When it comes to 2020, it probably goes without saying that it has been an unusual year. Although the pandemic dominated the landscape and news, there were a few feel-good stories that happened throughout the year. Here are ten stories and a few more from 2020.
Phillip Carter pays homage to DMV musicians and singers. Stellar Award winner Phillip Carter is the gift to the DMV that keeps on giving. He kicked off the year by honoring the talented musicians in the DMV who may have gone unheralded in the larger scheme of things. Not only did he pay homage to the greats, he left the duties of emcee to the erudite Bonita White who has become an unofficial historian of all things gospel and DC. She shared those duties with gospel music industry insider Jerome Bell who has added recording artist to his portfolio. The sold-out event had more than 500 in attendance. The night would soon become a treasured memory as the world changed in the coming months.
WHUR shakes up Sunday programming. 96.3 WHUR made some changes in their morning program. Radio legends Winston Chaney and Jacquie Gales Webb were tapped to helm Sunday programing. The station also saw the addition of Stellar Award-Winning Gospel artist Anthony Brown to the Sunday mix with “Blessings on Blessings Radio,” bringing a fresh millennial voice to the station and proving that WHUR understands the bridge that must be built between the legacy and the future.
Jacquie Gales Webb gets huge role at CPB. It has been a banner year for the media personality. Not only did Gales Webb, get a new gig at WHUR, she was also has named Jacquie Gales Webb as Vice President, Radio for The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). The broadcaster was tapped with responsibility for developing and implementing strategies to strengthen the ability of public radio stations to create high quality, multiplatform content and to grow their audiences. Gales Webb also serves on the advisory boards of the Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and making the DMV proud!
Capria McClearn hits the national scene with debut single. Capria McClearn is one of the most powerful vocalist in the DMV. In March, the singer release her very first single. “The Victor” is a powerful reminder to believers of who God is, even in circumstances. The single leaves the listener yearning to hear more from this talented artist.
Tracy Morgan is back on the air in the DMV! Broadcast media darling and two-time Stellar Gospel Music Award Tracy Morgan Tracy Morgan made the sun shine just a little brighter in the DMV when she joined WHUR 96.3 FM with a new, 5 AM, weekday program, ““Morning Inspirations with Tracy Morgan. In addition, she was already airing on The Rejoice Musical Soul Food Radio Network, and serving as Program Director for the historic WBBP 1480 AM gospel radio station in Memphis,. However, nothing beats having hearing the DMV native broadcasting on air locally.
Charles Butler & Trinity Release “The Good News.” It is a well-established fact that Stellar Award nominated Charles Butler & Trinity are a great ensemble who brings music that uplifts the soul. Known for both his comedic timing and witty posts that often hold deeper truths, Butler stepped into philanthropy with Impact One Church in Capitol Heights, MD. Charles Butler & Trinity released “The Good News” on the label Impact One Music, with all proceeds going to fight world hunger and homelessness in the DMV area. Heaven smiled on the “The Good News,” when it debuted at No. 1 on iTunes’ Christian albums chart.
Journalist Patrick McCoy gets TV show. An in-demand vocalist and classical music savant and arts critic, Patrick was tapped by The Washington Chorus, as its new Guest Host and Creative Producer for their TWC TV series in October, November, and December. A talented interviewer, he conducted in-depth artist interviews with those in the music world and showcased musical performances. We anxiously await what is next for this seasoned journalist.
DRK 2 LGHT makes their debut.
Rob Mercer, CD Porter and Javon Inman who are each accomplished recording artists in their own right, launched their new group, DRK 2 LGHT. Their debut single “He Keeps On” got airplay and garnered more than 100,000 streams on Spotify. Not bad for a new group! To top it off, the trio also launched a DRK 2 LGHT devotional to share their heart on spiritual matters with their fans.
Ryan Vincent Ford & Ministry holds live recording. One of the area’s most popular ensembles came together for an intimate night for their live recording in preparation for their upcoming album. The night was electric and gave a good preview of what the album will bring to bear. To top it all off Ryan Vincent Ford & Ministry appeared on Enon Music Group’s latest compilation album “A Reasonable Gift.”
Darnell Moore release new EP. Moore has always been an artist with a big heart who leaves it all on the stage with his performance. On his 35th birthday, he releases his EP that was his a body of work on digital platforms for distribution. Moore took the helm on production too for the 5-song “Hosanna” and shared production duties with Chris Leach, FIO, Darryl Woodson, and Carlton Hicks.
In addition to our ten stories, here’s a few more stories worth mentioning.
Ford Family receives March of Dimes honor. Ebony Ford, who is a member of Ryan Vincent Ford & Ministry and Ryan’s wife, announced on Facebook that she and her lovely daughter Reign were chosen as 2021’s March for Babies Ambassador Family for the Capitol Region (DC, MD, VA, WV, DE), the March of Dimes Walk. Many including this site has followed Reign’s journey and celebrate their opportunity to tell their story, and continue to inspire others.
Christian Inman lands BMW commercial. The 17 year old scored a spot on a BMW commercial after the song he wrote in 9th grade caught their attention on TikTok. His success is a peek into the drive and determination that resides with Generation Next.
Nolan Wiliams pens voting anthem. The celebrated composer gave the world a new song, “I Have a Right to Vote, ” accompanied with a star-studded music video. The anthem comes as no surprise as Nolan has always been socially conscious and uses “I Have a Right to Vote,” to raise awareness about voter suppression and in turn, encourage others to vote. Nolan Williams Jr., also serves as music director for the annual “Let Freedom Ring” MLK Holiday concert at the Kennedy Center so we all have that to look forward to when January arrives.
Celebrity journalist Jawn Murray captures Dionne Warwick’s attention with quarantine song. Always a friend and encourager to gospel music and former member of Images of Unity, Murray decided to help the world feel a little better during quarantine. He gathered 20-plus singers together to sing one of Warwick’s signature songs, “That’s What Friends Are For,” In an interview, the living legend said she was thankful to Murray “for strengthening the meaning of friendship and for assembling this wonderful array of artists to not only sing but show how much words of hope and sincere encouragement mean.”
The year was filled with many losses. We are taking time to remember a few of them and their unforgettable contributions to the gospel industry.
Troy Sneed. The gospel music industry was shattered to learn that Troy Sneed passed away from COVID-19. Sneed was well known for his Top 5 Billboard Magazine gospel radio hits such as “My Heart Says Yes” and “Worked It Out.” A friend to many in the DMV, his passing at age 52 sent shockwaves throughout the community and sadness that a talented artist gone too soon.
Bishop Rance Allen. The Grammy® Award nominated founder of the famed inspirational soul and gospel trio, The Rance Allen Group, passed away at age of 71 while recovering from a medical procedure. His death was so unexpected, leaving millions to mourn the passing of a gospel giant. His homegoing was live streamed and more than 18,000 watched his service as many, including Kirk Franklin, paid homage to a life well lived not only in song, but also in service to the Lord as a minister of the gospel.
The radio legend and the longtime host of 96.3 WHUR-FM’s #1 rated Gospel Spirit Show died due to complications fromCOVID-19. Ellis was the longest-running air personality in Washington radio, marking the end of an era.
Beyond The Music
On a somber note, 2020 was also a reminder of the racial schisms that continue to plague America.
BLM flag burned at historic church. The Black Lives Matter flag that hung proudly at Asbury United Methodist Church was burned and destroyed. The historic church in Washington, D.C. was founded in 1836 and is the oldest black Methodist Church in DC. The gospel community bonded together in love and encouragement for the church and recording artist Stephen Key who serves as the church’s Director of Higher Praise Gospel Choir.
Well, that’s it for 2020 and we hope you enjoyed our ten stories and more. Positively Gospel wishes everyone a Happy New Year and pray that great things lie ahead for us all!
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