Change Background:
Loading
The Ultimate Destination for Soul Music
Home Classic Soul Archives Artist A-Z Features SoulMusic Records Voice Your Choice Soul Talkin' Reviews Hall of Fame The Soul Store
ALL A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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 Knighton formed the group, The Macalester College Black Chores, that would prove to be the origins of Sounds of Blackness in 1969 at St. Paul, Minnesota's Macalester College. In 1971, Gary Hines was hired as their musical director and the group began developed its own identity. They opened the group up to the entire community and expanded their musical scope to concentrate on all aspects of black music. They 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 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 [url=http://www.discogs.com/artist/Jackson+5,+TheThe Jackson 5[/url 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 & 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 [l=Perspective Records/A&M Records immediately. Before the Perspective deal, any major label interested in the Sounds Of Blackness 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.
 
Members Comments
You need to Register or Log In to add comments
Sounds Of Blackness 2011 SoulMusic.com Interview
Phone interview conducted October 11, 2011 The Sounds of Blackness are celebrating their 40th anniversary with their eleventh album and their first for Malaco Music, self-titled SOUNDS OF BLACKNESS. Brimming with a great mix of tunes, this new release shows off the group’s versatility with different genres (jazz, pop, Latin, classical) while using their Gospel & message music roots as their base. The result is a dynamic album which stands out as one of their best since their debut disc fro...
Read More ...

Sounds Of Blackness 2009 SoulMusic.com Interview
Gary Hines: How are you doing, my brother? Jeff Lorez: Good man, how are you? Gary Hines: I am Kool & The Gang, by the grace of God, man. JL:...
Read More ...
Sounds Of Blackness 2009 SoulMusic.com Interview
Gary Hines: How are you doing, my brother? Jeff Lorez: Good man, how are you? Gary Hines: I am Kool & The Gang, by the grace of God, man. JL:...
Read More ...
Sounds Of Blackness 2001 Liner Notes
The arrival on the scene of The Sounds Of Blackness was like a breath of fresh air to a segment of record buyers and radio listeners desperate for m...
Read More ...
Sounds Of Blackness 1999 SoulMusic.com Interview
Ever since this exceptional group became known to international audiences in 1991 with the release of their groundbreaking "Evolution of Gospel" album...
Read More ...