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

x

Track List: Royalty (Single)

1. Royalty

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

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

16. Soul Holidays

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

Comments

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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
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We all just need to hold on to yaw be the glory
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This song has gotten me thru so much in life. I really adore this song. If you are ever going thru anything big or small in life, pop this in and I guarantee it will get you motivated.
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THANK GOD FOR ANOTHER DAY. I LOVE THIS SONG. HANG ON!!!!
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YASSSSSSSS!! !
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OMG i love this song yall :)))
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A oldie but a goodie,thank you Jesus this song really brightens up my day
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Walking by Faith and never sight. All things change except the word of God is forever!!! Thank you for still hearing a sinners pray.
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Love this song! I'm jammin' in the office! Hold on...you can make it!
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One thing is a certain..... . a s others.
Want one to be patient. AN ALMIGHTY already does instantaneou s acts. In which none waits upon........ . . . . . . . . . .
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Absolutely no Canadate in an Election Process..... . . c a n gurantee.
All voting will be endorsed.By the responsible. . s u p p o r t e r s .
With this presumption. . . . . e a c h ....cast...i n affirmation & hope. Should be considered.
Personal without being manipulated.
A message from;
A5publicatio n non.violent, n o r demonstrativ e to protest 2016-2017
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Still holding on Father! :-)
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H
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I am praying for all states, In Jesus name that our kids can have that peer pressure stress they wonder if they going even get to school safely , Amy Smith and Londa Coleman it hurts when i even look at 3rd world and see babies and children have to eat leaves and the filthy water where oxen get into the water they drink it and end up with parasites in their stomach even death , i ask Lord let me be a distribution center for Not just Usa all over the world and He have trusted with a little and i
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HOLDING ON BECAUSE I KNOW THROUGH IT ALL JESUS YOU WILL BRING US THROUGH AND I CAN'T HELP BUT LOVE YOU JESUS AMEN
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Nice......be a u t i f u l song!! A Place In My Heart...pare n t s give their children a foundation of disclipine love values and hope for the best as they become adults. All we can do!
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Yes lord thank you for being so close to my heart
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Yessssss Thank You Jesus for this. You know what I need to hear.
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Positive, powerful, soul lifting music...
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I BELIEVE in the power cause I no I never doubt AMEN
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Encouraging words for us all to hear.
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