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SHOUT! Black Gospel Music Moments - Cissy Houston


Cissy Houston was more than Whitney’s mother – she was an amazingly talented singer in her own right. Listen to “He – I Believe” and hear for yourself!

Who is America’s most talented musical family? Consider the family of Cissy Houston, if you will. Cissy was the mother of the late Whitney Houston, the aunt of Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick, and the cousin of opera diva Leontyne Price!

In Cissy’s long career, she was a member of gospel’s Drinkard Singers and, later, the Sweet Inspirations, who supported everybody from Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley, who they toured and recorded with for a year.

For decades, Houston was one of the go-to backup vocalists in the industry. From Bette Midler to Linda Ronstadt, everybody wanted Cissy. Through the years, she released a number of gospel and secular recordings, won a few Grammys, and a had a few hits on her own – and kept right on working until her death in 2012. And oh! Could she sing gospel. Now consider, please: “He – I Believe” from 1970. What a voice!

2209 Cissy Houston - He I Believe.mp3

MUSIC: “He – I Believe,” 45, Cissy Houston

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.