“God Gave Me a Song” by the Interdenominational Youth Choir was the launching pad for the great gospel artist Myrna Summer. Click below to listen to this episode. Click the title above to read along.
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Welcome to Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments. I’m Robert Darden. In late 1969, unknown alto Myrna Summers put together what would be known as the Interdenominational Youth Choir of Washington D.C. and Baltimore. The group recorded two of Summers’ compositions, including “God Gave Me a Song,” for the D.C.-area Century Records label. By 1970, “God Gave Me a Song” had been snapped up by Atlantic Records excellent Cotillion subsidiary. And it’s a great song – it’s what Godspell’s “Day by Day” might have sounded like if it had been composed by a gospel artist. The choir is killer, the back band, particular the drummer, are superb and you can tell from the opening notes that Summers is going to be a star. And that’s exactly what happened. After Grammy awards and sold-out tours and a dozen critically acclaimed LPs, Myrna Summers is still singing. Today she’s the Minister of Music at Reid Temple AME in Glenn Dale, Maryland, but you’re just as likely to see her on a gospel telecast or as a guest on a top gospel artist’s new song. And it all begins here in 1970 with the fiery “God Gave Me a Song.” MUSIC: “God Gave Me a Song,” Interdenominational Youth Choir of Washington D.C. and Baltimore, featuring Myrna Summers, 45 I’m Robert Darden … “Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments” is produced by KWBU, the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project at Baylor University Libraries and is funded by generous support from the Prichard Foundation.