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Asbury Park Gospel Explosion
Honoring the Missionary Jubilaires
Asbury Park/Ocean Grove, NJ
September 28, 2013

 


On September 28, 2013, we produced and emceed a gospel program for the benefit of the Asbury Park (NJ) Historical Society, whose mission is to advance the understanding, appreciation, preservation and restoration of anything of historical value to the city of Asbury Park, NJ.  Among their many projects, the Society is trying to take ownership of the childhood home of famous author, Stephen Crane House, and turn it into a museum.  The home, built in 1878, is said to be the oldest home still standing in Asbury Park.  Visit the historical society's website at www.aphistoricalsociety.org.

What started out as a simple fund raiser, quickly grew into one of the defining moments of Classic Urban Harmony’s long standing quest to preserve the legacy of vocal harmony.

Besides aiding the APHS, we also wanted to spotlight the history of Asbury Park’s West Side music, in particular gospel quartet singing.  We decided to honor one of Asbury Park’s most famous gospel groups, the Dynamic Missionary Jubiliares.  This group began singing in 1948 and continued for 40 years.

Our venue for the event turned out to be a building steeped in music history.  The Jersey Shore Arts Center was once the old Neptune High School.  Many famous singers not only went to school here but also sang on its stage during talent shows.  Bobby Thomas and the Vibranaires, Lenny Welch & the Markeys and the Juveniles all got their start here.  The soul group, the Broadways first began harmonizing in the basement when it was a cafeteria.

After much time tracking down former members of the Missionary Jubilaires, we were fortunate to have eight members attend the program.  Through our efforts, the Asbury Park City Council issued a proclamation declaring September 28, 2013, as “Missionary Jubilaires Day”. 

We began searching for gospel “quartet-style” vocal groups to help us with this event.  We contacted our friend, Reverend Brenda Boone who produces outstanding gospel programs in Virginia.  Rev. Boone helped us to get one of our favorite gospel groups, Van Jones & King David’s Harp.  We were also delighted to hear from Frankie Davis, the tenor with the world famous Golden Gate Quartet in Paris, France.  Frankie was in the United States during the Gates’ summer break and volunteered to bring his Virginia band, the Mighty All Stars to our concert.  Frankie Davis spent 9 years leading the Soul Stirrers before he joined the Golden Gate Quartet and promised to sing some Sam Cooke songs.  We knew this was going to be a special night.

One of our favorite acappella groups is Quiet Storm out of Philadelphia.  Quiet Storm offered to put together an all gospel set, since some of their members had previously sung gospel.  We were also fortunate to add two great South Jersey groups, Brothers In Christ and the Spiritual Five to our program.

From Asbury Park came Tyron McAllister and his sons, the Sons Of Thunder.  The McAllister family have been singing gospel music for five generations, going back to Tyron’s great grandfather who sang with the Carolina Crusaders.

We'd like to thank all of the members of board of directors of the Asbury Park Historical Society for all their help before and during the event.

Thanks also to John Cavanaugh for the fantastic photos, many included here.  You can visit John's website at http://www.rocktography.info/.

 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Setting up the sound system
 


The gates to Ocean Grove, NJ
One block from Asbury Park
To the right is the Jersey Shore Arts Center.


The Jersey Shore Arts Center was once the old Neptune High School
1906 Postcard
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)


The same building, today.


The signboard


Pam Horner


Charlie Horner


Jersey Shore Arts Center
Door from south parking lot.
(Photo Courtesy of Matt Gilliano)


Grand stairs from the lobby to the balcony


The theater stage


The downstairs holds 400 people.  We would end up filling it.



The remodeled dressing room area used to be the old school cafeteria.


Smitty of Quiet Storm discovers a sign from a bygone era.
Quiet Storm supplied the sound system and sound technician
as well as singing a great harmony gospel set.



Dinner for the Missionary Jubilaires & King David's Harp
 

We stayed at the Berkeley Beachfront Hotel in Asbury Park along with King David's Harp, Frankie Davis & the Mighty All-Stars, Reverend Brenda Boone and three members of the Missionary Jubilaires who came in from out of state.


The historic Berkeley Beachfront Hotel in Asbury Park.
We stayed here along with King David's Harp,
Frankie Davis & the Mighty All Stars, Reverend Brenda Boone
and three members of the Missionary Jubilaires
who came in from out of state.


Arriving in Asbury Park on Friday gave us a chance to sponsor a catered dinner for the Missionary Jubilaires in a private room at the Dauphin Grill in the Berkeley Hotel.  We also invited Reverend Brenda Boone (who would conduct our opening devotions), members of King David's Harp, and their advisor & attorney, Amina Matheny.


Sam and Patricia Murphy.
Sam Murphy (bass singer and lead) joined the Missionary Jubilaires in 1954 and remained
with them until the group broke up in 1988.  He drove in from North Carolina for the event.


Herman Lattimore (left) and Ernie Boynton.
Herman (tenor) sang with the Missionary Jubilaires from 1957 to 1988.
He drove in from Georgia.  Ernie joined the Missionary Jubilaires
In the 1970's as their drummer.  He still lives in New Jersey.


Asbury Park Historical Society President, Don Stine (left) conversing with
Curtis Moreland.  Curtis Moreland joined the Missionary Jubilaires in 1966.
 


King David's Harp (left to right, top): Otis Jones, Amina Matheny (advisor & attorney),
Van Jones, (bottom): Jesse Jones, Reverend Brenda Boone


Reverend Randy Wilson and wife Joyce with Don Stine (center).
Randy became the Missionary Jubilaires lead in 1976.


Pam & Charlie Horner with Joyce & Randy Wilson


Sean Bradforth (top) with the family of the late William Farley.
Sean got his start singing with the Missionary Jubilaires in 1976 at the age of 11.
Sean now sings lead for the Swan Silvertones.
William Farley was the Missionary Jubilaires' guitarist from 1964 to 1977.
He'd previously been with another great Asbury Park gospel
group, the United Gospel Singers.


Group photo of the Missionary Jubilaires (left to right):
William Farley Jr., Herman Lattimore, Curtis Moreland, Randy Wilson, Ted Jones,
Sean Bradforth, Sam Murphy, Ernie Boynton.

 


Saturday September 28, 2013

Sound Checks and Rehearsals


Preparations for the Gospel Explosion had been begun in May but really became all consuming for the last two months.  Now it was all down to the last few hours.  Sound checks and rehearsals began around 2 PM and lasted until about 5:30 PM.  Sound technician William Drew did an outstanding job.  Groups shared three dressing rooms downstairs but the former cafeteria area had plenty of room for singers to relax.  Members of the Asbury Park Historical Society provided plenty of great food for the singers during rehearsals. 


Tyron McAllister (center) and his sons, Tyron II and Elijah,
The Sons Of Thunder, rehearsing.


Van Jones & King David's Harp conducting sound checks.


Van Jones & King David's Harp


Missionary Jubilaires' Ted Jones, Sam Murphy, Herman Lattimore
grabbing a bite to eat.  Lorenzo Harris of the APHS in the background.


Brothers In Christ's Bill Keith


Frankie Davis (center) & the Mighty All-Stars rehearsing


Quiet Storm rehearsing their gospel set


Quiet Storm singing in the dressing room lounge


To see and hear Quiet Storm rehearsing "Come Along/People Get Ready" click the video below.


Quiet Storm warming up in the dressing room lounge
(Video courtesy of Jim Bakay)



Pam & Charlie Horner in the dressing room lounge


Pam Horner & Jim Bakay
Jim's "Gospel Train" radio broadcast can be heard on www.wrdv.org every
Tuesday night from 10 - 11 PM EST.  Jim also manages Brothers In Christ.
 


Jim Bakay & Charlie Horner


Backstage bulletin board

 

The Gospel Concert


The Gospel Explosion concert began at 7 PM sharp.  The downstairs was almost totally filled, holding an audience of 400.  Each member of the audience received a souvenir 24-page booklet containing the story and photos of the Missionary Jubilaires and bios and photos of all of the singing groups.  Demand for this souvenir prgram exceeded supply.  If you have a copy hold on to it.  It's already a collectors' item!


Souvenir booklet


The concert opened with Jersey Shore Arts Center President, Herb Herbst, greeting the audience.  Herb has spent the last 17 years of his life working to preserve the old Neptune High School and turning it into the Jersey Shore Arts Center.


Herb Herbst
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Asbury Park Historical Society President Don Stine, explained how the Society got involved in preserving the legacy of Asbury Park West Side music.  He then introduced Pam & Charlie Horner, the event's producers and emcees.


APHS President, Don Stine
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Pam & Charlie Horner, event producers and emcees
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


The opening devotions and prayer were given by Reverend Brenda L. Boone from Virginia.  Reverend Boone currently serves as a musician to six gospel choirs and is a gospel music promoter and music producer.  She directs the Higher Praise Community Choir of Hampton Roads, VA, who have a CD out.  She has also written two inspirational books that are available from www.publishamerica.com.


Reverend Brenda Boone
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Reverend Boone
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)

 

The McAllister family has been singing gospel music in the Asbury Park area for five generations.  Popular gospel recording star Tyron McAllister is the fourth generation and he's been singing since the age of four.  Tyron's great grandfather sang with the Carolina Crusaders.  On this night Tyron opened with his two sons, Tyron II and Elijah, as the Sons of Thunder.  A local favorite, Tyron and the Sons of Thunder were well received by the audience.  Tyron would be back to open the second half of the concert as a soloist.  Tyron McAllister has a CD out and you can visit his website at www.McAllistermusic.com.


Tyron McAllister (center) & the Sons of Thunder
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Sons of Thunder
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Sons of Thunder
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Tyron McAllister
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Brothers In Christ are a gospel vocal quintet formed in 2009.  All the singers are members of St. Johns United Methodist Church in West Berlin, NJ.  The group consists of Bro. Levi Combs Jr., Bro. Michael Troutman Sr., Bro. Richard Wilson, Bro. William Keith and Bro. Paul Maxwell.  Brothers In Christ sang in a traditional gospel quartet style.  Their tight harmony lifted the spirits of those assembled.  Closing with "I Will Open Up My Heart," Brothers In Christ delivered a message to all who were in need of a word from God in song.


Brothers In Christ
(Photo courtesy of Matt Gilliano)


Brothers In Christ
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Brothers In Christ
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Bill Keith of Brothers In Christ
Bill Keith used to be Charlie Horner's radio co-host
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Brothers In Christ

 

The Spiritual Five trace their beginnings back to 1970 at Mount Zion Wesley United Methodist Church in Deptford, NJ.  Currently, the group is composed of Jackie Allen, Alvin Collins, Aris "Doc" Williams, Quincy Funches, Butch Lewis, Robbie Norman and Buzz Garland.  Singing in traditional gospel quartet style, the Spiritual Five gave us an inspiring set.  Singing acappella harmony the way it was meant to be sung, the Spiritual Five were a highlight in an evening full of highlights!


Pam & Charlie introducing the Spiritual Five
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


The Spiritual Five
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


The Spiritual Five
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


The Spiritual Five
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


The Spiritual Five
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


The Spiritual Five
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)



In a few short years, Quiet Storm has become one of the area's premier vocal groups.  In actuality, members of Quiet Storm have been singing all of their lives.  Known for their tight harmony and versatility, Quiet Storm seems to excel at everything they do.  Since several members of Quiet Storm have sung gospel in the past they were anxious to get back to their roots with an acappella gospel harmony set.  Like the groups before them, Quiet Storm was spectacular, with songs like "Christian Automobile," "Save a Seat For Me" and "The Last Mile Of The Way".  Quiet Storm is made up of Kamau "Smitty" Akiba, Ron Silva, William Nix, James Phillips and Darrall Campbell.  Visit Quiet Storm's website at www.quietstormphil.com.


Quiet Storm
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Quiet Storm's William Nix
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Quiet Storm
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Quiet Storm
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Quiet Storm
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Quiet Storm
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Following Quiet Storm's set we prepared to honor the Missionary Jubilaires.  Some weeks earlier we had addressed Asbury Park's City Council requesting and receiving a proclamation of September 28, 2013 as "Missionary Jubilaires Day".  Asbury Park's mayor, Myra Campbell agreed to read the proclamation to the, now eight, former members of the Missionary Jubilaires and the family of the late William Farley.  We had prepared matted and framed copies of the proclamation for each of the Missionary Jubilaires.


 

Pam & Charlie greeting Mayor Myra Campbell (second from right)
(Photo courtesy of Matt Gilliano)


The Missionary Jubilaires begin to take the stage.
From left to right: Herman Lattimore, Ernie Boynton, Sam Murphy,
Curtis Moreland and Ted Jones.
(Photo courtesy of Matt Gilliano)


Asbury Park Mayor Myra Campbell talking about the
importance of gospel music to the community.
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Mayor Campbell read the proclamation of "Missionary Jubilaires Day"
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


The framed proclamation


Sam Murphy receiving his proclamation
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Herman Lattimore receiving his proclamation
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)



Long time Missionary Jubilaires lead singer, Ted Jones, receives his proclamation.
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Ted Jones & Charlie
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Sean Bradforth (hand raised) accepts his proclamation.
Sean began singing with the Missionary Jubilaires at age 11.
He now leads the Swan Silvertones.
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Charlie & Sean Bradforth
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)
 

Mrs. Edna Jones-Farley accepts the proclamation for the William Farley family.
Randy Wilson, Sean Bradforth and Joseph Kelly in the background.
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Left to right: Herman Lattimore, Ernie Boynton, Sam Murphy,
Curtis Moreland, Ted Jones, Randy Wilson
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Left to right: Herman Lattimore, Ernie Boynton, Sam Murphy, Curtis Moreland,
Ted Jones, Randy Wilson, Charlie Horner, Sean Bradforth, Joseph Kelly, Mrs. William Farley
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Charlie welcomes Reverend Joseph Williams, pastor of the Mount Airy United Fellowship,
 representing African American Museum in Philadelphia.
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Reverend Joe Williams presenting a Gospel Music Heritage Award
from the African American Museum in Philadelphia to the Missionary Jubilaires.
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Gospel Heritage Award to the Missionary Jubilaires


Intermission

After honoring the Missionary Jubilaires we took a short intermission, giving everyone a chance to stretch their legs and visit the tables in the lobby where they could obtain CD's and autographed photos from some of the groups.


Mrs. Edna Jones-Farley & William Farley Jr.,
wife and son of Missionary Jubilaires' William Farley
(Photo courtesy of Felicia Farley)


Mrs. Edna Jones-Fraley & brother, Ted Jones
(Photo courtesy of Felecia Farley)


Brothers, Jake & Ted Jones
Jake sang with the United Gospel Singers
(Photo courtesy of Felicia Farley)
 


Left to right: Carol Price, Pam Horner and APHS board member, Eileen Chapman.
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Lobby during intermission.
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Bob Bosco, Ken Thompson, Bob Campbell,
Jim Bakay, Pam Horner, Tom Hight


Tom Hight & Bob Campbell
(Photo courtesy of Matt Gilliano)


Holly Heinz, Carl Tancredi, KJ O'Doherty
(Photo courtesy of Matt Gilliano)


Pam & Charlie with Tom Gilmour, Director of Economic Development, Asbury Park
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Jimmy Q. Roberts, Ellen Carroll (editor of The Coaster)
and Ron Troppoli (right), our backstage manager.
Ron did a fabulous job keeping the program moving on time!
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)

 

The Second Half


As great as the event was to this point, we still had the second half of the program to go!  Tyron McAllister came back on stage to sing as a soloist.  What a fabulous voice!  Having Tyron, who is from Asbury Park, on the program helped give the program a local flavor.


Tyron McAllister
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Tyron McAllister
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Up next was one of our favorite gospel groups, Van Jones & King David's Harp.  Members of King David's Harp grew up in the small town of Pughville in Suffolk VA in the early fifties and began singing God's praises at a young age.  They are a family group (the Jones brothers are cousins of Frankie Davis).  King David's Harp has opened for groups like the Harmonizing Four, the Dixie Hummingbirds, the Sensational Nightingales, the Soul Stirrers and the Canton Spirituals.  The group sings traditional quartet style songs as well as modern style gospel, all with exquisite tight harmony.  King David's Harp is composed of Van Jones, Cornelius Yancey III, Jesse Jones, Otis Jones Sr. and Curtis Mitchell.  They traveled from Virginia to sing on our program.  King David's Harp gave us an incredible set with songs like "Three Pictures Of The Lord," "The Lord's Prayer" and "I've Come Too Far To Turn Back Now".


   

Van Jones & King David's Harp


King David's Harp
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Van Jones
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Van Jones & King David's Harp
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Van Jones
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Cornelius Yancey & Curtis Mitchell
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Jesse Jones
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


King David's Harp's Van Jones
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


We chose our friend Frankie Davis to close the program, and what a finale it was!  Frankie Davis holds the distinction of having sung with two of the greatest gospel groups of all time, the Golden Gate Quartet (with whom he still sings) and the Soul Stirrers.  Frankie was born in Portsmouth VA and began singing gospel in his church choir and in talent shows with various quartets.  After high school, Frankie sang with the Heavenly Angels, the Mighty Echoes, the Mighty Pearly Gates, Johnnie Taylor & the Voices of Hope and with his cousins, Van Jones & King David's Harp.  In 1986, the Mighty Clouds of Joy heard Frankie Davis sing and recommended him to Arthur Crume & the Original Soul Stirrers who were looking for a new lead.  Frankie's voice sounded so much like Sam Cooke's, that Frankie Davis led the Soul Stirrers for the next nine years.

In 1995, Frankie Davis was invited to join the legendary Golden Gate Quartet as first tenor, as Clyde Riddick was retiring.  The "Gates" trace their beginnings to 1931 and have been based in Paris since the 1950's.  Frankie is still an active member of the Golden Gate Quartet and travels extensively with them throughout Europe.  During summer breaks, Frankie often returns to Chesapeake VA to sing with Rev. Brenda Boone & the Higher Praise Community Choir and with his band, the Mighty All-Stars.

The Mighty All-Stars were formed by Frankie Davis in 2006 when he needed a band to back him while in the United States.  The Mighty All-Stars consist of Adam West (percussionist), Al Whitney (lead guitar), Bob Mayo (bass guitar) and Joseph Major (saxophone).  Tonight they were joined by Reverend Brenda Boone (keyboards).

Before their set, we brought Frankie Davis on stage and presented him with a Gospel Music Heritage Award from Rev. Joe Williams and the African American Museum in Philadelphia.


Charlie & Pam present Frankie Davis with the African American Museum of
Philadelphia's Gospel Music Heritage Award
(Photo courtesy of Matt Gilliano)


African American Museum of
Philadelphia's Gospel Music Heritage Award


Frankie Davis gave the audience a thrilling finale, one of the best we've ever seen!  He opened with a soulful foot stomping rendition of "If I Had A Hammer," then sang "Wonderful" and "Touch The Hem Of His Garment" from the Sam Cooke & the Soul Stirrers' songbook.  Frankie jumped off of the stage onto the floor during an emotional "A Change Is Gonna Come".  He even called Van Jones back out to sing a verse.  Before we knew it, the sax player, Joseph Major, was also winding his way through the audience, playing.  Frankie Davis stayed on the floor for his last song, "Don't Let Him Down".  During the song Frankie called members of the Missionary Jubilaires up to sing with him.  This brought an uproar from from the audience who were all standing and stomping their feet in time to the music.  People down in the dressing room could feel the floor above them shaking.


Frankie Davis
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Frankie Davis
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Frankie Davis


Frankie Davis & the Mighty All-Stars
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Frankie Davis & the Mighty All-Stars


Mighty All-Stars
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Mighty All-Stars
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Reverend Brenda Boone playing with the Mighty All-Stars


Frankie Davis
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Frankie Davis & Van Jones singing "A Change Is Gonna Come"


Missionary Jubilaires' Randy Wilson (with microphone) singing.
Curtis Moreland and Sam Murphy on left.
Frankie Davis and Sean Bradforth on right.
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Missionary Jubilaires' Sam Murphy & Randy Wilson singing.
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


Reverend Brenda Boone, Pam & Charlie Horner
closing remarks and prayer.
(Photo courtesy of John Cavanaugh)


In the Lobby Afterwards
 

King David's Harp
(Photo courtesy of Matt Gilliano)


Pam & Charlie with King David's Harp
(Photo courtesy of Matt Gilliano)


Pam & Charlie with King David's Harp and Pam Nardello


Charlie LaRocco, Val Shively & KJ O'Doherty
(Photo courtesy of Matt Gilliano)


Tom Hight, Kass Gilliano, Bob Campbell, KJ O'Doherty, Kenny Thompson
(Photo courtesy of Matt Gilliano)


Carl Tancredi, Jim Bakay, Frank from Trevose
(Photo courtesy of Matt Gilliano)


Charlie LaRocco, Val Shively, KJ O'Doherty, Buzz Garland
(Photo courtesy of Matt Gilliano)


The Next Morning


Frankie Davis & the Mighty All-Stars packing the van


Pam with Frankie & the Mighty All-Stars


Pam & Charlie with Frankie Davis


The Gospel Explosion was a milestone for Classic Urban Harmony.  How can we ever top this one?

Thanks to everyone who supported us! - Charlie & Pam


 

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