Monday, November 9, 2009

Free from all sorrow, pain, or care..

The Ward Singers/Clara Ward Singers were huge stars in their day....they were the first 'glamorous' gospel stars, the first gospel group to have a million selling record, the first female group to trade leads like the male groups.

They were hot...and I mean, really hot.

Clara was the long time consort of a certain Rev. C. L. Franklin. She mentored his daughter, Aretha.

Both C. L. and Aretha sang at Clara's funeral. Aretha's album, Amazing Grace, was meant as a personal tribute to the lady.

Here's Clara by herself, singing a song usually associated with Mahalia Jackson. It was written by William Herbert Brewster. The noticeable change in tempo, mid-song, is one of the hallmarks of his songs. A mix of old-style hymn with the still quite new at the time, gospel style.


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