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He Lives featuring Beverly Crawford (VHS) – Bishop Carlton Pearson,”Live At Azusa 3″
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Reminding The Saints Of The Hope:
As this century closes, Bishop Carlton Pearson’s new album Live At Azusa 3: Reminding the Saints of the Hope, re-introduces us to the music that has carried African-American from the century’s opening. What he has crafted is a joyous slice of Americana. These dozen songs echo the golden age of gospel when the Soul Stirrers and Mahalia Jackson were cutting edge and in their prime. These songs also remind us of the triumphs, tragedies and tenacious faith that have followed many of us on our journey through America. Ballads such as “Walk With Me” brought blacks through the nightmare of slavery, Reconstruction and the rise of Jim Crow. “The Lord Will Make A Way” and “How I Got Over” buoyed black America?s strength through the lynching of Emmett Till, the Scottsboro Boys rape trial, separate but equal, lunch counter sit-ins, Brown vs. the Board of Education and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. These historical hallmarks brought America to its knees before God and these songs reflect that important epoch.
This album is sub-titled “Reminding the Saints of the Hope” because today many African-Americans have distanced themselves from the faith that sustained their grandparents. Many have enjoyed the relative racial harmony and social mobility the second half of the century has brought while neglecting the history that brought them this far. The songs are laced with testimonials of fitting into the progress of America. To create the authentic sound of that era while remaining contemporary, Pearson brought together musicians who were steeped in traditional gospel with today’s leading gospel voices such as Fred Hammond, Marvin Winans and Beverly Crawford. There’s a moment in the live service where Bishop Pearson asks the stage. For seven minutes a young man named Joshua Nelson, who possesses a unique tenor, becomes the voice of Jackson as he brings her civil rights anthem “How I Got Over” to life once again.
Pearson is one of America’s most respected evangelists. He pastors the Tulsa-based Higher Dimensions church that boasts a congregation of 5,000 and serves as bishop to 500 other churches. In 1995, Pearson produced his first “Live At Azusa” album and home video on the Warner Alliance record label. Acting as master of ceremonies and worship leader, Pearson introduced performances by gospel-heavyweights Karen Clark-Sheard and Daryl Coley. The album’s success led to the successful sequel, “Live At Azusa 2: Precious Memories”, which featured Beverly Crawford and Pop Winans among others.
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