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James Cleveland

Born Dec 5, 1931

The Reverend Dr. James Cleveland was a gospel singer, arranger, composer and, most significantly, the driving force behind the creation of the modern gospel sound, bringing the stylistic daring of hard gospel and jazz and pop music influences to arrangements for mass choirs. He is known as the King of Gospel music.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of James Cleveland.


1931 Birth Born on December 5, 1931.


1950 18 Years Old In 1950, Cleveland joined the Gospelaires, a trio led by Norsalus McKissick and Bessie Folk, who were associated with Martin. … Read More


1954 22 Years Old Cleveland subsequently went to work for Albertina Walker, popularly referred to as the "Queen of Gospel" and the Caravans as a composer, arranger, pianist and occasional singer/narrator. In November 1954, Albertina Walker provided him the opportunity to do his very first recording. … Read More
1957 25 Years Old He continued to record with The Caravans until States closed down in 1957. … Read More
1959 27 Years Old In 1959 he recorded a version of Ray Charles' hit "Hallelujah I Love Her So" as a solo artist.


1962 30 Years Old James Cleveland signed with Savoy Records in 1962, going on to release a huge catalog of black gospel recordings, many of which were recorded in a live concert setting. … Read More
1964 32 Years Old In 1964 Cleveland re-organized The James Cleveland Singers again this time the group was made up of - Odessa McCastle, Roger Roberts and Gene Viale.
1965 33 Years Old In 1965, Cleveland added Clyde Brown and Charles Barnett to his group, which by then was traveling extensively throughout the United States and abroad into the late 60's, performing in all major venues, this collaboration brought memorable recordings such as "Heaven That Will Be Good Enough For Me", "Two Wings", "The Lord Is Blessing Me Right Now" and many others.


1990 58 Years Old From the 70's until 1990, Cleveland would bring together a number of artists to back him on appearances and records. … Read More
1991 59 Years Old Cleveland died on February 9, 1991. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Cleveland.
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