MP3 Jacqui - Get Knowledge (Proverbs Chapter 2)
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SPIRITUAL: Contemporary Gospel, SPIRITUAL: Inspirational
I'd like to begin by telling you a little bit about myself. I am and independent artist and number 5 of 7 girls, (no boys). I grew up in Joliet, Illinois, and lived there until 2003. I belong to a very large and very gifted family which includes sisters, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins with gifts ranging from singers, dancers, seamstresses, DJs, and commentators, just to name a few.
My singing ability began to blossom at the age of approximately five or six. The first time I remember singing in front of an audience, besides my family members, was at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Joliet not far from where I used to live. Mrs. Corrine Dickerson was the musical director for the church at that time. While attending elementary school, my sister Virgie Craig introduced me to one of her friend's niece whose name is Diane Hogue. Diane and I would sing together at the school and all the other children would just listen and applaud. That was a lot of fun for both of us. Virgie introduced me to people, that to this day, I share childhood memories with.
Beverly Holmes, nicknamed Bell by her friends and family (now deceased), became a very close friend of mine and her influence gave me the courage to leave St. Paul Church and become a member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Reverend Hill was the officiating pastor at that time and Mrs. Youngblood (now deceased) was the musical director and Mrs. Ida Mae Richards (now deceased) was the founder of the junior choir. Ann Bennett now known to her fans as Ann Nesby, was also a member of this choir.
Under the tutelage of Mrs. Youngblood, I learned that I could harmonize and teach other singers to harmonize with me. So, at the age of eight I started my own singing group which we named after Bell called the "Belltones.â This group was made up of a few members of the junior choir and my younger sister Linda Stokes. Their names were Janet Riley (now deceased), Bell Holmes, myself, Phyllis Holmes (Bell's sister) and Linda, my sister. Because we were only children singing in the church, singing acapella and singing in the right key, this affected the adults in a positive way because they were very supportive.
The "Staple Singers" was a very popular gospel group at that time so we sang many songs from their records. We were embraced by another group named "The Kings of Harmony,â and we began traveling with them to some of their engagements and were allowed to perform. Our ages ranged from six years to 14 years old. It was exciting and very memorable for all of us.
In my mid teens, Phyllis Holmes left the group and was replaced by Katy Jones-Bond. My mother, Mamie Stokes, referred to Katy's voice as the sound of a bird. She has a sweet, clear, smooth soprano voice that gave a better sound-quality to the group as a whole.
I grew up in a time when historic artists, e.g., The Temptations, Mary Wells, The Miracles, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Linda Jones, Billy Stewart, Jerry Butler, The Impressions, and so many more. With all of this wonderful music surrounding me, it didn't take much encouragement from my older sisters to convert from gospel to secular music. This change caused Katy to leave the group because of her Grandmother's deep religious beliefs. Katy was replaced by my youngest sister Billie Stokes, and we added a newer acquaintance by the name of Hollie White, so we renamed ourselves after "Little Anthony and the Imperials" to "The Imperialetts.â Because we were sisters, our sound was unique and Hollieâs voice blended perfectly with ours.
We managed to become well known in the Joliet, Quad-Cities, and Chicago areas. We continued to sing even after I got married but it became difficult because my husband didn't really understand my efforts and my choice, at that time, was to please him. And I have learned to well that life is about choices. However, everything happens for a reason.
We all made different choices for our lives and "The Imperialetts" eventually died. There was an attempt to resurrect the group but it was short lived. The remarkable thing was we managed to establish a fan-base that to this day still remembers us from back in the day. This blesses my spirit.
As I stated earlier, my family being very talented, would organize and put together shows that, with the support of the community, were quite successful. We even did a show once to help raise money for a friend to receive a kidney transplant. She's alive today. Her name is Liz Hogan of Joliet, and her donor was her sister, Pastehl Kaballah, now residing in California.
These shows allowed our family to perform and exercise their talents. I do have a success story identifying my nephew Dan Stokes, the son of my sister Linda. He sang with the group "Solo" and they had a hit single titled "Heaven"and a hit album titled, âSolo New Classic Soulâ that sold more than 800,000 copies. Personally, I loved the whole album/cd. Other songs that were played on BET and the radio is "Where Do U Want Me To Put It"and âHeâs Not Good Enough.â Very catchy don't you think?
My family was the major influence for my love of music and GOD gave me the gift of voice for expressing that love. Therefore, I love him all the more for that blessing. Earthly influences are my cousins, Willie Mae, Johnny Mans, who by the way are brother and sister, their mother Flora Mans and my mother Mamie Stokes, who are also sisters, and both of them are still alive and kicking. I thank you for your support.
Later, Jim Burton introduced me to a talented group called âTomorrowâs Peopleâ who was very popular in Chicago. Jim Burton is the brother of Tim Burton who was the leader and bass guitar player for the group. The band consisted of 13 members and would rock the house with the wonderful sound they delivered. I was immediately accepted as the female singer of the group and the rest is history. Some of the photos on the website reflect this historic memory for me and Jim Burton is behind the camera.
Tim Burton is a very gifted musician and singer and is still playing and performing. He currently lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and has established himself not just as an artist, but also as a producer. He has a record label, which I am currently represented on named âTracker US Records.â When you visit my website, you will have an opportunity to surf his website as well by using the links that have been created for this convenience.
I have two children and am currently residing in Albuquerque, NM, with my grandson Kevin, Jr., my granddaughter Cyraea, my eldest daughter Cyrelle and her husband S.SGT. Kevin Johnson, Sr. who is currently serving in the US Air force.
Cyrelle and I are singing the duet titled âDebate.â She was very influential in helping me with the lead and background vocals. The patience my daughter and son-in-law exhibited along with the monetary help they gave me was the unconditional love I needed to complete this small portion of the very huge job ahead of me, and I am so grateful. Without the support of my children and the encouragement of my family I would not have gotten this far.
We lost my grandson Trevaughn Elijah Johnson in the year 2005. He was 2-1/2 years old. But I'm convinced he's in heaven with the Father and Jesus and I'm holding on to GOD's promise that I'll see him again.
My other daughter, Kelli Eskridge, still lives in Joliet with my granddaughter Monea and my grandson Matthew, jr. She married Matthew Eskridge, Sr. and she is a very gifted beautician. So if you're ever in the area look her up. The name of her salon is "Incredible Creations.â
In the short time that the LORD has allowed me to live, I have been fortunate to have met and known a lot of people that have made a very profound, enlightening and educational impact in my life. I even have an appreciation for the people who caused me to hold tighter to my faith, if you know what I mean. This has given me a greater sense of appreciation for the LORD and his mercy. He has brought me through so, so much. My spiritual growth has taken me to this place in my life, which I believe will definitely be life-changing.
From my personal trials and tribulations I have learned, and now have the understanding, that âpeople are people first and they do people stuff, then they become doctors, lawyers, preachers, teachers, Christians, students, employees, chefs, supervisors, sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters and children.â GOD appeals not to the differences that we have, but he appeals to the same nesses that we are.
My greatest inspiration to complete a gospel cd comes from my love for the LORD GOD and his son Jesus Christ along with my desire to show him my gratitude for the singing gift he has given me.
I wrote each song based on the inspiration I received from the Holy Scriptures, the anointed word of GOD. All lead and background vocals were arranged by me and stemmed from the deep love I have in my heart for the LORD and the understanding I posses regarding Jesusâs willingness to sacrifice himself so that we (all people) can be forgiven for our sins. Ask yourself âwould you have been that nice?â
These songs are about the LORD and whom I believe he is, based on his word and his actions and not so much about what he's done for me. I'm attempting to introduce him to you in a way that may give you the desire to get to know him in a more personal way for yourself. I'm singing some of the stories in the Bible in rhyme and rhythm with a little jazz twist. I pray these songs will inspire you to read more of the Bible for yourself so there may be an increase in your knowledge and understanding when you began, if you're not already searching, to seek the deep things of the LORD. 1Cor 2:10.
May GOD bless and keep you always!
People who are interested in Sade Gladys Knight Phyllis Hyman should consider this download.
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