Clara Seasons Of My Heart - Johnny Cash - 100 Hits Legends Johnny Cash Ward  April 21, — January 16,   was an American gospel artist who achieved great The Eleven - Grateful Dead* - Fillmore East 2-11-69 and commercial success during the s and s, as leader of The Famous Ward Singers.
A gifted singer and arranger, Ward adopted the lead-switching style, previously used primarily by male gospel quartets, creating opportunities for Joan Of Arc - Leonard Cohen - Mp3 Digital Collection (Vol. 1) improvisation and vamping by each member of the group, while giving virtuoso singers such as Wish You Were Here - Various - Serenade For Lovers Williams the opportunity to perform the lead vocal in songs such as "Surely, God Is Able" among the first million-selling gospel hits" How I Got Over " and "Packin' Up".
Ward recorded her first solo song inand continued accompanying the Ward Gospel Trio, thereafter. The Ward Singers began touring nationally infollowing a memorable appearance at the National Baptist Convention held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, earlier that year.
Waddy brought to the group a "rougher" alto sound and the enthusiastic stage manners learned from her South Carolina church background.
The group's performance style, such as the mimed packing of suitcases as part of the song "Packin' Up", condemned by some gospel music purists as "clowning", was wildly popular with their audiences. The addition of Marion Williams, who arose of the Miami, Florida Pentecostal tradition brought to the group a powerful singer with a preternaturally broad range, able to reach the highest registers of the soprano range without losing either purity or volume, with the added ability to descend "growling low notes" in the style of a country preacher.
Williams' singing style helped make the group nationally popular when they began recording in Inthe Ward Singers toured from Philadelphia to California in their new Cadillac, appeared on national television programs, and recorded for the Miltone Record Company of Los Angeles.
Gertrude Ward created a booking agency for gospel acts, sponsored tours under the name "The Ward Gospel Cavalcade", established a publishing house for gospel music, and wrote an instructional manual for churches, detailing how to Ive Opened My Mouth To The Lord - The Famous Ward Singers* - Packing Up gospel programs. Although as musical director of the Ward franchise, Clara was willing to share the spotlight with her talented co-singers, she and her mother were allegedly reticent about sharing the group's financial rewards with other members, as well.
According to Willa Ward's biography of Clara Ward, with the exception of Gertrude and Clara, Willa and other members of the group were grossly underpaid. In addition, their meager earnings were further reduced as Gertrude and Clara provided the group's housing and charged them for it. Accordingly, stars such as Marion Williams and Frances Steadman not only had to accept second billing and lesser pay for their work, but pay their employers rent out of their earnings.
Williams left the group inwhen her demand for a raise and reimbursement for hotel expenses was rejected. Their departure marked the end of the glory days for the Ward Singers, who later alienated much of their churchgoing audience by performing in Las Vegas, nightclubs, and other secular venues in the s. InClara Ward was the second gospel singer to sing gospel songs on Broadway in Langston Hughes' play Tambourines Ive Opened My Mouth To The Lord - The Famous Ward Singers* - Packing Up Glory The first being her former group members, which were known as the Stars of Faith, which starred Langston Hughes in the first Gospel stage play and first play that featured an all black cast to be produced on Broadway, The Black Nativity.
She was also the play's musical director. Ward was the first gospel singer to sing with a piece symphony orchestra in the s. Ward sang backup for pop artists with her sister Willa's background group, most notably on Dee Dee Sharp 's hit, "Mashed Potato Time", which reached 2 on the Billboard Hot in The album was later reissued on the Capitol's budget Pickwick label minus one track.
In the same year, she recorded an album in Copenhagen, Denmark on the Philips label, Walk A Mile In My Shoeswhich included the pop title song, other pop songs such as "California Dreaming" and a few gospel songs. Also in Ward, because she was under exclusive contract to United Artists at this time, provided vocals for a Canned Heat 's album The New Ageon the ballad "Lookin' For My Rainbow"; it was released on that album and Ive Opened My Mouth To The Lord - The Famous Ward Singers* - Packing Up a single 45 rpm record.
State Department and the U. It was a The Kiss Of Kathleen Turner - Falco - Die Legendäre Hit-Kollektion war-time tour supported by recorded radio broadcasts of the Ward Singers on U.
Armed Forces Radio. The Ward Singers narrowly missed death when their hotel in Vietnam was bombed and several guests died. These war-time tours were filmed and all the Ward Singers were given special certificates of recognition by the U. She was cast as a waitress in a Nashville, Tennessee cafeteria who inspires a young singer, played by Hank Williams, Jr. There are also several scenes of the Clara Ward Singers performing gospel songs in the film. This movie was released by MGM in and Clara's picture appears on lobby cards and other movie advertisements.
They had a one-day TV special in London, England. They were in constant demand on American television programs and appeared on The Mike Douglas Show over a dozen times. Her Chipper S.O.B.
(Acoustic) - Oasis - Unplugged, Vol.2, Gertrude Ward, also had a popular religious radio program in the Los Angeles market. Despite her career success Clara's life was an unhappy one. Financial hardships caused her and her family Ive Opened My Mouth To The Lord - The Famous Ward Singers* - Packing Up move 19 times before her adulthood.
Sexually abused in childhood by a cousin and relentlessly driven as prime breadwinner by her mother throughout her life, Clara's life was one of constant work and little joy. According to her sister Willa, Gertrude Ward recognized Clara's exceptional musical ability when Clara was a child and controlled and manipulated Clara throughout her life. In her biography of Clara her sister Willa attests that Gertrude worked to prevent Clara from forming any romantic attachments.
Although Clara eloped as a teenager at age 17 inher mother Gertrude forced her to tour and the strain caused the always frail Clara to have a miscarriage. Her marriage ended after only one year. Willa describes Clara as explaining her occasional lesbian encounters as the sexual expression likely to escape her mother's notice.
Her only real happiness seems to have come from her longtime romance with Rev. Franklin with whom the Ward groups extensively touredthe famous Detroit-based preacher and father of legendary Aretha Franklin.
Clara spent much time in the Franklin home and, along with Mahalia Jackson another close Franklin family friendmentored Aretha. Clara's depression resulted in alcoholism. According to the FBI report  :. Gail the prostitute stated that about 2 a. The report, continuing with what Gail the prostitute told the FBI, describes Ward engaging in sexual acts with Gail simultaneously and consecutively with King. The first occurred in August which was listed as "massive".
Two more strokes followed: one listed as "minor" during a recording session at her home in December ;  another on January 9, which left Ward in a coma. Franklin sang at her funeral in Philadelphia; Marion Williams sang at her second memorial service held days later in Los Angeles, California. InWard was honored posthumously at Elusive Reverence - Beyond Creation - Earthborn Evolution (Vinyl, Album) Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York City and her surviving sister, Willa, accepted the award in her honor.
In Julyin recognition of her status, the United States Postal Service issued a cent stamp with her image. The stamp can still be purchased with a CD and other gospel singers' stamps online.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. American gospel artist; singer, music arranger, songwriter. For other people named Clara Ward, see Clara Ward disambiguation. This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.
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