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Sounds Of Blackness

Sounds of Blackness, a 40-person choir and ten-piece orchestra led by Gary Hines, combined traditional African music with urban soul to become one of the most distinctive and popular contemporary gospel groups. Over the course of their career, the group won many awards, from organizations as diverse as the Grammies and the NAACP.

Russel Knight formed the group that would prove to be the origins of Sounds of Blackness in 1969 at St. Paul, Minnesota's Macalester College. It wasn't until 1971, when Gary Hines was hired as their musical director, that the group developed its own identity. Hines opened the group up to the entire community and expanded their musical scope to concentrate on all aspects of black music. He designed the group as a way to embrace all manners of African-American music and create rich, diverse music to celebrate God and the human spirit, as well as to make social statements. With their new direction in mind, the group renamed themselves Sounds of Blackness.

For the first decade and a half of the group's existence, Sounds of Blackness primarily played around Minneapolis, often opening for acts as diverse as the Jackson 5 and Hampton Hawes. They frequently released their own records, which helped them strengthen their local following. Partially by choice, Sounds of Blackness remained a regional attraction until 1989, when Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the hot Minneapolis-based production team, brought Janet Jackson to one of their concerts. Jackson's enthusiastic response inspired Jam & Lewis, who were already in negotiations with Sounds of Blackness, to sign the group to Perspective/A&M immediately. Before the Perspective deal, any major label interested in the Sounds of Blackness had asked the group to streamline their sound to include only gospel or R&B, or asked them to change their name to Sounds of Music; it wasn't until Perspective that they were allowed to keep their style and sound intact.

The group's national debut album, The Evolution of Gospel, was largely produced by Jam & Lewis and received strong reviews. The pair produced the group's next two records, 1992's The Night Before Christmas (A Musical Fantasy) and 1994's Africa to America: The Journey of the Drum, as well. All of the Sounds of Blackness' first three records were successful, earning strong reviews and sales, plus several awards. Their success meant that the group could branch out on Time for Healing, which was released in May 1997. Time for Healing was the first self-produced Sounds of Blackness album, featuring heavy contributions from assistant director Billy Steele and bandleader Levi Seacer. The group followed it with Reconciliation in 1999, and landed a gig at the White House that New Year's Eve. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Royalty (Single)

1. Royalty

x

Track List: The Sounds Of Blackness

1. Fly Again (Feat. Jamecia Bennett)

2. A Call To Healing

3. Keep On Keepin' On

4. Togetherness

5. Rise

6. You Were There

7. Believe In Me

8. Testify

9. Have Fun

10. Hey Jude

11. Come Back Home

12. Ev'ry Time I Feel The Spirit

13. Soon Ah Will Be Done

14. Ubuntu

15. Fly Again (Feat. Jamecia Bennett And XROSS) (Rap Version)

x

Track List: The 3rd Gift - Story, Song & Spirit

1. Everything Is Gonna Be Alright

2. Optimistic

3. God Is Love

4. Audacity Of Hope (We Are One)

5. Healing

6. The Path Of Healing

7. God Bless The Child

8. Legacy

9. Certainly Lord

10. Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel/joshua F’it The Battle Of Jericho

11. Swing Low Sweet Chariot

12. Steal Away

13. Great Getting’ Up Mornin'

14. Harambee (Help Is On The Way)

x

Track List: Kings & Queens: Message Music From The Movement

1. Time For Love

2. Kings And Queens

3. She Is Love

4. The Message

5. Be Real Black For Me

6. Martin Luther King

7. We Shall Overcome

8. Free At Last

9. Precious Lord

10. March Song Medley: Eyes On The Prize, Turn Me 'round, Oh Freedom

11. Children Of The Dream

12. My Soul Is Rested

13. Hold On Jus' A Li'l While Longer

14. I Got A Robe

15. Let My People Go

16. King Jesus Is A-Listenin'

17. Odun De

18. Don't Stop 'til You Reach The Top

x

Track List: Unity

1. Unity

2. Heaven

3. Put The Finger On Me

4. Interlude

5. Trouble

6. Try

7. A Second Chance

8. They That Wait

9. Over My Head

10. Children Of God

11. I'm Movin'

12. Be Encouraged

13. Life

x

Track List: Soul Symphony

2. Heaven On Earth

3. Don't You Ever Give Up

5. Tears In Heaven

6. Another Day

7. Movin' On

8. Brighter Day

9. Yes We Can Can

10. Real True Love

11. Children Of God

13. Trouble Is My Home

15. Obafemi

16. As Long As You're With Me

17. Life Has Meaning

18. Soul Symphony

20. Yes We Can Can (Ragtime Reggae Remix)

x

Track List: The Very Best Of Sounds Of Blackness

1. Chains

2. Optimistic

3. The Pressure

4. Testify

5. Your Wish Is My Command

6. Joy

7. I Believe

8. Everything Is Gonna Be Alright

9. I'm Going All The Way

10. Black Butterfly

11. The Harder They Are, The Bigger They Fall

12. The Lord Will Make A Way

13. Spirit

14. Love Will Never Change

15. Hold On (Change Is Comin')

16. Soul Holidays

x

Track List: Reconciliation

1. Dj Intros

2. Try

3. You Are The One

4. Thank You

5. Reconciliation

6. Twenty Four And Back Again

7. For Old Times Sake

8. Tell Me What You Thinkin' 'bout

9. Rainbow

10. Love Will Change Things

11. Don't Be Afraid To Dream

12. Straight Ahead

13. Reconciliation Blues

14. Take The A Train

x

Track List: Time For Healing

1. Africana

2. Spirit

3. We Are Gonna Make It Through (Part 1)

4. Hold On (Change Is Comin')

5. Love Will Never Change

6. Love Train

7. God Cares

8. Hold On (Don't Let Go)

9. Crisis

10. We Are Gonna Make It Through (Part 2)

11. You Can Make It If You Try

12. The Blackness Blues

13. A Spiritual Medley

14. So Far Away

15. Familiar Waters

16. Time For Healing

17. We Are Gonna Make It Through (Part 3)

18. Hold On (Change Is Comin') (Roger Troutman Remix)

19. Hidden Track

x

Track List: Africa To America

1. Hold On (Pt. 1)

2. I'm Going All The Way

3. Ah Been 'buked (Pt. 1)

4. I Believe

5. Hold On (Pt. 2)

6. Everything Is Gonna Be Alright

7. Sun Up To Sundown

8. The Lord Will Make A Way

9. He Took Away All My Pain

10. A Place In My Heart

11. The Harder They Are The Bigger They Fall

12. The Drum (Africa To America)

13. African Medley (Royal Kingdoms, Rise, My Native Land)

14. A Very Special Love

15. Strange Fruit

16. Black Butterfly

17. You've Taken My Blues & Gone

18. Livin' The Blues

19. Ah Been 'buked (Pt. 2)

x

Track List: Everything Is Gonna Be Alright (Single)

1. Everything Is Gonna Be Alright (CJ's Radio Mix)

2. Everything Is Gonna Be Alright

3. Everything Is Gonna Be Alright (Foundation Edit)

4. Everything Is Gonna Be Alright (Foundation Mix)

5. Everything Is Gonna Be Alright (CJ's Dub)

6. Everything Is Gonna Be Alright (Chuff Chuff Dub)

x

Track List: Evolution Of Gospel

1. Chains

2. Optimistic

3. Ah Been Workin

4. The Pressure Pt. 1

5. Testify

6. Gonna Be Free One Day

7. Stand

8. The Pressure Pt. 2

9. Your Wish Is My Command

10. Hallelujah Lord!

11. We Give You Thanks

12. He Holds The Future

13. What Shall I Call Him?

14. Better Watch Your Behavior

15. Please Take My Hand

16. I'll Fly Away

17. Harambee

x

Track List: Fly Again (Rap Version) (Single)

Comments

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Push through it.....PRAY Until Something Happens~~I'm Going All the Way!! To all, another week be blessed!!
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Hold On~~another day, you're still HERE! Look Up, JESUS Reigns!!
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It could always be worse, so I just HOLD on...and be grateful!!
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As our Heavenly Father sits high and looks low......... . H o l d On don't worry about a thang.
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God is good to us everday pray his name
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But God!!! Just hold on
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Hold On.......... . . . . . k e e p the FAITH.....le t your praise be your smile today!!
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monicagillia m 0 1
Thank God for another day. Its amazing how God can speak to someone through music. Thank you Jesus!!!!
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Good morning WE just gotta keep pressing forward...Wh a t e v e r It Takes Going All The Way....... and let our FAITH be larger than our fear!!
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snookee1970
Like what our President Barrack Obama said... We'll be okay.
And yes I believe that we need to work together to make this our country a better place for All.
Hold on yall...
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Love this one
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Yessssss
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Beautiful song gotta hold on and stay strong
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God said hold on and a change is coming.hpld on to god
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Pray On, Push On, Press On..... for our GOD sits high and look low Be Optimistic.. . t o d a y is a new day! Be Blessed~
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Hold On.......her e ' s my secret when I wanna cry, I take a look around and see that I'm getting by,....Hold On Keep the Faith, know matter what GOD IS STILL IN CHARGE of the heavens and earth! Look Up, my sisters and brothers!
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Hold on! Got nothin to lose, and everything to gain.
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Lift up ye head oh ye gates....and be ye lifted up!! We gonna be alright....w h a t e v e r it takes to make it, I'm Going All The Way! Don't you give up or give in......keep pressing forward!!
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brighter day is my song it always lifts my spirit
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A Place In My Heart by Sounds of Blackness... . f o r my favorite son and favorite daughter always...I only have 1 daughter and 1 son....they love it when I say my favorite son, and my favorite daughter, lol.
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I'm holding on
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yesss
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Speak GODs word to turn this thing around...Hol d On!!
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Strong song
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Hold On~~~~Keep on keeping on~~~Keep the ~FAITH~
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Just call Jesus and he will fix it for you he will make a way out of no way
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YES LORD through YOU praise GOD I KNOW A change is going to come
AMEN I am Lowery 247
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Hold On.....a change is coming!!
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No word need to be said
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i holding on
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Thanks! I'm holding on
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I'm holding on
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b_dubb51
Yes to the almighty
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I'm holding on, waiting for you Father!
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Hold On.......... . . m e a n s being grateful for every little bit big and small!!
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I may be down sometimes... . b u t I won't be down always...I'm Going All The Way - by Sounds of Blackness. A reminder don't give up don't give in, keep on PUSHING everyday!!!
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When i worked the night shift , the year this record came out, Gave me the strength to keep my head up, and dance to the words of encouragemen t . And i'm still ��. . now sharing the WORDS.
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I love this song!!
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I love this song
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The traditional quote......" R O M E WASN'T BUILT IN A DAY"......sh o u l d be .......refer e d to . When . We want instant this & that........ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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Gotta' Keep On Going ON! Love this song. No wonder Satan keeps on, he just doesn't Get It! Plus, he does not care one lick about salvation, because he lost his zillions of years ago. Hmph! Turning my head towards the sky, through Every Trial, Test & Chaotic situation. Blessed be the Lord, for that is the ONLY reason why I am able to Get back on Track with my Walk-In-Him, as a Follower of Christ, for he put the Desire and Moves In me. Yay!
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I LOVE this song. I'm jammin' 2 it at 2:28am :-D Porchia
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When you do something wrong.Instea d of "beating-you r s e l f - d o w n , W h o do you turn to????
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Yes A change is coming. I needed this this morning
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"! Change is coming"!
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We can make it with Jesus leading!
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I hope everyone is a having a blessed day. Please check out our newest single Royalty feat some really talented students from the high school of recording arts. Sounds of blackness has a message from above for a generation beset by gun violence and identity crisis. https://yout u . b e / 0 b 3 Z _ e w f n n E
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Hold on, you can make it
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My change came today if God don't give any thing else He gave me my sister. Hallelujah
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johnetta.ras b e r r y
Hold On
Show more

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