Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments - Voices of Tabernacle Choir

Oct 3, 2021

“God Is” is a hair-raising track from the superb Voices of Tabernacle LP by the same name. Click below to listen to this episode.
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Welcome to Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments.  I’m Robert Darden.    In the 1960s, the Rev. James Cleveland was everywhere, producing literally dozens of different choirs and ensembles – the man was a machine. One of the more creative aggregations that Cleveland promoted was the Voices of Tabernacle. Organized by the Rev. Charles A. Craig in 1958 as part of his Detroit-based church, the choir quickly became known for their power and innovative arrangements.With the release of the LP God Is in 1966, they were at their peak. Craig’s compositions relied on the precision of the mass choir, propulsive, dramatic instrumentation – usually led, unusually enough, by the percussion – and a series of vocalists who could rattle the rafters of any church. The Voices released several excellent LPs for Detroit’s HOB label, before joining Cleveland at the Savoy. Once with Savoy, they release another dozen excellent LPs, right into the 1980s. One of my particular favorites is this song, the title track from the God Is LP, which contains most of the Voices of Tabernacle’s distinctive qualifies, as well as a hair-raising lead vocalist who while she sounds like Bessie Griffin, is – alas – not credited. And you can always hear the entire track of songs like “God Is” on our website, KWBU dot ORG ... and by scrolling down to the SHOUT! Black Gospel Music Moments link. MUSIC: “God Is,” from the God Is LP by the Voices of Tabernacle Choir, Track 1, Side 2. 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.