Spreading some Christmas cheer with Pretty Little Baby.
Below is a list of some of the songs in our current repertoire.
Feel free to contact us if you'd like to know more.
Down in the River
Down to the River to Pray. This was first published in 1867 in "Slave Songs of the United States" and attributed to George H. Allan. The title was "The Good Old Way" and the worshippers went down in de (sic!) valley (rather than to or in the river) to pray. It was performed by bluegrass star Alison Krauss in the film "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" and in concerts thereafter.
Freedom Is Coming
Glory Manger, The
A traditional spiritual made famous by Harry Belafonte and sung mostly by classical choral groups rather than by gospel groups. The lyrics show the loving familiarity felt by the slaves toward the baby Jesus.
I'll Fly Away
Shape-note gospel composer Albert Brumley wrote I'll Fly Away in 1929 in Oklahoma. He may have been thinking of getting out of the Dust Bowl during the Depression as well as ascending to heaven at death. This is one of the most recorded of all gospel songs.
Never Let Go My Hand
He'll Never Let Go My Hand was written in 1951 by Lucy Matthews (Lucy Smith Collier, 1925-2010), the pianist for the Roberta Martin Singers, one of the most influential choirs of the Golden Age of Gospel. It was later sung by the Spirit of Memphis Quartet and by the Clara Ward Singers. Our arrangement is by Tony Backhouse.
People Get Ready
People Get Ready was written by Curtis Mayfield in 1965 as an anthem for the civil rights movement. It was a hit recording by his R&B group, The Impressions, and was named among the Top 10 Best Songs of All Time by a panel including Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, and Hal David. There are many gospel songs about trains because of the Underground Railroad that helped slaves escape from the South before the Civil War. Mayfield's train was not carrying away from slavery but toward equal rights.
Intro for Dec 2015 concert. People Get Ready. Curtis Mayfield was a soul, R&B, and funk singer-songwriter and guitarist, who was very politically aware of the African-American experience. In 1965, he wrote our next song, People Get Ready, There's a Train A-comin, as an anthem for the civil rights movement. There are many gospel songs about trains, probably because they were the usual way of Black people leaving the South for the Northern cities and a better life. Mayfield's civil rights and voting rights train was symbolically linked to those real trains. After many other successes, including the brilliant film score for Super Fly, Mayfield was tragically paralyzed from the neck down by falling stage lights, but he left a great legacy. Francine Patton will get this train whistling down the tracks.
Walk In The Light
Zora Neale Hurston mentions this song in her 1937 novel, "Their eyes were watching over God." This version is based upon the Evangelist Quartet recording on "None but the Righteous."