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.