The Full Wiki

Sounds of Blackness: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sounds of Blackness

Background information
Origin Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
Genres Gospel, R&B
Years active 1969 - present
Labels Perspective Records
A&M Records
Zinc Records
Atomic K Records
Associated acts Ann Nesby
James "Big Jim" Wright
Paris Bennett

Sounds of Blackness is a Grammy Award-winning vocal and instrumental ensemble from Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota who perform music from several genres music including gospel, R&B, soul, and jazz. The group scored several hits on the Billboard R&B chart and Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in the 1990s. One of the group's current members is Cynthia Johnson, who rose to fame with Lipps, Inc.

Contents

History

Advertisements

Origins

The group was founded in 1969 by Russell Knighton at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and the group was called the Macalester College Black Voices. It was in 1971 when current director Gary Hines took leadership over the ensemble, and the group name was officially changed to Sounds of Blackness (SOB). The group had acquired local celebrity status throughout the years though never signed with a record company because of various reasons including the fact that many companies were not comfortable with the group's name. Some companies even suggested to Hines that the group's name be changed to "The Sounds of Music."

The chief lead singer of the group was Ann Nesby until 1995 when Nesby left the group to pursue a solo career. The group continues to perform internationally.

Recording career

Producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who are also from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, had become familiar with the group and used the group as back-up in a few of their productions in the mid 1980s. It was not until January 1989 when Jam and Lewis finally made their decision to sign the group to their new record label, Perspective Records. Janet Jackson, who worked heavily with Jam and Lewis, was a major factor in the pair's decision after the two brought Jackson to an SOB concert in early 1989, and Jackson enthusiastically encouraged Jam and Lewis to sign them.

The Evolution of Gospel

The Sounds of Blackness' first album, The Evolution of Gospel, released in 1991, contained the singles "Optimistic," "Testify," and "The Pressure Pt. 1." The single "Optimistic" became the group's biggest hit of all time peaking at #3 on the Billboard R&B chart. The group hit #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in 1991 with "The Pressure Pt. 1." The song was later featured in the Disney movie "First Kid". The group received a Grammy Award for Best Gospel Album by Choir or Chorus in 1992 for The Evolution of Gospel.

The Night Before Christmas: A Musical Fantasy

The Night Before Christmas: A Musical Fantasy was released in 1992, and featured the hit single "Soul Holiday", which became one of their most popular and recognized songs.[1] The group also contributed to the Grammy Award-winning Handel's Messiah: Soulful Celebration album and the Mo' Money soundtrack with the track "Joy," produced by Jam and Lewis.

Africa to America: The Journey of the Drum

In 1994, SOB released their third album Africa to America: The Journey of the Drum on Perspective Records. They topped the dance chart again with "I Believe", which also scraped into the Hot 100, peaking at #99 and peaking at #24 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart. Singles "Everything is Gonna Be Alright," "I'm Going All the Way," and "The Bigger They Are, the Harder They Fall" also charted, which featured producer/songwriter James "Big Jim" Wright. Also in this year, the group performed for the World Cup. It was after this album that Ann Nesby, lead singer, parted from the group to begin her solo career. Jam and Lewis, the producers responsible for many of the group's greatest hits, also ended their production work with the group after this album.

Time for Healing

Sounds of Blackness released Time for Healing on Perspective Records in 1997 and charted on the Hot 100 Singles Sales chart (#70) with "Spirit", a collaboration with hip hop artist Craig Mack. The single "Hold On (Change is Comin')" also charted. After seven years with Perspective Records, SOB and director Gary Hines decided to part with the label in 1998. Also in 1998, the group contributed two tracks to the concept album for Whistle Down the Wind - Wrestle With the Devil and Vaults of Heaven, a collaboration with Tom Jones. In 1999, the group released Reconciliation on Zinc Records and performed at the White House for a Christmas party.

The Very Best of Sounds of Blackness

In 2001, A&M Records released a greatest hits compilation entitled The Very Best of Sounds of Blackness. The group formed their own record label in 2002, Sounds of Blackness Records, and released Soul Symphony.

The Night Before Christmas, Vol. 2

The ensemble released a remake of their Christmas album in 2004 called The Night Before Christmas, Vol. 2 on Atomic K Records.

Unity

The next year, SOB released Unity on Lightyear Records with the return of Ann Nesby on lead vocals for two songs.

Kings and Queens: Message Music from the Movement

The Sounds' newest album entitled Kings and Queens: Message Music from the Movement was released on September 11, 2007.

Awards and honors

The group has received three Grammy Awards, four Stellar Awards, one Emmy nomination, the International Time for Peace Award, the International Dance Music Award and five NAACP Image Award nominations.

Discography

Albums

Studio albums

Year Album Chart positions[2] U.S.
certifications[3]
Record label
US US
R&B
US
Gospel
UK[4]
1991 The Evolution of Gospel 176 4 12 Gold Perspective
1994 Africa to America: The Journey of the Drum 109 15 4 28 Gold
1997 Time for Healing 144 24
1999 Reconciliation 58 6 Zinc
2002 Soul Symphony Sounds of Blackness
2005 Unity 47 11 SLR/Lightyear
2007 Kings and Queens: Message from the Movement CC Entertainment
2009 The 3rd Gift: Story, Song and Spirit
"—" denotes the album failed to chart or was not certified

Holiday albums

Year Album Chart positions[2] U.S.
certifications
Record label
US US
R&B
US
Gospel
UK
1992 The Night Before Christmas: A Musical Fantasy 129 19 34 Perspective
2004 The Night Before Christmas, Vol. 2 CC Entertainment
"—" denotes the album failed to chart or was not certified

Remix albums

Year Album Chart positions U.S.
certifications
Record label
US US
R&B
US
Gospel
UK
1995 Journey of the Drum: Remix Collection Universal/PolyGram
"—" denotes the album failed to chart or was not certified

Compilation albums

Year Album Chart positions U.S.
certifications
Record label
U.S. US
R&B
US
Gospel
UK
2001 The Very Best of Sounds of Blackness A&M
2003 Collection Spectrum Music
2007 The Millennium Collection Universal
"—" denotes the album failed to chart or was not certified

Singles

Year Single Chart positions[2] Album
US US
R&B
US
Dance
UK[4]
1991 "Optimistic" 3 17 28 The Evolution of Gospel
"The Pressure (Part 1)" 17 1 46
1992 "Testify" 12 7
"Joy" 27 Mo' Money
1994 "Gloryland" (with Daryl Hall) 36 World Cup 94
"I Believe" 99 15 1 17 Africa to America: The Journey
of the Drum
"Everything Is Gonna Be Alright" 29 10 29
"I'm Going All the Way" 39 41 14
1995 "Black Butterfly" 86
1996 "Children of the World" 90 19 People
1997 "Spirit" (with Craig Mack) 29 35 Time for Healing
"—" denotes the single failed to chart or was not released

See also

References

External links


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message