the age of six, I've been in front of the microphone some 55
plus years singing and traveling with my brothers all over the
world. Singing songs I grew up listening to by artists that
helped shaped who I am today. Artists that put a stamp on my
heart and soul, so deep, 'til this day it still remains relevant
after all these years. Artists like the Dixie Hummingbirds,
the Sensational Nightingales, the Blind Boys, Mahalia Jackson,
Thomas Dorsey, Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke, The Soul Stirrers,
Mavis Staples, The Staples Singers, Dorothy Love Coates, Edna
Gallman Cook, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, Reverend James Cleveland,
Swanee Quintet, Otis Redding, The Caravans, Shirley Caesar,
Joe Tex, Joe Simon, Wilson Pickett, Bo Diddley, Stevie Wonder,
and from the man who breastfed us wisdom and knowledge from
kids to our first national recording contract, my dad, Leon
"Pop" Williams and the legendary Jackson Southernaires.
It's artist like these and many more that paved the way for
myself, The Williams Brothers and many other artist to have
a platform to write and sing traditional gospel music. And now
I'm blessed to have the opportunity and privilege to be in front
of the microphone, not just to sing this music, but a global
multimedia platform to spread it across the country and abroad
to the now and new generation in hopes that they will embrace
it, appreciate it, and understand that this music, this Traditional
Gospel Music is a part of our foundation, our roots, our rock,
and our heritage.
Gospel Music is a form of music that withstands the test of
time from slavery to migration, segregation, integration, procrastination
and in this generation, pushed aside, criticized, downsized
but yet after over 300 years as the words of Doug Williams'
song "I'm A Living Testimony," it's "Still Here!"
The proof is is in the pudding as the legendary Edwin Hawkins
sings, "Oh Happy Day", the legendary Andrae Crouch
and Marvin Winans records a song like "Let The Church Say
Amen" and it becomes a hit, like the Mississippi Mass Choir's
"Your Grace and Mercy," Lee Williams' "I Learned
to Lean on Jesus," Dottie Peoples' "On Time God,"
the Canton Spirituals "Fix It Jesus," and Evelyn Turrentine
Agee's "God Did It." And, as gospel music's contemporary
artist pay homage to traditional gospel church music like Mary
Mary's Erica Campbell's hit song, "A Little More Jesus,"
Regina Belle's "God Is Good" and "This Means
War" by Charles Jenkins.
there a word or a name that sticks out to you in these songs?
Yep, GOD! He's Everything! He's the same yesterday, today and
forever. His Holy Spirit, His blood, His anointing, His salvation,
His deliverance has not and will not ever change or die. And
that s why Traditional Gospel Music will never die! It's filled
with the same ingredients. That's why people are still being
saved and delivered by Traditional Gospel Music today. And it's
part of our black and white history, our American history, more
important it's part of God's history...His creation.