In January I shared an old school gospel record by The Savannah Community Choirthat got a good response so how about another for February? This time from the West Coast we have Brother Henderson’s Watts Community Choir doing a rendition of Burt Bacharach’s What the World Needs Now. To rearrange this tune from the popular Dionne Warwick version seems like a bold move for the time, but I guess when you got the Lord onyour side. Personally I’m loving this version more—sometimes gospel makes everything better. And you have to love this cover of the choir all in front of the Watts tower, fists up. ✊🏽
I’ve always embraced Black gospel music despite never having been raised in church, (hell I’m not even baptized 🤷🏽♂️). However, over the last year more and more I’ve been leaning on gospel music like this record by The Savannah Community Choir (1977) to get me through these collective days of despair. What I love most about classic gospel records was that they were all recorded live often in the church—meaning that holy spirit comes blasting through. Whether you regularly lean on Jesus or not don’t let your Sunday or any rough day go by without giving this scorching rendition of Lean on Jesus a listen.
Founded in 1948, Chicago’s Thompson Community Singers are the nation’s oldest existing community choir. This track comes from their incredible 1960 album “I’ll Trade a Lifetime”. Given the historical context and the turbulent decade that lay ahead, one has the sense that when a hundred voices get together and sing the word “Power!” over and over, they aren’t only talking about Jesus. I grew up going to church every Sunday. If we’d had a choir like this one, I’d probably still go.