The word for this week is……Amazing
In a genre of music that’s always evolving, trying to compile a solid Top 10 list of your favorite artists can be a struggle. When this conversation arises, I often refer to the artists I grew up listening to. Most of these artists will forever be my core group of gospel artists and many have been dubbed with the “traditional” gospel tag. When you hear the words “gospel music”, which artist comes to mind first? In all fairness, I’ll share a few artists from my list to get you started like Shirley Caesar, Rev. Milton Brunson & Thompson Community Singers, John P. Kee, The Clark Sisters and Daryl Coley to name a few. Psalm 100:1-2 says, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.”
Daryl Lynn Coley passed away March 15, 2016 but prior to his passing he made a significant contribution to Contemporary Christian and gospel music. Coley was born in Berkley, California into a musical atmosphere with his mother at the helm and by age 14, Coley was a member of the Helen Stephens and the Voice of Christ Ensemble. He would continue to make major strides in his career once he began playing keyboard and performing with legendary Edwin Hawkins and the Edwin Hawkins Singers. Coley’s career continued to soar after that. He found himself collaborating with gospel pioneers such as Rev. James Cleveland and Tramaine Hawkins. However, the collaborations didn’t stop there because jazz and pop artist Nancy Wilson and Philip Bailey both made amazing music with Daryl Coley. Great music is made amongst artists/musicians who don’t mind exploring opportunities outside the box and Daryl Coley did that for decades. Singing is what Daryl Coley loved and helping gospel music flourish was definitely a blessing from God.
In 1986, Coley released “Just Daryl”, his debut album and from there, the rest is gospel music history. Coley’s discography includes:
*I’ll Be with You (1988)
*He’s Right on Time: Live from LA (1990)
*When the Music Stops (1992)
*In My Dreams (1994)
*Beyond the Veil (1996)
*Live in Oakland-Home Again (1997)
*Christmas is Here (1999)
*Compositions: A Decade of Song (2000)
*Oh, The Lamb (2001)
*Praise & Worship (2006)
The month of September across the country has been declared “Gospel Music Heritage Month” and in 2015 the Gospel Music Heritage Month Foundation (Houston) as it does every year, honors several individuals who have enriched the history of gospel music both locally and nationally. Daryl Coley, being the staple he was to gospel music was selected as one of the year’s honorees. Coley’s talents and achievements will never be forgotten and will definitely be talked about for years to come. What’s your favorite Daryl Coley song or album?
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