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Rev. James Cleveland - "Where Is Your Faith in God"

by Matt Delmont

Cleveland described these different styles in gospel music in a 1980 Billboard magazine interview: "There are people who like the traditional sounds of gospel, there are those who embrace the contemporary sound, and then there are those looking for sounds even beyond that, so we don't inhibit anybody. We're like for them to have full expression that related to where they would like to go. All we ask for them to do is to be mindful of what the music is about. First, that it's music, but secondly that it's a representation of a religious thinking. Gospel singing is the counterpart of gospel teaching, so we'd like to have that uppermost in their minds; that it's an art form, true enough, but it represents an idea, a thought, a trend." Regarding his dynamic stage performances, Cleveland said, “Nobody taught me about stage presence, I just try to be with people on their level. I feel like people like folk who talk about everyday problems and shared experiences, rather than trying to be glamorous. I try to talk to them (audiences) and give them hope that things are going to get better. I think I can talk to people on their level because people are just people.”

Rev. James Cleveland - "Where Is Your Faith in God"

Rev. James Cleveland performs "Where Is Your Faith in God" with the Cornerstone Institutional Baptist Church choir in Los Angeles, California (ca. 1980s)

from "Where Is Your Faith in God" (1980)
Creator: Rev. James Cleveland
Posted by Matt Delmont