make It". That whole album is one of the best albums ever made in gospel music



Black History Month-2/10/17
DMV Gospel Music Heroes
Today we celebrate the undeniable, rock star personality and person of Dr. Thomas Dixon Tyler. He is a teacher, trainer, mentor, master musician and director. Dr. Thomas Tyler, a former DCPS school teacher, possesses over 30 years of experience as a worship and ministry developer. For 26 years, Dr Tyler commanded the Music Ministry of the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Washington, DC (at the time) into one of the greatest Music Ministries in America. He retired from Metropolitan and later accepted and even more demanding position at the Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, DC as the Minister of Worship, Evangelism and Discipleship.
Dr. Tyler has also served as Coordinator and Convener of the Howard University School of Divinity’s Conference on Music in the Black Church in the New Millennium; Clinician for the Hampton Ministers’ and Choral Directors’ Conference; Clinician for the Urban Ministries Conference of Chicago; and Artistic Developer for the 140th Anniversary Observance of Shaw University. He has also served as Artistic Director of the 300-voice internationally renowned Washington Performing Arts Children of the Gospel Choir; Director of the 1993 NAACP National Convention Choir; and Guest Conductor of the Prince George’s County Maryland High School Honors Chorus from 1998-2003.
Dr Thomas Tyler is responsible for the growth and development of a countless number of young people and adults alike. On a personal note, I would not be where I am today had I not met Dr. Thomas Dixon Tyler. He pulled me into an arena and exposed me to heights I could not have attained on my own. He has been my mentor and friend for 20 years. We salute you today Dr Thomas Dixon Tyler. You are a DMV hero and a national treasure.



Black History Month-2/11/17
DMV Gospel Music Heroes
Today we salute one of the nicest guys one will ever know, Jimmy Russell. For more than 40 years, Jimmy Russell has served the Washington DC area community and the nation. He is the Minister of Music of THE Bibleway Church in Washington, DC and he serves as one of the percussionists for New Bethel Baptist Church, also in Washington, DC. Jimmy teaches the tambourine class at the GMWA, and has faithfully served in that position for many years.
Through the years, Jimmy has played for countless artists, singers, and churches. He has helped so many people, directly and indirectly, become the people and musicians they are today. Jimmy is a faithful husband, father, mentor, friend, and supporter of gospel artists in this city. If you are having a program, there is a 99% chance that Jimmy will be there to support you. There really is nobody like you, Jimmy Russell. We salute you today. You are a DMV hero.

Black History Month-2/13/17
DMV Gospel Music Heroes
Today, we honor a DMV icon, Dr. Ricky Payton. Dr. Ricky Payton is well known as a composer, teacher, mentor, performer, and producer who has performed across the world. For 25 years, Dr. Payton served as the minister of music at the New Bethel Church Of God In Christ under the dynamic leadership of the late Bishop Sherman S. Howard. Dr. Payton formerly served as the state minister of music for the Washington, D.C. Jurisdiction Church Of God In Christ and as the executive director of the Office of the President under the leadership of Professor Iris Stevenson, the former president of the International Music Department of the Church Of God In Christ. In 2005, Dr. Payton received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Breakthrough Bible College.
Dr. Payton is the founder of The Urban Nation Academy For The Performing Arts. In keeping with his strong commitment to peace and social justice, Dr. Payton is the co-founder, former board member, and musical director of City At Peace, an organization that uses the performing arts to teach tolerance and cross-cultural understanding.
Presently, Dr. Payton serves as vice president of the International Music Department of The Church Of God In Christ under the leadership of International Minister of Music Dr. Judith Christie McAllister, as well as the president and the music producer for the 2016 DC-CAP Gala. Dr. Payton has worked with countless superstars including the late Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion, John Legend, Patti LaBelle, and opera divas Harolyn Blackwell and Denyce Graves. He is happily married and the father of three children. His accolades far exceed this post. We salute you, Dr. Ricky Payton. You have helped and inspired more than you will ever know. You are a DMV hero and an international treasure.

Black History Month-2/14/17
DMV Gospel Music Heroes
Today, we honor one of the nicest and most influential people in the Gospel music industry, Mr. Kenny Taylor. Those of us who have known Kenny for many years remember his choir, Images of Unity, and the many young people he mentored through that choir.
Since then, Kenny has spent a great portion of his time working with national gospel recording artists as well as mentoring independent artists aspiring to make it. He’s enhanced the careers of Dottie Peoples, the late Timothy Wright, Earnest Pugh, Luther Barnes, Maurette Brown Clark, Lucinda Moore, and the list goes on and on. He is also responsible for the growth and development of more artists than I can name. Kenny is always willing to help anyone who truly desires to be successful in this industry, and his advice is always heartfelt and sincere.
Despite his busy schedule, Kenny is still a church musician, directing and playing for choirs every Sunday. He also supports many DMV events when he is in town. He is a family man who passionately looks after his parents, who have been married for over 60 years. Kenny Taylor, you are a DMV hero. We salute you.



Black History Month-2/15/17
DMV Gospel Music Heroes
Today we honor the incomparable Dottie Jones and Vanessa Williams.
Dottie begin her career at age 15, singing with Evangelist Myrna Summers before her legendary tenure with the Richard Smallwood singers. Many know and remember Dottie Jones from her iconic performance of "I Love The Lord" which was later re-recorded by Whitney Houston on the Preacher's Wife soundtrack. Dottie has shared the stage with many iconic artists and has appeared on many TV shows including the Arsenio Hall Show, The Today Show, Bobby Jones Gospel anb ABC's top-rated soap opera "Ryan's Hope" as a featured vocalist with the renowned Richard Smallwood Singers and on cable for the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN).
Dottie is not only a "singer's singer" but she has also co-written songs with Richard Smallwood and Myrna Summers. In 2001 she graduated from the Calvary Bible Institute and is currently completing degrees in English and Ethnic Studies Music at the University of Maryland. Dottie’s gift has made room for her in a variety of venues with an array of other gospel and secular icons, including Yolanda Adams, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Black Academy of Arts and Letters (Dallas), Shirley Caesar. James Cleveland, Earth, Wind and Fire, Edwin Hawkins, Tramaine Hawkins, Bishop Walter Hawkins, Jennifer Holiday,The Isley Brothers, Michael Jackson, National Symphony Orchestra, Leontyne Price, Bernice Johnson Reagan (Sweet Honey In the Rock), Dorothy Norwood, Candi Staton, Albertina Walker, Angela Winbush and the Washington Performing Arts Society’s Men and Women of the Gospel Mass Choir…just to name a few.
In addition to ministering through music, Dottie ministers to the soul by encouraging troubled women and those who have been victims of domestic abuse. I cannot end this post without talking about Dottie's iconic hair. Her hair is everything. Dottie Jones, we salute you. You are a DMV hero and a national treasure.
Vanessa Renee Williams, a resident of Washington, D.C., was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and the very proud mother of one daughter Lisa Locke. Vanessa Williams is not only one of the most anointed voices in Gospel music,she is one of the most compassionate, considerate and giving people that I know. She is an unsung hero having sung background and lead songs for many up and coming artists in the DMV area to this day.
Vanessa has always been a servant. Upon her graduation from the Academy of Notre Dame and Howard University, Vanessa was an art teacher from 1987-2002. She also served as the schools Key Communicator for the D.C. Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative "Art for Every Student" Program, and co-coordinator for the nationally acclaimed "Best Friends,” a character-building based youth development program for adolescent girls. Her path to the Gospel music industry began at the close of the 1994 school year after receiving a phone call from soprano Darlene Simmons, concerning a role as a pit singer in a local production of Bubbling Brown Sugar, produced by Helen Hayes Award winner, the late Mike Malone, under the musical direction of Raymond Reeder. Not long after, a call came from Smallwood himself, which she initially thought was a practical joke. Williams moved, with ease, between concert dates as a group member with Smallwood, and, until October of 2000, an outstanding trio with Adams that included Grammy winning writer/producer Raymond Reeder, and stellar soprano Victoria Purcell.
In any conversation concerning music ministry, she quickly honors Gospel music's living legend Richard Smallwood, and the phenomenal Yolanda Adams. As a member of Smallwood’s "Vision,” Vanessa recorded the breathtaking "Angels" with Maurette Brown-Clark, "O, What a Night" with Darlene Simmons, the Dove Award nominated anthem “Holy Thou Art God,” "Oh, How He Loves You and Me,” "Your Love Divine" and "I Love The Lord" on "Verity: Live at The Apollo. We love you Vanessa and we salute you. You are a DMV hero.



Black History Month-2/16/17
DMV Gospel Music Heroes
Today we honor Kenneth Louis. Kenneth Louis is a a world renowned performer, lecturer, composer, arranger, director, workshop clinician and author. For 30 years, Kenneth W. Louis served as Minister of Music at Holy Comforter-Saint Cyprian Catholic Church of Washington, DC. He was the FIRST person in America to graduate with a degree in Gospel Music Studies from the University of The District of Columbia in 1992. Kenneth went on to earn a Master of Arts Degree from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland in 1994.
His expertise in and passion for gospel music has afforded him the opportunity to travel extensively throughout the United States and Europe. In 1996, Kenneth along with an esteemed panel of music specialists presented a lecture/demonstration in Paris, France on the European Influence on African-American Gospel Music. “April in Paris” was sponsored and convened by Harvard University’s W.E.B Dubois Institute for African and African-American Research. Kenneth is highly regarded as a consultant on African-American sacred music to many diocese and congregations throughout the United States.
He currently records and composes for the Chicago, Illinois-based GIA Publications and World Library Publications. Kenneth’s compositions have appeared in not only the “Lead Me, Guide Me” Catholic Hymnal, but also the African American Heritage and Total Praise Hymnals. Kenneth Louis has inspired, mentored and trained many in and out of the Catholic church and abroad. Although he currently lives and works in Atlanta, his contributions to the Washington DC area will never be forgotten. He was literally a bridge between Black Catholics and Black Protestants in the DMV area. Kenneth we salute you. You are a DMV hero and a national treasure.


Black History Month-2/17/17
DMV Gospel Music Heroes
We salute Rosalind Thompkins Lynch and Ulysses Moye
Rosalind Thompkins Lynch is a true pioneer, teacher, preacher, choir director, and mentor in the DMV area. In 1968, Rosalind Lynch, along with Melanie Russell, organized the Stellar nominated Howard Gospel Choir. Mrs. Lynch served as a choir director at the Jericho Baptist Church in Washington, DC, and choir director at the Ebenezer A.M.E. Church before accepting the call to serve at the National Church of God in Fort Washington, MD as the director of church music and worship. She is also the
CEO of Rosalind Thompkins Lynch Ministries, Inc.
Rosalind Thompkins Lynch is married to Willie Lynch and has
two wonderful daughters, Angelique and Victoria, which many of
us had the pleasure of watching grow up. Mrs. Lynch's
accomplishments far exceed this post. Her impact on the DMV
area is legendary and monumental. Rosalind Thompkins Lynch, we salute you. You are a DMV hero.
Dr. Ulysses Moye, a master educator, facilitator and mentor to many. He's been ministering to God's people for over 50 years. In 1965 he founded the world famous Moye Ensemble. The Moye Ensemble is one of the legendary choirs in the DMV and is still going strong. Dr. Moye has worked in the DC, Prince Georges County and Fairfax County Public School systems. Dr. Moye is also an adjunct professor at George Washington University and the Minister of Music of the Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church in Washington, DC. Dr. Moye serves as the dean of the Artelia Hutchins Training Institute for the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses and is the head of it's DC Choral Union.
Dr. Moye's accomplishments are too many to list. His educational pursuits are phenomenal. There are many who know, love and respect Dr. Ulysess Moye(74). He has pushed many to excellence and continues to do so. Dr. Moye, we salute and honor you today. You are a DMV hero and a national treasure.
P.S. Dr Moye has been married for 54 years. WOW



Black History Month-2/18/17-2/19/17
DMV Gospel Music Heroes

Born in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, to the late Mr. James and Olivia Garner, Norris started developing his musical gifts over 25 years ago. While a teenager in Washington, DC, Norris began writing songs, and performing in church choirs. Norris has recorded and produced many of his songs for the church today, which has given him a national profile as well as a reputation for quality and excellence in Music Ministry. Norris is currently the Minister of Music at the First Baptist Church of Merrifield, VA.
Norris is a frequent writer for the GMWA and has written songs for local, national and international artists. When your sing a Norris Garner song, you are guaranteed to have a good time in church. He writes good, singable songs that the average choir can sing. Norris is a frequent traveler to Europe spreading the gospel through music workshops and recordings. He is an international ambassador for Gospel music. He has done as much for gospel music there as any major artist has done here. We salute you Norris Gardner. Norris you are a DMV hero and an international treasure.
P.S- My favorite Norris Garner song will forever be "Magnify Him" recorded 20 years ago by Patrick Lundy and MOM.
Gerald T. Smith is one of the most gifted musicians, songwriters, teachers and disciplined directors in the USA. Anybody that has ever worked with Gerald will tell you that he is all around great person to work with. Gerald, a former public school teacher, has worked with too many artists to name and has enhanced the music ministries of countless churches in the DMV area. He is currently the Director of Music at the St Paul Baptist Church in Fort Washington, MD.
Over the years, many of his compositions have been recorded nationally and internationally by the GMWA, Patrick Lundy and MOM, Rev. Donald Vails, Kefas (Denmark) and many more. Like Norris Garner, Gerald is another international ambassador for Gospel music having worked with countless choirs all over Europe and Africa. Gerald we salute you. You are a DMV hero and a National treasure.
P.S- Gerald Smith and Norris Garner are two of the most giving individuals that I know. They are also responsible for many of international choirs we now enjoy coming to the DMV area. We owe the both of you a debt of gratitude.


Black History Month-2/20/17
DMV Gospel Music Heroes
Paul Laurence Morgan Jr, affectionately known as PJ Morgan is one of the most sought after musicians in the Washington Metropolitan area and abroad. He is currently the Music Director at the Reid Temple A.M.E. Church in Glendale, MD and a consultant to other area churches, pastors, and musicians. In the past, he has been a guest instructor for the Berklee School of Music and Seattle Pacific University.

PJ's journey began as a child when PJ watched his grandmother and cousins play for services. An urge to play began to grow deep within him. He began to practice relentlessly for hours on end while his neighborhood friends played outside day after day. After years of practicing and performing in church, PJ finally received his first break when a friend asked if he could fill in for a keyboardist that was unable to play for Ben Tankard on tour. PJ accepted and excelled in the opportunity given. This would be the first and definitely not the last opportunity to work with some of the most talented and sought after artists in the country.
His musical resume is one of the most expansive I have ever read. He has worked and played with more artists and musicians than I could ever post. He has met every musical challenge however, in the last five years, PJ would take on his biggest challenge. He decided to go to college and pursue a degree in Music Technology and he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2014 from Bowie State University. His degree has opened new doors including a position at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts as well as several arranging opportunities.
PJ Morgan is now dedicating a portion of his life to helping others achieve their goals and dreams. He is mentoring and encouraging other musicians in church and school. His desire to give back is opening up even more doors and God is using him mightily. PJ Morgan we salute you. You are a DMV hero, an inspiration, and a national treasure.
P.S.- PJ was one of the major contributors in helping to organize the first ever DMV Musicians and Singers Fellowship.

Black History Month-2/21/17
DMV Gospel Music Heroes
Today we honor the incomparable Stephen Key. Stephen Key is known throughout the United States and abroad for his composition, direction, and keyboard musicianship. As a solo artist, he has performed with and arranged for many nationally renowned performers including Edwin & the late Bishop Walter Hawkins, Richard Smallwood, Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Daryl Coley, and Vickie Winans.
In 1992, Stephen founded the group Steve Key and Company consisting of vocalists who have performed various forms and styles of music locally, nationally, and internationally The ensemble has received notable acclaim in the Washington Metropolitan area and has also garnered kudos at several European music festivals, including the North Sea Jazz festival in The Hague, Holland where the group performed before standing room only audiences. They have releases several albums to date.
Presently, Steve serves as part of the musical staffs of the Third Street Church of God and Asbury United Methodist Church, both in Washington, DC. He is founder and president of his own music publishing company, StepKey Music and recently several of his compositions were published by GIA Publications.
Stephen also plays an active role with the Edwin Hawkins Music and Arts Seminar, the Hymn Lovers Comference and co-hosts the Bring Back The Choir-New Music Forum started in January 2016.
Stephen Key is a friend to many and a loyal Washington DC sports fan who is consistent in his character, integrity and humility. He is one of the most supportive artists and musicians we have in the DMV area. Stephen Key we salute you today. You are a DMV hero.


Black History Month-2/22/17
DMV Gospel Music Heroes
Winston Chaney is the voice of gospel radio in the Washington metropolitan area.Affectionately known as "The Morning Man," he hosts “The Morning Show,” the most popular broadcast on WYCB-AM 1340. Winston Chaney has the longest running morning show in America. Winston is a native of Danville, VA, and son of Winston and Nancy Chaney.
In 1972, after high school graduating, he entered Mitchell Junior College in Statesville, NC; he returned to Virginia in 1974 and attended Virginia Commonwealth University. Winston became interested in radio and began training at WKIE, a local radio station in Richmond,VA. After two years of part-time work there, he relocated to Washington, DC, and secured a part-time position with WYCB-AM. Four years later, in 1984, he received a call to do The Morning Show.
Winston is a member of the Greater Mt. Calvary Holy Church in Washington, DC, where he also serves on the Deacon Board and in the Male Chorus. His hobbies include: sports; photography; travel; and, of course, a love of music. Winston Chaney has always been a genuine individual who has helped many of artists and churches in the DMV area. He is a true pioneer and a friend to many. Winston we salute you today. You are a true DMV hero.


Black History Month-2/23/17
DMV Gospel Music Heroes
Today we honor the lifelong legacy and accomplishments of Dr. Kirdell S. Minor. Dr. Minor has devoted his entire life to music ministry. He grew up under the influence and teachings of the Church of God, founded by the late Elder Solomon Lightfoot Micheaux. Dr. Minor has served as a major musician and choir director at several local churches, including Church of God, Mt. Jezreel Baptist Church, First Baptist Merrifield, VA and St. Stephen Baptist Church, to name a few. He has also been a faithful member of the Gospel Music Workshop of America. In addition to his extraordinary gift of being able to unite all who sing and work with him into one cohesive body, he has mentored, coached and nurtured countless others. His entire life has been dedicated to the cause of bringing joy and happiness to the hearts of all that will listen through gospel music.
In 1956, Dr. Minor organized the legendary Jubilee Majestic Concert Choir of Washington, D.C., which is currently recognized as the longest continuous serving community choir in the DMV. Throughout its 60+ years, Dr. Minor and The Majestics have dedicated themselves to spreading the greatest treasure - the Gospel of Jesus Christ - and spreading God’s love to His People.
Under Dr. Minor’s leadership, The Majestics have shared their music ministry with a multitude of churches, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, television and radio stations, private concerts, and federal and District government agencies throughout the DMV. The Choir has also traveled extensively throughout the United States as well as abroad in the Bahamas, Naples and Rome; Dr. Minor and The Majestics have received numerous honors, awards, keys to several cities, and commendations for musical excellence, spiritual devotion, and community services.
I met Dr. Kirdell Minor, as a young child, following the Jubilee Majestics around the city and he has always been a pleasure to be around. There are so many songs I still remember The Majestics singing back in the day. They always had the best processionals. We salute you today Dr. Kirdell Minor. You are a DMV hero.

Black History Month-2/24/17
DMV Gospel Music Heroes
Today we honor a living legend. Jacquie Gales Webb
Jacquie Gales Webb has hosted the "Sunday Afternoon Gospel" program on 96.3 WHUR in Washington DC since 1990 however she has been hosting Gospel Music programs for over 40 years and yet this is just a fragment of who Jacquie really is.
Jacquie Gales Webb is an award winning radio and television producer and public speaker. In march of 2016, she was honored at Indiana University for her storied career in radio and journalism. In 1996, she produced a groundbreaking radio series for the Smithsonian entitled "Black Radio:Telling It Like It Was". Ms Webb was one of the first to explore the history and development of Black-oriented radio through interviews with pioneering disc jockeys, producers, radio station executives and recording artists.The series ranked among the world's leading radio productions as recipient of a Peabody Award from the University of Georgia and an Alfred I. duPont Silver Baton from Columbia University. Black Radio was aired on over 200 public radio stations, including stations in all of the top ten markets. Webb is also the winner of six local EMMY awards for public affairs programming and many other awards for her work in the visual medium.
Webb produced video and radio for Smithsonian Productions for eleven years. She produced television shows for six years at the CBS TV affiliate in Washington D.C. She was a radio on-air personality and eventually manager of music and programming at Washington's first 24-hour Gospel radio station, WYCB-AM. Webb started her on-air career radio during her junior year at Emerson College at W*I*L*D-AM and WBCN-FM. Webb was the first recipient of a one-year fellowship from Public Radio International and a freelance arts reporter for Washington, DC’s WAMU, WNYC’s Studio 360 and National Public Radio.
Jacquie produced the 13-hour radio documentary Jazz Singers, hosted by Al Jarreau and the award-winning public radio series Remembering Slavery that featured performances by Debbie Allen, Louis Gossett, Jr., and James Earl Jones and was carried over 200 radio stations. Remembering Slavery was the topic of a Nightline television news program on ABC.
Jacquie Gales Webb we want to thank you for your service to our community and to the Black community abroad. You are a living legend and we salute you today. We also want to thank you for supporting DMV artists. You are OUR hero.

Black History Month-2/24/17
DMV Gospel Music Spotlight
Tracy Morgan is a multi-Stellar Award winning announcer and Broadcasters Hall of Fame inductee. She has been a program director, music director, producer and on-air host for over 25 years in the DMV area. For nearly a decade she was a popular host on WPGC's Heaven 1580. She was inducted into the Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2005 and in 2014 she was inducted into the Columbia School of Broadcasting Hall of Fame .
Tracy now has her own radio show on the Rejoice Musical Soulfood Network from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM while continuing her duties with WBBP 1480 AM in Memphis, TN as program director and show host.
Tracy has helped many, advised many, taught many and is a valued friend to many artists in the DMV area and abroad. She is married to Keith Morgan and has one daughter named Katrina. Tracy Morgan we love you and salute you today. You are a DMV hero and a national treasure.
P.S.- I would not be where I am today if Tracy Morgan hadn't played my record 20 years ago. There has been no greater friend to Independent Artists, in the DMV area, than Tracy Morgan.


Black History Month-2/24/17
DMV Gospel Music Spotlight (Pictures Not Included)
Today we celebrate all of the College and University Gospel Choir Directors in the DMV. It's a lot of hard work and dedication with little to no pay for most. We salute you.
Latonya Wrenn- Bowie State University
Gerry Gillespie- University of The District of Columbia
Eddie Cromwell- Trinity College/University (Not Pictured)
Mitchell Fleming- University Of Maryland College Park(Not Pictured)
Reggie Golden- Howard University
Sylesta Sledge- American University
Phillip Carter- Georgetown University

Black History Month-2/25/17
DMV Gospel Music Heroes
Today we honor the accomplishments of Rev. Dr. Nolan Williams
Rev Nolan Williams is a extrodinarily gifted songwriter, arranger and musician.A fourth-generation ordained Baptist preacher and music-major alumnus of Oberlin College, the world of Nolan E. Williams, Jr. is one where faith and the arts converge.
Rev. Williams was one of the chief music editors of the bestselling AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE HYMNAL. a book touted as "perhaps the most important addition to Protestant hymnody in the past century" with sales now surpassing 500,000 hymnals sold worldwide; associate editor of TOTAL PRAISE, the 2012 hymnal developed for the eight-million-member National Baptist Convention, USA; and, third-most contributing arranger for LEAD ME, GUIDE ME, the African American Catholic hymnal. Williams' impact is further reflected in his five-year contribution as lectionary liturgist for TheAfricanAmericanLectionary.org, the first-ever liturgical-year-based worship planning resource for the Black Church that has—with funding from the Lilly Endowment—drawn in excess of eight million independent hits since its launch in 2007.
In recognition of his outstanding and pioneering contributions to sacred music, Williams was bestowed an honorary doctor of music degree by Richmond Virginia Seminary in May 2013.A resident of Washington, DC, Williams serves as a member of the Kennedy Center Community Advisory Board, a voting member of the ("The Grammies"), and founder/director of a semi-professional choral aggregation, Voices of Inspiration.
Most recently, Williams and NEWorks have partnered with the Mann Center for the Performing Arts to develop and artistically direct the PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM FESTIVAL, a citywide commemoration of early American freedom fighter Octavius Catto and the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act through a six-month series of performance and concert events, all culminating with a finale concert with the world class Philadelphia Orchestra (2014).
Most notably, Nolan Williams wrote the iconic song "Hallelujah Amen" which has become a church choir favorite. Currently his arrange of "What A Friend We Have In Jesus" is taking the country by storm. Rev. Williams still finds the time to play in church and is constantly on the move fulfilling his many passions. Rev. Dr. Nolan Williams, we salute you today. You are a DMV hero and a national treasure.


Black History Month-2/26/17
DMV Gospel Music Heroes
Today we salute Henry Harris
Henry Harris is a true pioneer in the Gospel music industry, in the DMV, and abroad. He’s the administrator for the Strategic Music Partnerships and the Excellence in Christian Music Awards. He’s also a radio consultant for Music Policy and Web 2.0, a telecommunications specialist, a musician, and a songwriter. Henry is on the Board of Directors of the Independent Gospel Artists Alliance, Inc., and is the owner of SpriritCo1 Christian Internet Radio Station, Spiritco1. SpiritCo1 was one of the first Christian internet radio stations started in America. Henry was also the former Stellar Awards Gospel Music Academy Advisory Board president and played a key role in building up the voting membership to what it is today.
For years, Henry has dedicated his time, energy, and money educating and enlightening artists on different ways to be successful in this ever- changing music industry. He has worked and consulted with some of the major players in the music industry gathering information to share with the Indie Christian community. Through the Excellence in Christian Music Awards program, Henry hosts webinars, facilitated by some of the leading minds in music to educate artists. At the end of the webinars, every participant receives an achievement award for their training at the award show.
Henry Harris also an activist fighting for the rights of musicians and artists everywhere. He often attends music policy seminars, advocates for Gospel music, and challenges gospel artists to learn how music policy affects their careers. Henry is not afraid to ask tough questions about the Gospel music industry, online or in person. Henry Harris, we salute you for your tireless efforts in helping DMV artists and artists abroad. You are a DMV hero.
Note: SpiritCo1 is a 2017 Stellar Award nominee and we wish him the best in Las Vegas. Henry is married to Elaine Harris and is the proud father of two children.


Black History Month-2/27/17
DMV Gospel Music Heroes
Kendall King and Pastor John Tillery
Kendall King is a gifted singer, songwriter, arranger, producer, musician, minister of music and graphic artist. Kendall is known for her smooth sound and fresh eclectic style. Coming from a family of pastors from Camden, NJ, Kendall King started singing at the age of five, and at the age of 12, she started playing and directing choirs for her father's church in Philadelphia, PA. Kendall has been in music ministry for more than 30 years.
Kendall's original compositions have been recorded by many of DMV's artists including Phillip Carter and SOV, Robert E. Person and the Bowie State University Gospel Choir. Kendall has also presented several of her compositions at the Gospel Music Workshop of America.
Kendall has performed with several notable artists including Earnest Pugh, LaShon Pace, Micah Stampley, Beverly Crawford and many more. She has performed at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Verizon Center, Showplace Arena and the renowned Cotton Club. Kendall has released two projects and she has one on the way in 2017.
Kendall King is equally as talented a graphic artist as she is a singer. She has enhanced the graphic presentations of too many artists to name. Kendall is currently the Minister of Music of the Christ Church of Light and Salvation in Upper Marlboro, MD and has helped many churches in the DMV area. Kendall King is a chief supporter of local artists and a wonderful friend to many in the DMV area. Kendall we salute you. You are a DMV hero.
John "Bucky" Tillery
Three time Stellar Award Nominee Pastor John Tillery, affectionately known as "Bucky" throughout the city of Washington, DC, is a well known singer, songwriter, arranger and now Pastor.
As a singer, songwriter and producer, John has worked with several local artists. He has worked with such ministries as Isaiah Thomas and the Cornerstone Peaceful Bible Baptist Church Choir, Carla Bowens & The Faith Tabernacle Recording Choir, Roy Daniels, Reginald Jarret, Darrell Owens & The Voices of Zion, Pastor Dee Lee Owens & The DC Fellowship Mass Choir, Parker Memorial Baptist Church Choir, The Redeeming Souls, Harold Sutton, Toby Palmer & Chosen Generation, BET Urban Nation H.I.P. H.O.P. Choir and recently with Mike Johnson & Divine Purpose and Jimmy Russell & Because of Christ.
John's writing skills can be heard on several of the above mentioned artists CD's, along with others like, Earl Mushette & Nu Mobb and Julian Varner.
John has also been featured in several staged-muscial plays: lead character and stage manager for "Lord, I'm Coming Home" starring the late Debbie Austin of the James Cleveland Singers, Bishop Elect Bruce Parham, Lois Moore, Tonya Blount, and Sheman Hemsley of "The Jeffersons", lead character and song writer in "Something To Shout About" written by Raquis Petree, musical director for "A House Is Not A Home" starring r&b sensation Christopher Williams of the movie "New Jack City" and Terri Britton of Trin-i-tee 5:7. John and the group were featured musical guests in the following productions as well: "Why Good Girls, Like Bad Boys" starring Wanda Nero Butler, "Momma, I'm Sorry" starring Melba Moore and "Lord, Why I Keep Choosing The Wrong Man" starring Alyson Williams.
In 1998, John was selected to sing for the sound track of the HBO production of "City Of Peace" produced by Barbara Streisand. John was also featured along with his song "God Is Still On The Throne" in the 2003 release of the motion picture "Guilty By Association" starring Morgan Freeman.
John Tillery is now the Pastor of Free Worship Ministries in Lexington Park, MD. John Tillery has overcome extraordinary heath challenges and handled each one with grace and faith. We also salute his wife Katrina for her steadfastness in supporting Pastor Tillery. Bucky we salute you today. You are a DMV hero.



Black History Month-2/28/17
DMV Gospel Music Heroes
Today we celebrate "The Maestro" Rev. Richard Smallwood
"The Early Years"
There is only one Richard Smallwood. His music is both a music theory and a theological lesson at the same time. He is our champion in the DMV. Richard was born in Atlanta, GA and moved to Washington, DC as a child. Richard began to play the piano by ear at age five, by seven he began formal lessons, by eleven he formed his own gospel group. His father, former pastor of the historic Union Temple in Washington, D.C., was a tough taskmaster, and his mother encouraged his early love of music. In junior high school, future pop star Roberta Flack was one of his teachers and musical mentors. He later graduated from Howard University cum laude with degrees in both vocal performance and piano. He was very active on campus as a member of Howard’s first gospel group, the Celestials, and a founding member of the renowned Howard Gospel Choir. Richard was also quite the activist in college as well. After college, Smallwood taught music at the University of Maryland before founding the Richard Smallwood Singers in 1977.
"The Music"
The Richard Smallwood Singers had a progressive, contemporary sound which landed them their first record deal in 1981 with Benson Records.Their debut LP, The Richard Smallwood Singers, spent 87 weeks on Billboard magazine’s Spiritual chart and cultivated a fresh, young, sophisticated audience for the ensemble. Their next LP, Psalms, hit #1 and they were on a roll. They then moved over to Word Records in 1987 where they recorded gospel standards such as “Center of My Joy,” “Calvary,” and “Holy Holy.” The group’s popularity led to an invitation to perform in the Soviet Union – reportedly the first gospel group to do a concert tour of the country at the time.
After a couple of albums with Sparrow Records in the early `90s, Smallwood retired the Smallwood Singers and birthed the Choir, Vision. Their debut CD, Adoration: Live in Atlanta, appeared on Verity Records in spring 1996. It featured the smash radio singles “Total Praise” and “Angels.” In the years since, Smallwood and Vision have released many radio blockbusters and church anthems which are too many to name. Richard Smallwood writes timeless music that will be with us forever.
"The Ministry"
Richard's life is not just music ministry, he is also preacher of the gospel, having graduated with honors in 2004 from Howard Divinity School. Richard is very devoted to his church, Metropolitan Baptist Church, Upper Marlboro, MD as a minister and Artist-in-Residence. Lately the Rev.Smallwood has been a beacon of inspiration and hope for those battling depression by sharing his own testimony. Rev. Richard Smallwood you have inspired millions with your music and your ministry and in the DMV you are our HERO. You have directly or indirectly mentored all of us in the DMV. The Washington area has been blessed with many legends including Duke Ellington, Marvin Gaye and Chuck Brown, but in Gospel we haveRichard Smallwood, the epitome of musical excellence. We salute you.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Something To Think About- The "R" Word and The "N" Word

Something to think about......
Definition of a "R" word - American Indian (Usually Offensive)- According to Webster




Definition of "N" word - A Black Person (Usually Offensive)- According to Webster




What's the difference? Once offensive but no longer, at least to the younger generations. The "R" word is largely used to describe a team instead of a people which is considered it's new meaning although said team (with heavy fan support) continues to use the symbol of the "Red Skinned" Indian to promote said team and marketing paraphernalia. The "N" word is used "loosely" within a culture but its use is forbidden outside of it's culture and considered racist. (Double Standard).

                                                                                                         Phillip Carter


Friday, March 18, 2016

My Thoughts About Daryl Coley

Many of us who follow, sing and study Gospel Music are in deep reflection this week as to what Daryl Coley meant to Gospel Music and to our lives. He sang so many songs. He was so good. He was humble. He sang songs with substance. He could take anybody's song and make it worth something and if it was already worth something he could turn it into a Gospel classic. He was supportive of others. He was fashionable. He was transparent. He was a friend to many. He was even controversial. He was a Pastor.

Many times ones impact is not truly felt until they are gone. The ironic thing about Daryl Coley is that his music bridged two generations. The 30 and younger crowd was too young to remember his days with James Cleveland and the Gospel Music Workshop Of America, his participation in the Soulful Messiah, his voice on the Simpsons but they have heard some of his more recent performances and thanks to Youtube anyone can catch up on anybody's body of work.

Daryl Coleys own music was different. It was thought provoking and it required a skilled vocal technician to handle it and that's why you don't hear many repeating his music. His music took time to develop. It had form to it and one would have to analyze it before attempting to perform it. He was also a virtuoso pianist and I wish he would have played more.

I believe, and I thought long and hard about this, that Daryl Coley was the greatest male Gospel Singer of his time. He came before Auto Tune and delivered jaw dropping, anointed performances that too this day people remember where they were when they heard it. We will never forget Daryl Coley. He like Thomas Whitfield and so many others will be remembered as "Game Changers" and "Trendsetters" in the Gospel Music Industry and Ministry. Long live the memory and legacy of Daryl Coley.

                                                                                                                    Sincerly,
                                                                                                                    Phillip Carter