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Tag: DeLois Barrett Campbell

Sunday, August 21st

sounds of Chicago

Delois Barrett Campbell (1926-2011, voice) with sister Rhodessa Barrett Porter (voice), Robert Wooten (organ), Charles Pike (piano), “I’ll Rise Again” (aka “Rise Again”), live, Chicago (Operation Push), late 1970s-80s

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lagniappe

random sights

other day, Oak Park, Ill.

Sunday, 8/7/11

DeLois Barrett Campbell, March 12, 1926-August 2, 2011

In 1943

Photo credit: Chicago Defender (by way of The Black Gospel Blog)

Delois Barrett Campbell, whose subtle phrasing and silvery soprano helped define the sound of the Barrett Sisters, a prominent Chicago gospel trio featured in the 1982 documentary “Say Amen, Somebody,” died on Tuesday in Chicago. She was 85.

The cause was a pulmonary embolism, her daughter Mary Campbell said.

Ms. Campbell, the eldest of the Barrett Sisters, initially caught the attention of the gospel world in the 1940s when she became the first soprano to join the Roberta Martin Singers and sang lead on their 1947 recording of “Yield Not to Temptation.”

She and her sisters, Rodessa and Billie, formed a group in the early 1960s that recorded on the Savoy label. They enjoyed modest hits with “Jesus Loves Me” and “I’ll Fly Away,” but real fame came with “Say Amen, Somebody,” which exposed them to a new generation of listeners and an enthusiastic European audience.

“That film put them on the map, and, in a way, Lois became the symbol of Chicago gospel,” said Anthony Heilbut, author of “The Gospel Sound: Good News and Bad Times.”

Delores Barrett was born on March 12, 1926, in Chicago, where she grew up on the South Side. She and her sisters sang at the Morning Star Baptist Church, where their father was a deacon and their mother sang in the choir, directed by their aunt, Mattie Dacus.

The sisters developed a high-pitched, close-harmony style influenced by the Andrews Sisters, with Delores’s light, ringing soprano, which had a semi-operatic quality, anchoring the group’s sound.

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While a senior at Englewood High School, Delores was recruited by the Roberta Martin Singers, a seminal group from the Pilgrim Baptist Church that was known for its stellar roster of lead male voices, notably Robert Anderson and Norsalus McKissick. She continued to perform with her sisters as well.

In 1950 she married the Rev. Frank Campbell, who changed the spelling of her first name to conform to her nickname, Lois. In addition to their daughter Mary, of Chicago, she is survived by another daughter, Sue Ladd, also of Chicago; her sisters, Rodessa Barrett Porter and Billie Barrett GreenBey, both of Chicago; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

In 1962, when the Roberta Martin Singers were on the verge of breaking up, Ms. Campbell re-formed the trio with her sisters, who had gone on to rear children and pursue their own careers.

The group became a fixture on the Chicago gospel scene, appearing often on “Jubilee Showcase,” a local television show that featured the nation’s top gospel groups in the 1960s and ’70s.

The trio often recorded pop ballads like “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” and Dinah Washington once urged Ms. Campbell to follow in her footsteps and make a career as a crossover artist.

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The group’s stirring performances of “The Storm Is Passing Over,” “(I Don’t Feel) No Ways Tired” and “He Has Brought Us” in “Say Amen, Somebody” gave the sisters a second career. They appeared on “The Tonight Show” and began touring internationally to great acclaim.

—William Grimes, New York Times, 8/4/11

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The well of Chicago gospel runs so deep it sometimes seems bottomless.

DeLois Barrett Campbell and The Barrett Sisters, “The Storm Is Passing Over,” live, 1982 (Say Amen, Somebody)

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lagniappe

[DeLois Barrett Campbell and the Barrett Sisters’] harmony is special, probably the best in female gospel.

—Anthony Heilbut, The Gospel Sound: Good News and Bad Times (1975 ed.)

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DeLois Barrett Campbell & The Barrett Sisters

The O’Neal Twins

The Clark Sisters

The Louvin Brothers

The Delmore Brothers

The Stanley Brothers

The Everly Brothers

The Beach Boys

The Bee Gees

Kate & Anna McGarrigle

The Jackson Five

The Isley Brothers

The Neville Brothers

The list goes on, and on, and . . .

(Originally posted 1/3/10.)

*****

Today at 3 p.m., at a church on Chicago’s south side (First Church of Deliverance, 4301 S. Wabash), hundreds of gospel music lovers (including me) will gather to celebrate the birthday of this group’s lead singer—it’s her 84th.

DeLois Barrett Campbell and the Barrett Sisters

“No Ways Tired,” live, 1982 (Say Amen, Somebody)

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“Fly Away,” live

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lagniappe

Chicago, gospel’s Mecca and Vatican, remains the one city where traditional singers comprise a community, and retain a small but steady audience.

—Anthony Heilbut, The Gospel Sound: Good News and Bad Times (6th ed. 2002)

(Originally posted 3/4/10.)

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At last Sunday’s (wonderful) 84th birthday celebration for DeLois Barrett Campbell, roses graced the altar—a gift from longtime friend Aretha Franklin.

DeLois Barrett Campbell and the Barrett Sisters, live, “He Has Brought Us,” 1982 (Say Amen, Somebody)

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lagniappe

And then we being blood sisters, I always say that gives our harmony a special edge.—DeLois Barrett Campbell

That girl [DeLois Barrett Campbell] can make a song so sweet you want to eat it.—Marion Williams

—Quoted in Anthony Heilbut, The Gospel Sound: Good News and Bad Times (6th ed. 2002) (Heilbut was at last Sunday’s birthday celebration.)

(Originally posted 3/21/10.)

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This afternoon, at 3 p.m., hundreds of gospel fans—from all over—will gather, once again, at a church on Chicago’s south side (First Church of Deliverance, 4315 S. Wabash) to celebrate her (85th!) birthday.

DeLois Barrett Campbell & the Barrett Sisters, “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” live, 1983

Vodpod videos no longer available.

(Originally posted 3/13/11.)

Sunday, 3/13/11

This afternoon, at 3 p.m., hundreds of gospel fans—from all over—will gather, once again, at a church on Chicago’s south side (First Church of Deliverance, 4315 S. Wabash) to celebrate her (85th!) birthday.

DeLois Barrett Campbell & the Barrett Sisters, “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” live, 1983

Vodpod videos no longer available.

More? Here. And here. And here.

More “Precious Lord”? Here (Aretha Franklin at 14). And here (composer Thomas A. Dorsey).

Sunday, 3/21/10

At last Sunday’s (wonderful) 84th birthday celebration for DeLois Barrett Campbell, roses graced the altar—a gift from longtime friend Aretha Franklin.

DeLois Barrett Campbell and the Barrett Sisters, live, “He Has Brought Us” (Say Amen, Somebody), 1982

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lagniappe

And then we being blood sisters, I always say that gives our harmony a special edge.—DeLois Barrett Campbell

That girl [DeLois Barrett Campbell] can make a song so sweet you want to eat it.—Marion Williams

—Quoted in Anthony Heilbut, The Gospel Sound: Good News and Bad Times (6th ed. 2002) (Heilbut was at last Sunday’s birthday celebration.)

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mail

You supply the most delightful diversions!

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Spent a good portion of the afternoon playing back your old clips. Such wonderful variety.

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Just wanted to let you know that I’ve really been enjoying that blog of yours. Very cool.

Sunday, 3/14/10

Today at 3 p.m., at a church on Chicago’s south side (First Church of Deliverance, 4301 S. Wabash), hundreds of gospel music lovers (including me) will gather to celebrate the birthday of this group’s lead singer—it’s her 84th.

DeLois Barrett Campbell and the Barrett Sisters

“No Ways Tired,” live

*****

“Fly Away,” live

Want more? Here.

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lagniappe

Chicago, gospel’s Mecca and Vatican, remains the one city where traditional singers comprise a community, and retain a small but steady audience.—Anthony Heilbut, The Gospel Sound: Good News and Bad Times (6th ed. 2002)

Sunday, 1/3/10

The well of Chicago gospel runs so deep it sometimes seems bottomless.

DeLois Barrett Campbell and The Barrett Sisters, “The Storm Is Passing Over,” live, 1982 (featured in the documentary Say Amen, Somebody)

**********

lagniappe

[DeLois Barrett Campbell and the Barrett Sisters’] harmony is special, probably the best in female gospel.—Anthony Heilbut, The Gospel Sound: Good News and Bad Times (1975 ed.)

*****

DeLois Barrett Campbell & The Barrett Sisters

The O’Neal Twins

The Clark Sisters

The Louvin Brothers

The Delmore Brothers

The Stanley Brothers

The Everly Brothers

The Beach Boys

The Bee Gees

Kate & Anna McGarrigle

The Jackson Five

The Isley Brothers

The Neville Brothers

The list goes on, and on, and . . .

*****

mail

“Thanks very much for that—a really nice blog!”—Tristan Murail (12/26/09 [in response to an email letting him know that his music was being featured here])

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