Johnny Whittaker, Maria Muldaur & Donna McElroy
Sharing some new performance clips from some of the artists we've featured in the past!
I hope this newsletter finds you all well and settling into 2023. Welcome to all of the new subscribers! I can’t tell you how happy I am that you have joined me. Thank you for your messages, comments and shares!
I’ve been knee-deep in my next liner notes assignment (which I can’t wait to tell you about!), but know that the next feature in in the works and should be ready for you next Tuesday!
In the meantime, a few things related to some of our older features has popped up and I want to share them with you!
Back in October 2021, I wrote a feature on Nashville’s Johnny Whittaker & the Twenty-First Century Singers, innovators in the contemporary gospel scene who also helped integrate country music sessions in our city in the early 70s. I interviewed the surviving original member of the group, Charles Miller, along with Everett Drake, Robin Johnson and Frankie Henry who joined the group in 1978 for their Sunday Night Fever album. You can read the feature and watch our full interview here.
What’s even more exciting is that a video of the group’s founder, Johnny Whittaker, singing the Roberta Martin Singers’ classic “Only a Look” is on YouTube! Do not miss this dynamic singer in all of his soprano glory! And after you watch, I’m sure you’ll understand why there was so much to be said about him!
2. In August 2021, I wrote about the first time I saw/heard Americana artist Maria Muldaur on the PTL Network back in 1983. It was my introduction to an album that would become an integral part of my life. Not only would Maria inspire me to really look at how various genres correspond and connect to each other, but she would also inspire me to carve out my own way of expressing and cultivating belief. I wrote about her path to “transcendental Christianity.” Back in 2021, she shared my article and wrote a few words herself.
The one thing missing from my article was the footage of her performance from that special on the PTL Network…until now! One of the two songs from that show has finally been uploaded to YouTube and I wanted to share it with you!
3. My feature on session singer royalty, Donna McElroy, remains one of the most-read articles here—but seeing as our readership has significantly increased since I posted the article in September 2021, I wanted to point our newer readers back to it. I first experienced Donna in Amy Grant’s background group in the 80s and have been following her ever since. We talked about her singular CCM solo effort, Bigger World, and what it meant and means to her to be a contemporary Christian.
While watching vintage Amy Grant concert footage on YouTube, I discovered this duet with Donna and Chris Rodriguez, another session musician giant, from Amy’s Lead Me On tour in 1988. It showcases the unbelievable instrument that Donna possesses!