Peace Be Still
How James Cleveland and the Angelic Choir Created a Gospel Classic
by Robert Marovich
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Pub Date 14 Dec 2021 | Archive Date 01 Dec 2021
The story of a historic Black gospel recording
In September of 1963, Reverend Lawrence Roberts and the Angelic Choir of the First Baptist Church of Nutley, New Jersey, teamed with rising gospel star James Cleveland to record Peace Be Still. The LP and its haunting title track became a phenomenon. Robert M. Marovich draws on extensive oral interviews and archival research to chart the history of Peace Be Still and the people who created it. Emerging from an established gospel music milieu, Peace Be Still spent several years as the bestselling gospel album of all time. As such, it forged a template for live recordings of services that transformed the gospel music business and Black worship. Marovich also delves into the music's connection to fans and churchgoers, its enormous popularity then and now, and the influence of the Civil Rights Movement on the music's message and reception.
The first in-depth history of a foundational recording, Peace Be Still shines a spotlight on the people and times that created a gospel music touchstone.
Robert M. Marovich hosts Gospel Memories on Chicago's WLUW 88.7 FM and is founder and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Gospel Music, www.journalofgospelmusic.com. In 2019, he was nominated for a Grammy Award, Best Album Notes, for The Gospel According to Malaco. He is the author of A City Called Heaven: Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music.
"My mother basically took Lawrence Roberts under her wing and for a brief moment, he was a part of the Drinkard Singers. She saw his calling to minister and encouraged him to answer that call. He was treated and considered a family member. He treated me kindly and we would speak by phone frequently when he moved to Georgia. He will always be fondly remembered as one I know cared about me and my well-being."--Dionne Warwick on Reverend Lawrence Roberts
"My friend, my confidant, a genius. You can't say it all at one time. Love him to death. Somebody told him, 'I'm gonna spit on your grave.' He told them, 'You better spit up; I'm gonna be in a mausoleum. It's gonna fall back in your face.' Love him much!"--Dorothy Norwood on Reverend James Cleveland
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 5 members
The live album where Rev. James Cleveland performed this gospel classic, is one of my favorites. I was so greatly happy to receive the book for review. What a glorious book the author has written. So nice to read not only about this song, but others, along with reading about other gospel artist. An added bonus was to find Rev. Lawrence was also included. Outstanding book!!! Highly recommended. Thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for the arc of this book in return for my honest review. Receiving this book in this manner had no bearing on this review.
NetGalley ARC Educator 550974
Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea. Or demons or men or whatever it be. No water can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of ocean and earth and skies. They shall sweetly obey my will. Peace be still, peace be still. They all shall sweetly obey my will, peace, peace be still
There are hymns that soothe, that uplift and those that lead to praise. Peace be still, is one that transcends feelings and emotions. Be it the James Cleveland version or the Vanessa Bell Armstrong.
This book covers the before and after of the recording of this masterpiece. Even if you have not heard this song, after reading the book you will search for it, listen and share it.
Fantastic job Bro. Marovich, fantastic job. I am so glad you had the dream and listened to the Mothers of the church.
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