BLACK MUSIC MONTH
June Black Music Month Kicks Off With a Tribute Honoring Pastor Shirley Caesar and Lady Chrystal Rucker
The Team, a leading organization in the faith-based music event production industry, kicked off June Black Music Month, as they honored two of gospel music’s legends: Pastor Shirley Caesar and psalmist Lady Chyrstal Rucker.
Like many pioneers in the gospel music industry, Chrystal Rucker got her start early; singing as a toddler in her father’s church in Kansas City, Missouri. Lady Rucker went on to study music and English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and used her gifts to be a guest performer on projects for Edwin Hawkins, Myron Williams and Jerome Green. After a series of strokes nearly ended her life, Lady Rucker released a self-title project, Chrystal Rucker in 2009. In 2012, EPM Music Group released her label debut, You Deserve. The title track landed on the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs chart, and the album reached the gospel Top Ten.
12-time Grammy Award winner, Pastor Shirley Ann Caesar started her music ministry early. Known as Baby Shirley Caesar, Pastor Caesar sang all over the Carolinas as a young child. She began singing professionally in 1958, at the age of 19, when she approached Albertina Walker about joining The Caravans. Pastor Caesar began recording while she was in The Caravans and their biggest hit was “Sweeping Through the City”. After eight years with The Caravans, Pastor Caesar left the group to embark on her solo career. She recorded her first project, “I’ll Go”, which includes classics such as “Oh Peter, Don’t Be Afraid”. In 1975, the infamous “No Charge” became a gold record and was placed in heavy rotation on the Saturday morning cleanup playlist. Pastor Caesar has delivered other classics such as, “Don’t Drive Your Mama Away”, “No Change”, “Faded Rose”, “Jesus”, and “Hold My Mule”. In her own right, Lady Chrystal Rucker has led audiences into the heart of worship with “You Deserve” and with her rendition of “Changed” and “Enter In”.
Check back with us on Thursday for a full recap of the star studded tribute and pictures of the event.