Gospel Quartet


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On Saturday, December 17, 2016, SC Gospel Quartet Radio and SC Gospel Quartet Awards presented an appreciation program for Toby A. Goodson. The concert was held at Faith, Hope and Charity Church in Columbia, SC.

Before reporting on the concert, let me tell you about Toby. Toby is the son of Sister Blanche and Brother Ronald Goodson. Sister Goodson is affectionately referred to as The Mouth Of The South. She is a radio angel, promoter and currently the CEO of SC Gospel Quartet Radio and SC Gospel Quartet Awards. As CEO of SC Gospel Quartet Radio, she has taken an idea of having an online radio broadcast and launched a 24/7 online station that is changing the way gospel fans around the world get their praise on at home, work and while traveling. Ronald Goodson is a songwriter, arranger, singer and musician extraordinaire, he is also the lead guitarist for The Legendary National Juniors.

Thus Toby grew up immersed in the gospel music genre. As a result, he is an exceptional drummer. He is a music producer. He is also one of the up and coming music engineers  with a unique ability to maximize digital software and equipment to get the most out of artists. So, it was fitting that his Mom and Dad would want to celebrate the holiday season with a gospel concert Appreciation Program just for their son.

The concert began with devotion by Little Ms. Danasha Richardson. What a talent. At six (6) years old, she delivered biblical scriptures and very fitting devotional songs like a pro. The concert performers were The Southern Gospel Singers, Willie Goins & The Medlondyettes, The National Juniors and The Talley Boys, with Minister Teddy Cross and Robert Williams. All of the groups were great. The National Juniors introduce the congregation to the title track from their new CD “Just Look How The Lord Blessing You And Me.”

The headliners The Talley Boys, with Minister Teddy Cross and Robert Williams took the services to greater heights.  Now, for gospel fans, you know that The Talley Boys were the musicians for the group Willie Neal Johnson & The New Gospel Keynotes. And, you also know that Minister Cross and Robert Williams were longtime members of The Gospel Keynotes as well as The New Keynotes.

So, having Minister Cross and Robert Williams on stage with the Talley Boys brought back fond memories of the legendary Gospel Keynotes. This was a reunion of sorts and what a reunion it was. Minister Cross and Robert Williams shared lead duties. Yes, Minister Cross did call “Robert” just like the late Willie Neal Johnson would have. And, yes, the guys embraced all of the comedic moves that fans were use to seeing by a performance of “The Gospel Keynotes.” But, they sang. And, they took the audience down memory lane. And, what a trip it was – with songs like, “Jesus, You’ve Been Good To Me,” “This Is Just A Rehearsal,” and so many more. What a grand time we had with this new configuration of The Keynotes.

If you are a promoter and you want to bring to your city a group that will electrify the audience and deliver that traditional gospel quartet sound with a twenty-first century flare, then you need to book The Talley Boys, with Minister Teddy Cross and Robert Williams. You will not be disappointed. And, your audience will surely be saying “Lord, I Thank You.”

Robert Williams Nu Gospel KeynotesRobert Williams’ Nu Gospel Keynotes

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Sang Robert!” was the command fans heard the late Willie Neal Johnson shout with such fervent passion at Robert Williams that we encouraged Robert from our church, auditorium and stadium seats to sing as if his life was in jeopardy. If you know traditional black quartet Gospel music, then you know that the Gospel Keynotes are one of the best known names in the industry. Fast forward to 2016, Robert Williams, Andrè Ellis (Smile-E), Michael “Face” Palmer and the Nu Gospel Keynotes band will be singing with that same passion for years to come. Ladies and Gentlemen, introducing Robert Williams’ Nu Gospel Keynotes.

Robert WilliamsRobert C. Williams

Known exclusively as the group of the late Willie Neal Johnson, this quartet has always kept a constant stream of awesome falsetto/tenor singers in the group. Willie Neal was known for calling on top singers like Paul Beasley, Rev. Charles McLean, and Robert C. Williams. Robert joined the Gospel Keynotes in 1984 after the group recorded their rare “Tell It to Jesus” LP. In 1985 the Keynotes moved to Malaco Records, Robert made his first appearance on record with the now famous song “Just a Rehearsal.” Robert sung on all Malaco recordings with the late legend drawing a legion of fans all across the globe.

 

 

Andre (Smile-E) EllisAndrè Ellis (Smile-E)

Andrè Ellis, a native of Waterbury, CT, was born into a musical family. He developed his love for music at an early age as Andrè began singing in his church choir at age five. Self-taught, he learned to play the drums, bass and lead guitar. Soon young Andrè made a name for himself as he began singing and playing with many gospel quartets groups in the Connecticut area.

As early as nine years old, André’s passion and goal was to sing and play guitar for the legendary Stellar award winning gospel group Willie Neal Johnson and the Gospel Keynotes. In the early 1990s, his dream became a reality as Andrè has toured extensively across the country as a member of Willie Neal Johnson and the Gospel Keynotes.

Andrè Ellis aka Smile-E loves music and wants to share his message with all that will hear him.

Love Conquers Hate – 1Luv

Michael (Face) PalmerMichael “Face” Palmer

Michael Palmer received his musical training from his aunts (Cynthia and Zell) at 10 years old in his hometown of St. Matthews, SC. Learning the art of singing and background vocal blending techniques, Michael also grew up playing instruments in his church home and listening to his favorite singers and role models, his grandfather and uncles.

After serving our country for eight years, Michael returned home and to the church. Singing with groups as the Five Singing Sons and the Zionaires, Michael joined the legendary Gospel Keynotes on January 1, 1997 as bass player. Given the moniker of “Babyface” by the late Willie Neal Johnson, the multi-talented singer and musician made the transition to drums and settled in his role as 2nd lead singer.

Playing drums and singing on the Stellar award winning album, “The Country Boy Goes Home II” and being inducted in the Gospel Music Hall of Fame brought full circle Michael’s musical ambitions as a young lad. With all of the fame, accolades and recognition, Michael just really wants people to know that he loves the Lord and hope that love is evident in is musical ministry.

Booking and Contact Information

In 2016, Robert Williams’ Nu Gospel Keynotes will perform new music sprinkled in with your favorite Gospel Keynotes classics hits. For bookings, please contact Andre Ellis at 252-325-6939. For media inquiries, please contact nugospelkeynotes@mail.com.

Quartet Pioneer,
Father of D.A. Johnson (Malaco) Passes

Quartet Pioneer,
Father of D.A. Johnson (Malaco) Passes


Jackson, MS – Quartet Pioneer and father of D.A. Johnson (Executive Director, Gospel Division Malaco Music Group), Willie Connell Johnson passed on Thursday March 6, 2014, at his home, surrounded by family in Jamaica, NY.

Willie Connell Johnson, born in Sumter, SC, founder of The Mighty Brooklyn Skyways, a quartet that enjoyed such hits as, “Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven (But Nobody Really Wants To Die),” “May The Work I’ve Done Speak For Me,” and “Unbelievable Man,” all with Peacock Records. In the seventies, The Skyways recorded three albums with Savoy Records now wholly owned by the Malaco Music Group. Willie Johnson was honored when he was invited to participate in the historic recording of the 3 CD / 3 DVD Box Set of “Gospel Legends” released exclusively for television in 2005.

D.A. Johnson has brought the family legacy full circle by signing with Savoy / Malaco Records in 1999.

Please keep the entire Johnson family and friends in prayer.

The funeral arrangements are as follows:
Date: Friday March 14, 2014
Viewing: 5pm-7pm
Service: 7pm

Venue: Holy Nazarene Deliverance Ministry
237 Ralph Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11233

Funeral Home: James H. Willie Funeral Home Inc.
918 Gates Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11221
(P) 718-875-1036
(F) 718-875-4082

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