Discover more from God's Music Is My Life
Mylon LeFevre, New York Community Choir & Tramaine Hawkins!
Some updates on my book and new writings & discoveries related to past features!
I’m amazed at how much this newsletter has grown over the last year. I’m continually grateful for every share, comment and private message that affirms the work that I’m doing here. Thank you for loving the music!
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I’ve got some exciting things to share this week, but, first, I wanted to thank you all for your incredibly kind birthday wishes last week! I’m looking forward to my new year and the great things that are ahead.
Now for the music!
The same week that my feature on Mylon LeFevre’s 1985/86 works dropped here, I was gifted with the opportunity to write about his last ‘secular’ album, 1979’s Rock And Roll Resurrection for UDiscoverMusic. The album reunited him with Allen Toussaint who’d produced his seminal 1970 album Mylon: We Believe, viewed today as one of first two gospel rock albums, ever.
For those new to #GodsMusicIsMyLife, you may not know that I’m in the middle of writing a book about the New York Community Choir—a choir took gospel music into the Black Arts Movement and the discos. The book also includes the history of Bishop William Morris O’Neil, pastor of Universal Tabernacle in Los Angeles and founder of Christian Tabernacle in Harlem. You can read a feature that provides a synopsis of the book here.
On Friday, I finished the fourth chapter, which means I only have two more to go! As I was writing last week, I was trying to find a photograph of the choir with Josephine Baker. They’d performed with her during her three-day run at Carnegie Hall in New York in 1973. I found something better….AUDIO!
Click below to hear NYCC open the performance with Ms. Baker singing George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord.”
Last week, archivist Trevon Dawson uploaded this gem to YouTube—an interview circa 1986 with Tramaine Hawkins and Richard Smallwood. The conversation centers largely on Tramaine’s crossover success with “Fall Down (Spirit of Love)” which, at the time of the interview, was in full motion. Hearing her field questions about the controversy and the intention behind the music is incredible to see. Thank you Trevon for sharing this clip with the world!
If you haven’t read my feature on this era of Tramaine’s career, just click here.