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Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments - Commissioned


Commissioned’s funky contribution to Christmas music is the beat-heavy “Joy” from 1991.

Boy, in the 1980s and early ‘90s, outside of the Winans, no one was hotter in gospel than Commissioned. They were among the first to marry the New Jack City funk to gospel music, churning out hits like “I’m Going On,” “Running Back to You,” “Ordinary Just Won’t Do,” “We Shall Behold Him” and many others.

Commissioned was led by bassist/composer Fred Hammond and he was originally joined by outstanding singers like Michael Brooks, Mike Williams, Keith Staten and Karl Reid – who could even sound like Take 6 when they wanted to. As you might imagine, there was constant turnover in a group with so talent and people like Marvin Sapp, Eddie Howard, Jr., Maxx Frank among others came and went.

In 1991, the Hammond-penned “Joy” was included on the compilation album The Essence of Christmas for Benson Records. For those of you who grew up listening to urban radio formats during those years, you’ll be happy to hear these beats and these harmonies bring something new to the idea of Christmas music!

2251 Commissioned - Joy.mp3

MUSIC: “Joy,” The Essence of Christmas, Commissioned, Side 1, Track 1 (Dec. 18, 2022)

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.