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Tag: Inez Andrews

Sunday, October 21st

sounds of Chicago

Caravans (feat. Albertina Walker, Inez Andrews), “Willing to Wait,” live (TV show), Chicago, 1967

 

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lagniappe

random sights

yesterday, Maywood, Ill. (Prairie Path)

Sunday, May 7th

sounds of Chicago

Inez Andrews (1929-2012), “Just For Me,” live


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lagniappe

art beat

Danny Lyon (1942-), Chicago (Uptown), 1965

Sunday, January 24th

testify!

Inez Andrews (1929-2012), James Cleveland (1931-1991), “I Appreciate,” live


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lagniappe

reading table

Don’t you love the Oxford dictionary? When I first read it I thought it was a really really long poem about everything.

David Bowie (1947-2016)

*****

random thoughts

Note to self: Incline, always, toward the light.

Sunday, March 1st

sounds of Chicago

Inez Andrews (1929-2012), “Come In,” live (The Remarkable Inez Andrews), Chicago, 1980

Sunday, 12/30/12

Here, following up on Monday’s post, is more of Inez Andrews.

Live, “I Made It,” Washington, D.C.

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Live (with the True Voices of Christ Concert Ensemble), “Come In,” Chicago

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lagniappe

reading table

“[B]eing able to ask a question means being able to wait, even one’s whole life.” (quoting Martin Heidegger)

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“Someone who proposes a non-strange answer [to the question ‘why is there something rather than nothing’?] shows he didn’t understand the question.” (quoting Robert Nozick)

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[T]he universe was created by a being that is 100% malevolent but only 80% effective.

—Jim Holt, Why Does The World Exist? (2012)

Monday, 12/24/12

passings

Inez Andrews, gospel singer, April 14, 1929-December 19, 2012

Today, remembering her, we revisit some favorite clips.

*****

6/6/10

Fierce, insistent, soaring—this voice, which I first heard over 30 years ago, still gives me chills.

Inez Andrews

With the Andrewettes, “Let the Church Roll On,” live (TV broadcast), 1964

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With Rev. James Cleveland & the Metro Mass Choir, “We Are Soldiers in the Army,” live, 1981

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“A Stranger in the City,” “He Lives In Me,” “Lord, Don’t Move The Mountain,” “Mary Don’t You Weep,” live, Chicago (Apostolic Church of God), 1988

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lagniappe

The Caravans’ star then was Inez, whom they called the High Priestess. She looks the part. A coffee-colored woman with high Indian cheekbones and an intense, almost drugged stare, she can sing higher natural notes than anyone on the road. Tina [Albertina Walker] said, ‘The rest of us sang awhile, but the folks really wanted to hear Inez whistle.’

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

*****

Determination is important. You’ve got to be determined to live what you sing as well as sing what you sing. God understands the . . . difficulty that we go through for the truth. The Bible says your determination will be rewarded because God sees it when no one else does.

Inez Andrews

*****

7/15/12

five takes

“Mary Don’t You Weep” (AKA “O [or Oh] Mary Don’t You Weep”)

The Caravans (feat. Inez Andrews), 1958

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The Swan Silvertones (feat. Claude Jeter), 1959

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Claude Jeter & Shirley Caesar, 1969

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The Caravans (feat. Inez Andrews), c. 2006

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Bruce Springsteen, 2005

*****

New York Times obituary (12/21/12)

Inez Andrews, whose soaring, wide-ranging voice — from contralto croon to soul-wrenching wail — made her a pillar of gospel music, died on Wednesday at her home in Chicago. She was 83.

The cause was cancer, said her son Richard Gibbs.

“She was the last great female vocalist of gospel’s golden age,” said Anthony Heilbut, author of “The Gospel Sound: Good News and Bad Times” (1971), a history of that era, from the mid-1940s to the early ’60s. Ms. Andrews was known as the “High Priestess,” Mr. Heilbut said, ranking among the likes of Mahalia Jackson, Marion Williams, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Clara Ward.

Ms. Andrews came to national attention in 1958 with the Caravans, the Chicago gospel group led by Albertina Walker that also nurtured such stars as Shirley Caesar, the Rev. James Cleveland and Bessie Griffin. That year she was the lead singer for what became two of the Caravans’ biggest hits.

One was “I’m Not Tired Yet,” an up-tempo shout song in which she belted out, “I’ve been running for Jesus a long time/No, I’m not tired yet.”

The other was “Mary Don’t You Weep” — a rearrangement, by her, of the old spiritual into a rip-roaring sermonette. It was the Caravans’ first big hit and helped make them one of the nation’s most popular gospel groups. Ms. Andrews was the lead singer on other hits like “Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand,” “He Won’t Deny Me” and her own composition, “I’m Willing to Wait.”

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Ms. Andrews began her career with two groups in Birmingham, Ala., her hometown: Carter’s Choral Ensemble and the Original Gospel Harmonettes. By the mid-1950s, the Harmonettes were one of the nation’s top gospel groups, with Ms. Andrews the understudy for the group’s lead singer, Dorothy Love Coates. It was Ms. Coates who recommended Ms. Andrews to the Caravans.

In 1962 Ms. Andrews left the Caravans to start her own group, Inez Andrews and the Andrewettes. They toured the country performing songs like “It’s in My Heart” and her composition “(Lord I Wonder) What Will Tomorrow Bring?” But by 1967 she was touring as a soloist, and in 1973 she recorded her biggest hit, “Lord Don’t Move the Mountain.”

“Lord don’t move the mountain/Give me the strength to climb,” she sang.

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From a seductive, bluesy sound — often singing behind the beat — Ms. Andrews could burst into an impassioned, raspy cry.

“Even in songs of rejoicing, her voice has a somber undertone,” Jon Pareles wrote in The New York Times in 1990, “and when she takes on supplicating songs like the midtempo ‘Lord I’ve Tried’ or the glacial minor-key blues of ‘Stand by Me’ — both of which rise, verse by verse, to a near-scream — Ms. Andrews can sound desperate, on the verge of hysteria. Hers is a gospel of terror, and of the relief faith provides.”

Sunday, 7/15/12

 five takes

“Mary Don’t You Weep” (AKA “O Mary Don’t You Weep”)

The Caravans (feat. Inez Andrews), 1958

***

The Swan Silvertones (feat. Claude Jeter), 1959

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Claude Jeter & Shirley Caesar, 1969

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The Caravans (feat. Inez Andrews), c. 2006

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Bruce Springsteen, 2005

Sunday, 4/10/11

Claude Jeter, Inez Andrews, Archie Brownlee, Dorothy Love Coates, this guy: where else can you find so many unforgettable voices?

Soul Stirrers (featuring R. H. Harris), “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” (1946)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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lagniappe

When R. H. Harris, the renowned gospel tenor, died last month, I went back to the records he had made in the 1950’s with his quartet, the Soul Stirrers. Harris was the — founder is not too strong a word — of a soul singing that concentrated on supple phrasing and tonal sweetness. He could, as Tina Turner used to say, ”do it rough,” but there was a core of reticence, even melancholy in him. His roughness was strategic.

The Soul Stirrers set the mold for other outstanding quartets like the Swan Silvertones and the Five Blind Boys of Alabama, and for younger soul singers, from Sam Cooke (trained by Harris) to David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks of the Temptations (Harris had mastered husky rhythm singing and falsetto), and Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye.

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The discipline required of a first-rate ensemble, vocal or instrumental, translates into the kind of musical discretion that comes only from intense on-the-spot listening. Not biding time or doing cute things onstage until your solo comes, but listening. Take melisma (one syllable stretched over many notes), the vocal weapon so battered and abused by pop singers today. Harris was a master of it. For him it was a musical resource, like dynamics or timbre, not a way of muscling listeners to the ground till they screamed and clapped, maybe because they were overpowered, maybe just to stop the madness.

The Soul Stirrers’ a cappella harmonies are deeply satisfying. And when Harris rises above them with his pure, true pitch (pitch is usually the missing element in today’s melisma mania), you will experience true bliss.

—Margo Jefferson, New York Times, 10/2/00

*****

reading table

The self never ages.

—Roland Barthes, Mourning Diary (trans. Richard Howard, 2010)

Sunday, 6/20/10

Decades have passed since the performances featured a couple weeks ago. The voice has lost some of its strength—the heart none.

Inez Andrews (April 3, 1929-)

Live, Arizona (Tucson, Mt. Calvary Baptist Church), 2007

“The Lord Will Make A Way”

*****

“Mary Don’t You Weep”

lagniappe

listening room

The other night, in the wake of posting Artur Schnabel’s recording of Beethoven’s “Moonlight” sonata, I listened to pianist Andras Schiff’s lecture-recital on this piece, which is wonderful and revelatory and can be heard here.

*****

punctuating with pizzazz


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Fierce, insistent, soaring—this voice, which I first heard over 30 years ago, still gives me chills.

Inez Andrews

With the Andrewettes, “Let the Church Roll On,” live (TV broadcast), 1964

*****

With Rev. James Cleveland & the Metro Mass Choir, “We Are Soldiers in the Army,” live, 1981

*****

“A Stranger in the City,” “He Lives In Me,” “Lord, Don’t Move The Mountain,” “Mary Don’t You Weep,” live, Chicago (Apostolic Church of God), 1988

*****

With the Caravans, “Mary Don’t You Weep” (1958)/mp3

This track comes from The Widow’s Might, a wonderful DVD with nearly 700 gospel songs in mp3 format (everything played on Sinner’s Crossroads in 2009) that’s available as a $75 premium from WFMU-FM.

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lagniappe

The Caravans’ star then was Inez, whom they called the High Priestess. She looks the part. A coffee-colored woman with high Indian cheekbones and an intense, almost drugged stare, she can sing higher natural notes than anyone on the road. Tina [Albertina Walker] said, ‘The rest of us sang awhile, but the folks really wanted to hear Inez whistle.’

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

*****

Determination is important. You’ve got to be determined to live what you sing as well as sing what you sing. God understands the . . . difficulty that we go through for the truth. The Bible says your determination will be rewarded because God sees it when no one else does.

Inez Andrews

*****

art beat

The Matisse exhibit at Chicago’s Art Institute (which I returned to yesterday) closes on June 20th, then opens at New York’s Museum of Modern Art on July 18th. I have only one word of advice: Go!

Interior with Goldfish, 1914


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