Elvis Presley: Where No One Stands Alone

Music and church bring me peace. I love the music performed at mass. My affinity with music began with church and the choir. I sang for several years in the choir. I loved that connection with my faith. I still do as it centers me each week.

Elvis Presley is my favorite Gospel artist. His love for church hymns is inspirational. I saw a video with him singing Gospel songs backstage with the Jordanaires years ago. He was never happier in those collaborative moments.

Where No One Stands Alone provides new musical perspectives on 14 of the singer’s favorite pieces of gospel music, from the reverential to the celebratory, with song selections including Presley’s beloved enduring gospel classics. The expected ship date for this recording is August 8, 2018.

“Since I was two years old,” Elvis Presley once said, “all I knew was gospel music. It became such a part of my life, it was as natural as dancing. A way to escape my problems, and my way of release.” It was Elvis’ explosive mix of styles–blues, bluegrass, country, swing, pop–that generated his iconic world-changing rock n’ roll, but it was the hymns, spirituals and church music of his childhood, the deep-seated gospel roots that sustained Elvis and his musical vision throughout his life.

“This was his favorite genre – no question about it,” says Lisa Marie in her album notes. “He seemed at his most passionate, and at peace while singing gospel. He would truly come alive – whether he was singing just for himself and me at home, or on stage in front of thousands of fans.”

Elvis Presley – Where No One Stands Alone CD Track List

1. I’ve Got Confidence
2. Where No One Stands Alone (with Lisa Marie Presley)
3. Saved
4. Crying In The Chapel
5. So High
6. Stand By Me
7. Bosom Of Abraham
8. How Great Thou Art
9. I, John
10. You’ll Never Walk Alone
11. He Touched Me
12. In The Garden
13. He Is My Everything
14. Amazing Grace

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Mavis!

Mavis! is the first feature documentary on gospel/soul music legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples and her family group, The Staple Singers. From the freedom songs of the ’60s and hits like “I’ll Take You There” in the ’70s, to funked-up collaborations with Prince and her recent albums with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, Mavis has stayed true to her roots, kept her family close, and inspired millions along the way.

Featuring powerful live performances, rare archival footage, and conversations with friends and contemporaries including Bob Dylan, Prince, Bonnie Raitt, Levon Helm, Jeff Tweedy, Chuck D, and more, Mavis! reveals the struggles, successes, and intimate stories of her journey. At 75, she’s making the most vital music of her career, winning Grammy awards, and reaching a new generation of fans. Her message of love and equality is needed now more than ever.

FEATURING

The Staple Singers
Jeff Tweedy
Chuck D
Julian Bond
Bonnie Raitt
Bob Dylan
Levon Helm
Marty Stuart
Al Bell
Prince
Steve Cropper
Sharon Jones

My Favorite Hymn – How Great Thou Art

How Great Thou Art: Gospel Favorites Live from...
How Great Thou Art: Gospel Favorites Live from the Grand Ole Opry (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love when I hear the hymn “How Great Thou Art” in church during mass. I feel connected to the Almighty, ever thankful for what He has given us in this life. I truly believe We are his vessel.

Carrie Underwood and Vince Gil deliver reverence to God in this moving rendition of “How Great Thou Art“. I saw this performance on CBS on April 22nd in 2011. It always moves me to tears of joy and beyond.

Please allow your soul five minutes to feel the spirituality and the healing power of music that is our blessing.

Girls Night Out – Property CBS – Dick Clark Productions

Rosanne Cash – Tell Heaven

I love when a song creates a spiritual resonance inside the music of our heart. “Tell Heaven” by Rosanne Cash and her husband, John Leventhal is that song. It appears on Rosanne Cash’s new album, The River & The Thread. 

There are times we become disconsolate. I find in the well of deepest despair faith is rewarded as we speak to God and tell heaven of our dilemma. The more we tell heaven a stronger resolve will emerge to help us confront our challenges.

Tell Heaven – Roseanne Cash & John Leventhal

When you’re like a broken bird
Tell heaven
Battered wings against a darkened day
When your worries won’t let you sleep
Tell heaven
When the tears won’t ever go away
If you got no one to love
Tell heaven
There’s no one on the telephone today
When every story falls apart
Tell heaven
Nothing good seems like it’ll come your way
Tell heaven
Tell heaven
With heavy hearts and empty rooms
Tell heaven
You don’t have to know what you will say
The empty sky may never take our burdens
But something good will someday come our way
Tell heaven
Tell heaven
Copyright 2014 Chelcait Music
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Reissue: Dylan’s Gospel

Gospel music and singing in the choir hold a reverent spot in the music of our heart. I sang for several years in the church choir growing up. I find myself at peace when I sing hymns at the weekly celebration of mass. It stands to reason that Bob Dylan‘s music lends itself to a church music setting. After all you “Gotta Serve Somebody” 😉

Something tells us you haven’t heard anything like Dylan’s Gospel by The Brothers and Sisters, a choir of Los Angeles session singers brought gloriously to the fore for a very special, one-off record.

Originally released in 1969 on Ode Records, this rare and sought-after album finds the California collective covering a clutch of Dylan classics in the era’s revolutionary gospel style. Produced by Lou Adler, soon to work his magic on Carole King’s mega-successful Tapestry, and arranged by Gene Page, noted for his work for Motown, the performers were largely unknown, but many went on to find great acclaim. Merry Clayton, the powerhouse singer best known for sparring with Mick Jagger on Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” (and star of the recent documentary 20 Feet from Stardom), appears here, as does Edna Wright of The Honeycones and Gloria Jones who recorded the original version of “Tainted Love” in 1965.

Record producer Lou Adler
Record producer Lou Adler (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The genesis of the project was Lou Adler, the music business visionary who staged the legendary Monterey International Pop Festival. He imagined a project that joined the songs of Dylan with L.A.‘s most sought after session singers, most of which began their singing in the Baptist churches of South Los Angeles. “Listening to Dylan’s songs, I felt there was a gospel-like feel to them, both spiritually and lyrically,” Adler says in the liner notes. “So those two ideas, to work with these singers and to explore that side of Dylan – came together.” (Background and publicity information courtesy of The Light In The Attic Records).

The album drops on April 1, 2014. You may place a pre-order here.

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The Ear of the Heart: An Actress Journey From Hollywood To Holy Vows

When I look back on what influenced me about music I reflect upon singing in the church choir. I was fortunate to raise my voice in song at church and at regional choir competitions. I love hearing and singing hymns at weekly Mass.

This morning’s entrance hymn was “How Great Thou Art” which is my favorite Elvis Presley song of all time. I reflected on the Elvis Presley Gospel vinyl recording  How Great Thou Art (RCA Victor 1967). I was always impressed with how humble and religious a person he was in life.

Little did I realize that our celebrant would deliver a sermon that involved Elvis Presley and his first on-screen kiss with an actress. The actress’s name was Dolores Hart and the movie was Loving You in 1957.

Dolores Hart entered the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut, at the peak of her career, not to leave the glamorous world of acting she had dreamed of since childhood, but to answer a mysterious call she heard with the “ear of the heart”. While contracted for another film and engaged to be married, she abandoned everything to become a bride of Christ.

http://www.ignatius.com/promotions/ear-of-the-heart/index.html#sthash.w9pdq9R9.dpbs

Our celebrant provided us with valuable insight into the contemplative life of Mother Dolores Hart by telling us more about her book, The Ear of the Heart: An Actress Journey From Hollywood To Holy Vows.

I identified with her conversion to Catholicism when she was younger for I too am a convert to the Catholic faith. (38 years now) I began to realize that Mother Dolores Hart through our celebrant was in turn communicating with the music of our heart. It brought me great peace.

I just noticed there was also an HBO special filmed about Mother Dolores Hart, God Is The Bigger Elvis. This documentary was nominated for an Academy Award and is available on DVD.

I hope sharing what I have learned today about Mother Dolores Hart will bring your life and heart solace. Peace Be With You, this Sunday and Always.

Mavis Staples – One True Vine

The collaboration between Mavis Staples and Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) bears more fruit with the new recording One True Vine.

Their first album together, 2010’s You Are Not Alone, was so warmly received it seems to have convinced them to continue their working relationship.

One True Vine is being highlighted on NPR Music’s First Listen for your listening enjoyment until the release date, Tuesday June 25th.

 

Open Our Eyes, The Peace Richie Havens Has Given Us

There has always been and will forever be the great feeling of Peace that Richie Havens created from his soul to ours.

I sang this song with Richie Havens on the way to work this morning and it comforts the music of our heart during our time of mourning.

God Bless You Richie Havens, you are the True Soul of Our Peace!

Father, open our eyes, that we
may see, to follow thee. Oh lord
grant us, thy lovin' peace, and let
all dissension cease. Let our fait,
each day increase, 
and Master - Lord please-
Open our eyes, open our eyes-

He has given us, hills and mountains, he 
has given us, level places. 
He has given us food and clothing, 
given us shelter from the storm and the rain-
And all that he provided,
kept us shelter from the storm and the rain-

Grant us thy lovin' peace,
and let all dissension cease,
let our faith each day increase,
and Master - Lord please
Open our eyes, open our eyes

© EMI Music Publishing Author: Leon Lumkins 
(Leon Lumkins and the Gospel Clefs)