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The Clark Sisters are considered as pioneers of contemporary gospel. Tags: clark sisters pioneers contemporary gospel true worshippers word life production feature blog

The Grammy Award Winning Clark Sisters have been singing for as long as they can remember, with music as natural a part of their lives as the air they breathed.  With a compelling, commanding fusion of styles as diverse as blues, jazz, R&B and classical, sisters Jacky, Twinkie, Karen and Dorinda created a sound that was new, fresh and entirely their own.

Truly a landmark work, the live recording comprises nearly two-and-a-half hours of both new material—almost all original—and an absolutely stunning, 21-song medley of Clark Sisters classics that leaves the listener literally breathless by is final fade.  Produced by Donald Lawrence, another of Gospel’s great, enduring talents, the project is an epic undertaking of unprecedented scope which succeeds—boldly and brilliantly—at every turn.

The sisters exude joy and exuberance on “Livin’,” a rollicking R&B joyride, written by Lawrence expressly for the Clarks, and featuring a pitch-perfect, trademark ensemble vocal.  Reflecting on the No.1, multi-format smash, “You Brought the Sunshine,” which, in 1981, sent the Clarks soaring into one of the most fabled careers in Gospel music, Jacky Clark Chisholm recalls the night in early 2006 when she first heard “Livin’.’

“The first time that Donald played ‘Livin’ for us, we felt exactly like we did the first time that Twinkie played ‘You Brought the Sunshine’ for the rest of us,” she says. “We were blown away!  It’s such a happy song, and we just could not stop singing it!  It’s us, plain and simple.  When we look back—and all around us today—we are proud, and so grateful, to God and so many wonderful people, and happy to be living the life He’s given us.  And Donald wrote a song for us that just perfectly expresses that.”

“Blessed and Highly Favored,” written by and featuring Karen, is a breathtaking, high-wire walk of a performance, which—of even greater significance—cements her place as one the great songwriters of her era.  The seeds for what would become Live – One Last Time, were first planted by Karen’s husband—and the group’s de facto manager—Bishop J.Drew Sheard.  When he suggested the foursome reunite to give both posterity, and the flocks of still-faithful Clark Sisters fans, a taste of some new “sisters” material, as well as new, live renditions of a large number of Clark standards—most long out of print—all four warmed quickly to the idea.  The group approached the multi-Grammy-winning Lawrence about coming onboard, and he accepted immediately.

Live – One Last Time was recorded in July, 2006 on the Sisters former label: EMI Gospel, before a sell-out crowd of 6,000 in Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center.  Though the sisters had established successful solo careers since last recording together, in 1994, they approached the reunion uncertain if their identity as a group still had any drawing power at the box office.  They didn’t have to wait long for an answer.

After what will surely be marked as a landmark event in Gospel music history, the sisters encore with the still-smoking, “You Brought the Sunshine,” which the crowd—even though showered with one signature song after another—clearly knew still lay in store.  Jacky, Twinkie, Karen and Dorinda deliver it with the same freshness and exuberance of four young ladies, in a Detroit living room years ago, with both the world—literally—and a world of possibilities still before them.

Since the release of  “One Last Time” the Clark Sisters have been the recipient of many awards. They received four Gospel Stellar Awards for Gospel Artist Of The Year, Gospel Group or Duo Of The Year, CD Of The Year, Traditional Group/Duo Of The Year. On February 10, 2008 the Clark Sisters received three Grammy Awards in the following categories: Best Traditional Gospel Album, Best Gospel Performance and Best Gospel Song (for “Blessed and Highly Favored” written & composed by Karen Clark Sheard, who received an additional Grammy Award as writer). They also had the honor of performing at the 50th Grammy Awards with legendary Aretha Franklin. They give all glory and honor to God for all the marvelous things he’s done.

After a break from recording, in 2010, the Clark Sisters recorded their newest, phenomenal project; A holiday offering entitled: The Clark Sisters’ Family Christmas. This is their 1st cd recorded on their new label: Karew Records, a label jointly owned by their baby sister, Karen Clark Sheard and her husband, Bishop J.Drew Sheard, with distribution by EMI CMG. The holiday cd was also the very 1st cd produced on Karew Records. The cd is an incredible live album which features: the awesome Kierra Sheard, & talented producer JDrew Sheard II(JDS)(Karen & Bishops’ daughter & son), along with wonderful gospel crooner Jmoss, and Bill Moss Jr.(the sisters 1st cousins).

Only God knows what will come next from these legendary, anointed icons…

Source: Karew Records

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