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Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments - Elder Nick Hightower and Sister Massey

Elder Nick Hightower’s old-school Hammond B-3 stylings are the highlight of this rare gospel instrumental, “Let Everybody March.”

In the mid-1960s, the Hightower Brothers seemed destined to be gospel music’s Next Big Thing ... but, for whatever reason, it just didn’t happen. Just as the Brothers were peaking, Savoy Records released an LP from their father, Elder Nick Hightower, who pastored their church in Newark, New Jersey. The album, recorded with Sister Massey from the church, was titled It’s a Long, Long Way and featured a much more traditional sound.

And it’s a wonderful LP, full of stomping, old-time gospel led by Hightower’s old-school keyboards. Elder Nick and Sister Massey are in fine form as vocalists, but my favorite track is that rare gospel instrumental, “Let Everybody March,” which showcases Hightower’s prowess on the Hammond B-3 organ.

MUSIC: Elder Nick Hightower and Sister Massey, It’s a Long, Long Way LP, “Let Everybody March,” Side 2, Track 1(March 10, 2024)

2410 Elder Nick Hightower and Sister Massey - Let Everybody March.mp3

I’m Robert Darden … “Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments” is produced by KWBU and the Black Gospel Music Preservation Program at Baylor University Libraries.

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Robert F. Darden is the author of two dozen books, most recently: Nothing But Love in God’s Water, Volume II: Black Sacred Music from Sit-In to Resurrection City (Penn State University Press, 2016); Nothing But Love in God’s Water, Volume I: Black Sacred Music from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement(Penn State University Press, 2014); Jesus Laughed: The Redemptive Power of Humor(Abingdon Press, 2008), Reluctant Prophets and Clueless Disciples: Understanding the Bible by Telling Its Stories(Abingdon Press, 2006); and People Get Ready! A New History of Black Gospel Music(Continuum/Bloomsbury, 2004).