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SHOUT! Black Gospel Music Moments - Doc McKenzie

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Still together and touring after 57 years, Doc McKenzie and the Hi-Lites are the epitome of gospel’s road warriors!

Welcome to Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments. I’m Robert Darden.

Doc McKenzie got his start in rural South Carolina before his family moved to gospel hotbed Paterson, NJ in the 1950s. He founded the Hi-Lites at an early age and the quartet sang around the East Coast for years. Finally, in 1990, they were heard tearing up yet another church and signed to Atlanta International Records.

Doc and the Hi-Lites have continued to record for a variety of smaller labels, headlining gospel concerts and shows, and generally earning decades of goodwill for their energetic, passionate performances. The group celebrated its 57th year together on July 2, 2022 with yet another gala concert and showcase.

While they’ve never had a No. 1 hit in all of these years – they came close with “Ride with Jesus” in 1996 – but they’ve never failed to release first-rate gospel music. Here’s a great example from the late ‘80s, “He’s Coming,” which sounds as if one of the great Sounds of Philadelphia groups decided they wanted to be gospel artists for a day!

2233 Doc McKenzie and the Hi-Lites - He's Coming.mp3

MUSIC: “He’s Coming” by Doc McKenzie and the Hi-Lites, 45

I’m Robert Darden … “Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments” is produced by KWBU, the Black Gospel Music Preservation Program at Baylor University Libraries and is funded by generous support from the Prichard Foundation.