Maranatha Music/EMI Music CMG Distribution www.maranathamusic.com
By Bob Marovich for The Black Gospel Blog
If it were not for a couple of traditional-leaning selections, Maranatha Music’s Top 25 Gospel Songs – 2013 Edition could easily be titled Top 25 Praise and Worship Songs – 2013 Edition.
Whether or not P&W is your cup of tea, there’s no denying that the amalgam of gospel and CCM has, along with smooth contemporary gospel, claimed a significant space on the gospel charts. Top 25 Gospel Songs highlights this reality by combining praise-centric releases from established gospel stars with those of emerging indie artists.
Recognized stars represented on the two-disc collection include Martha Munizzi, whose celebratory “Make It Loud” opens Disc One. Shekinah Glory Ministry (“Revival”), Isaac Carree (“I Worship You”) and VaShawn Mitchell (“You Reign”) are among the other familiar figures, as is William McDowell, whose enormous P&W hit, “I Give Myself Away” is also included.
Among the emerging artists are Jackiem Joyner, who wails sax on an instrumental version of Kirk Franklin’s “I Smile.” The project also introduces the listener to some less familiar names, such as Avery Sunshine, Tim Miner, Jamie Jones, and Bryan Popin, whose encouraging “Alright” has the right amount of bluesy inflection.
Standout tracks include Anita Wilson’s rich and prayerful “More of You,” from her national debut CD Worship Soul; and Jonathan Butler’s fine contemporary ballad, “I Stand On Your Word.” For those who only know Tamela Mann for “Take Me to the King” are treated to “Here I Am,” a passionately sung ballad from her Best Days album.
The exceptions to the P&W/contemporary rule on the collection are Dottie Peoples’ churchy “I Got This,” and the Lee Boys’ “Praise You," which features a feisty duel between electric guitars and sacred steel.
Percy Bady has done an admirable job compiling an enjoyable set that flows well and represents the mainstream P&W and contemporary sounds that appeal to a multicultural churchgoing audience.
The first major wagon train to the northwest departs from Elm Grove, Missouri, on the Oregon Trail.
Although U.S. sovereignty over the Oregon Territory was not clearly established until 1846, American fur trappers and missionary groups had been living in the region for decades. Dozens of books and lectures proclaimed Oregon's agricultural potential, tweaking the interest of American farmers. The first overland immigrants to Oregon, intending primarily to farm, came in 1841 when a small band of 70 pioneers left Independence, Missouri. They followed a route blazed by fur traders, which took them west along the Platte River through the Rocky Mountains via the easy South Pass in Wyoming and then northwest to the Columbia River. In the years to come, pioneers came to call the route the Oregon Trail.
In 1842, a slightly larger group of 100 pioneers made the 2,000-mile journey to Oregon. The next year, however, the number of emigrants skyrocketed to 1,000. The sudden increase was a product of a severe depression in the Midwest combined with a flood of propaganda from fur traders, missionaries, and government officials extolling the virtues of the land. Farmers dissatisfied with their prospects in Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee, hoped to find better lives in the supposed paradise of Oregon.
On this day in 1843, some 1,000 men, women, and children climbed aboard their wagons and steered their horses west out of the small town of Elm Grove, Missouri. The train comprised more than 100 wagons with a herd of 5,000 oxen and cattle trailing behind. Dr. Elijah White, a Presbyterian missionary who had made the trip the year before, served as guide.
The first section of the Oregon Trail ran through the relatively flat country of the Great Plains. Obstacles were few, though the river crossings could be dangerous for wagons. The danger of Indian attacks was a small but genuine risk. To be on the safe side, the pioneers drew their wagons into a circle at night to create a makeshift stockade. If they feared Indians might raid their livestock—the Plains tribes valued the horses, though generally ignored the oxen—they would drive the animals into the enclosure.
Although many neophyte pioneers believed Indians were their greatest threat, they quickly learned that they were more likely to be injured or killed by a host of more mundane causes. Obstacles included accidental discharge of firearms, falling off mules or horses, drowning in river crossings, and disease. After entering the mountains, the trail also became much more difficult, with steep ascents and descents over rocky terrain. The pioneers risked injury from overturned and runaway wagons.
Yet, as with the 1,000-person party that made the journey in 1843, the vast majority of pioneers on the trail survived to reach their destination in the fertile, well-watered land of western Oregon. The migration of 1844 was smaller than that of the previous season, but in 1845 it jumped to nearly 3,000. Thereafter, migration on the Oregon Trail was an annual event, although the practice of traveling in giant convoys of wagons gave way to many smaller bands of one or two-dozen wagons. The trail was heavily traveled until 1884, when the Union Pacific constructed a railway along the route.
TIM TALLEY,Associated Press
MOORE, Okla. (AP) — A monstrous tornado as much as a mile wide roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods with winds up to 200 mph, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school.
At the time of this report, there have been 51 confirmed deaths. The storm laid waste to scores of buildings in Moore, south of the city. Block after block of the community lay in ruins, with heaps of debris piled up where homes used to be. Cars and trucks were left crumpled on the roadside.
The National Weather Service issued an initial finding that the tornado was an EF-4 on the enhanced Fujita scale, the second most-powerful type of twister.
In video of the storm, the dark funnel cloud could be seen marching slowly across the green landscape. As it churned through the community, the twister scattered shards of wood, pieces of insulation, awnings, shingles and glass all over the streets.
Volunteers and first responders raced to search the debris for survivors.
At Plaza Towers Elementary School, the storm tore off the roof, knocked down walls and turned the playground into a mass of twisted plastic and metal.
Several children were pulled alive from the rubble. Rescue workers passed the survivors down a human chain to a triage center in the parking lot.
James Rushing, who lives across the street from the school, heard reports of the approaching tornado and ran to the school, where his 5-year-old foster son, Aiden, attends classes. Rushing believed he would be safer there.
“About two minutes after I got there, the school started coming apart,” he said.
The students were placed in the restroom.
“There’s no safe room in the school. There will be,” said Rushing, who said his home was virtually destroyed.
Oklahoma City Police Capt. Dexter Nelson said downed power lines and open gas lines posed a risk in the aftermath of the system.
The same suburb was hit hard by a tornado in 1999. That storm had the distinction of producing the highest winds ever recorded near the earth’s surface — 302 mph
Written by: Gregory Gay
The 2013 Essence Festival heads to the Crescent City, New Orleans, Louisiana on the weekend of July 4th through July 7th. This year, the Get Lifted All Star Gospel Tribute honors Gospel music icons Tramaine Hawkins and Donnie McClurkin. Scheduled performers include Bishop Lester Love and the City of Love, Yolanda Adams, Michelle Williams, Amber Bullock, Tasha Cobbs, Bishop Noel Jones, Tyronne Foster and The Arc Singers, Kurt Carr, Isaac Carree, Kim Burrell and many more.
In Washington, D.C., humanitarians Clara Barton and Adolphus Solomons found the American National Red Cross, an organization established to provide humanitarian aid to victims of wars and natural disasters in congruence with the International Red Cross.
Barton, born in Massachusetts in 1821, worked with the sick and wounded during the American Civil War and became known as the "Angel of the Battlefield" for her tireless dedication. In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln commissioned her to search for lost prisoners of war, and with the extensive records she had compiled during the war she succeeded in identifying thousands of the Union dead at the Andersonville prisoner-of-war camp.
She was in Europe in 1870 when the Franco-Prussian War broke out, and she went behind the German lines to work for the International Red Cross. In 1873, she returned to the United States, and four years later she organized an American branch of the International Red Cross. The American Red Cross received its first U.S. federal charter in 1900. Barton headed the organization into her 80s and died in 1912.
By DAVID ESPO,AP Special Correspondent
WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite Democratic fears, predictions of the demise of President Barack Obama‘s agenda appear exaggerated after a week of cascading controversies, political triage by the administration and party leaders in Congress and lack of evidence to date of wrongdoing close to the Oval Office.
“Absolutely not,” Steven Miller, the recently resigned acting head of the Internal Revenue Service, responded Friday when asked if he had any contact with the White House about targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status for special treatment.
“The president’s re-election campaign?” persisted Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif.
“No,” said Miller.
The hearing took place at the end of a week in which Republicans repeatedly assailed Obama and were attacked by Democrats in turn — yet sweeping immigration legislation advanced methodically toward bipartisan approval in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The measure “has strong support of its own in the Senate,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., a member of the panel.
Across the Capitol, a bipartisan House group reported agreement in principle toward a compromise on the issue, which looms as Obama’s best chance for a signature second-term domestic achievement. “I continue to believe that the House needs to deal with this,” said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who is not directly involved in the talks.
The president’s nominee to become energy secretary, Ernest Moniz, won Senate confirmation, 97-0. And there were signs that Republicans might allow confirmation of Sri Srinivasan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, sometimes a stepping stone to the Supreme Court.
Separately, a House committee approved legislation to prevent a spike in interest rates on student loans on July 1. It moves in the direction of a White House-backed proposal for future rate changes to be based on private markets.
Even so, Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, said, “It’s been a bad week for the administration.”
Several Democratic lawmakers and aides agreed and expressed concern about the impact on Obama’s agenda — even though much of it has been stymied by Republicans for months already.
At the same time, Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., voiced optimism that the IRS controversy would boost the push for an overhaul of the tax code, rather than derail it. “It may make a case for a simpler tax code, where the IRS has less discretion,” he said.
Long-term budget issues, the main flash point of divided government since 2011, have receded as projected deficits fall in the wake of an improving economy and recently enacted spending cuts and tax increases.
Even before Obama began grappling with the IRS, the fallout from last year’s deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, and from the Justice Department’s secret seizure of Associated Press phone records, the two parties were at odds over steps to replace $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts. In particular, Obama’s call for higher taxes is a nonstarter with Republicans.
Other high-profile legislation and presidential appointees face difficulties that predate the current controversies.
Months ago, Obama scaled back requested gun safety legislation to center on expanded background checks for firearms purchasers. That was derailed in the Senate, has even less chance in the House and is unlikely to reach the president’s desk
Republicans oppose other recommendations from the president’s State of the Union address, including automatic increases in the minimum wage, a pre-kindergarten program funded by higher cigarette taxes and more federal money for highways and bridge repair.
In a clash that long predates the IRS controversy, Senate Republicans seem intent on blocking Obama’s nomination of Tom Perez as labor secretary. Gina McCarthy’s nomination to head the Environmental Protection Agency is also on hold, at least temporarily, and Democrats expect Republican opposition awaits Penny Pritzker, Obama’s choice for commerce secretary.
Rhetorically, the two parties fell into two camps when it came to the White House troubles. Democrats tended to describe them as controversies, Republicans often used less flattering terms.
Speaking on the Senate floor, Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., accused the administration of fostering a “culture of intimidation.” He referred to the IRS, the handling of the Benghazi attack and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ “fundraising among the industry people she regulates on behalf of the president’s health care law.”
Two days later, Camp, a 23-year veteran lawmaker, opened the IRS hearing by calling the agency’s actions part of a “culture of cover-ups and intimidation in this administration.” He offered no other examples.
Rep. Trey Radel, a first-term Florida Republican, said in an interview, “What we’re looking at now is a breach of trust” from the White House.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California offered a scathing response when asked if the controversies would hamper Obama’s ability to win legislation from the Republican-controlled House. “Well, the last two years there was nothing that went through this Congress, and it was no AP, IRS or any other (thing) that we were dealing with.”
“They just want to do nothing. And their timetable is never,” she said of GOP lawmakers.
Similarly, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gave no ground on Benghazi, a dispute that increasingly centered on talking points written for administration officials to use on television after the attack last September in which U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.
“It’s obvious it’s an attempt to embarrass President Obama and embarrass Hillary Clinton,” he said of Republican criticism that first flared during last year’s election campaign.
On a third front, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., resurrected legislation that would requiring a judge to approve subpoenas for news media communications records when investigating news leaks said to threaten the national security. It was a response to the FBI’s secret, successful pursuit of Associated Press phone records in a current probe.
While Democrats counterattacked on Benghazi and parried on leaks, they bashed the IRS’ treatment of conservative groups as improper if not illegal — and warned Republicans not to overplay their hand.
Written by: Martin Williams
BET Sunday Best Finalist Danetra Moore has signed with Tyscot Records to release her debut album. Moore appeared on Season 5 of BET Sunday Best where she wowed the judges and audiences each week with her powerhouse voice. Moore is no stranger to the music industry. For many years she’s lent background vocals to artist such as Ledisi , Angie Stone, Kurt Carr, Byron Cage, DeWayne Woods and countless others. Danetra was a fixture on BET’s, “The Monique Show” as an in house vocalist with The Penthouse Players, and has appeared on The Jay Leno Show, R&B Divas, and even accompanied Ledisi at the 2012 Democratic National Convention where they sang for President Barack Obama.
On her recent label signing Danetra tells Bonnerfide Radio that, “she’s excited, appreciative, and grateful beyond words”. She goes on to explain that she’s “happy that the label believes in the ministry and message that GOD has given her and she wants to be her best and give her best”. Bryan Scott, President of Tyscot calls Daneta a “rare find”, and that her vocal talent and work ethic is impeccable.
Danetra released an an independent single entitled, ” All I Can Do Is Pray” last year and continues to travel and work on her new music. Danetra new music is slated for release later this year or early 2014.
Acting at the behest of a Reno, Nevada, tailor who had invented the idea, Levi Strauss secures the necessary patents for canvas pants with copper rivets to reinforce the stress points.
Born in Buttenheim, Bavaria, in 1829, the young Levi Strauss emigrated to the United States in 1847. Strauss initially went into business selling dry goods along the East Coast, but in 1852, his brother-in-law encouraged him to relocate to the booming city of San Francisco. He arrived in San Francisco in 1853 with a load of merchandise that he hoped to sell in the California mining camps. Unable to sell a large supply of canvas, Strauss hit on the idea of using the durable material to make work pants for miners. Strauss' canvas pants were an immediate success among hardworking miners who had long complained that conventional pants wore out too quickly.
In 1872, Strauss received a letter from Jacob Davis, a customer and tailor who worked in the mining town of Reno, Nevada. Davis reported that he had discovered canvas pants could be improved if the pocket seams and other weak points that tended to tear were strengthened by copper rivets. Davis' riveted pants had proven popular in Reno, but he needed a patent to protect his invention. Intrigued by the copper-riveted pants, Strauss and his partners agreed to undertake the necessary legal work for the patent and begin large-scale production of the pants. Davis' invention was patented on this day in 1873. In exchange for his idea, Strauss made the Reno tailor his production manager. Eventually, Strauss switched from using canvas to heavyweight blue denim, and the modern "blue jeans" were born.
Since then, Levi Strauss & Company has sold more than 200 million pairs of copper-riveted jeans. By the turn of the century, people outside of the mining and ranching communities had discovered that "Levi's" were both comfortable and durable. Eventually, the jeans lost most of their association with the West and came to be simply a standard element of the casual American wardrobe
By Oretha Winston, Lead Editor
Urban Roundup Entertainment presents the first ever Faith Against Cancer Gospel Concert. This inspirational event is more than just an ordinary concert, as it will be an uplifting night of encouragement, entertainment and Faith for those affected directly and indirectly by this devastating disease. Faith Against Cancer’s purpose is to raise cancer awareness within the Faith-Based Community and to help find a way to control this fatal disease. All are welcome to come enjoy the show and be informed of what increases cancer risks and its effects. Bring your family, friends and loved ones who may be battling cancer to receive God’s support and love as they go through this difficult time in their life.
“When someone is diagnosed with cancer, their Faith is usually what helps them continue to move forward. That’s why I want us all to come together so that we can put our Faith Against Cancer. I’ve lost six people that were close to me as a result of cancer within the past five years, therefore, I want to raise awareness of the disease. My goal is to help raise funds for cancer research and provide a monetary contribution to assist patients,” says Khalif M. Townes, CEO/President of Urban Roundup Entertainment.