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Encyclopedia > Marion Williams

Marion Williams (August 29, 1927 - July 2, 1994) was a legendary American gospel singer, often regarded as one of the most powerful voices in American music history. A powerful singer with a preternaturally broad range, able to reach the highest registers of the soprano range without losing either purity or volume, she could also swoop down to growling low notes in the style of a country preacher. Williams' singing helped make the Ward Singers nationally popular when they began recording in 1948. August 29 is the 241st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (242nd in leap years), with 124 days remaining. ... 1927 was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... July 2 is the 183rd day of the year (184th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 182 days remaining. ... 1994 was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International year of the Family. ... Gospel music may refer either to the religious music that first came out of African-American churches in the 1930s or, more loosely, to both black gospel music and to the religious music composed and sung by white southern Christian artists. ... Clara Ward (August 24, 1924 - January 16, 1973) was a gospel artist who achieved great success, both artistic and commercial, in the 1940s and 1950s as leader of The Famous Ward Singers. ... 1948 is a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ...


She was born in Miami, to a religiously devout mother and musically inclined father. As was common in the area, Williams was exposed to African American blues and jazz, alongside Caribbean calypso. Poverty caused Williams to leave school at fourteen, working with her mother at a laundry. She was singing at church and on street corners, inspired by a wide range of musicians including Sister Rosetta Tharpe and the Smith Jubilee Singers. She stuck with gospel, however, in spite of pressure to switch to popular blues tunes or the opera. The Miami skyline, as it is seen from the northeast on Biscayne Bay. ... African Americans, also known as Afro-Americans or black Americans, are an ethnic group in the United States of America whose ancestors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to Sub-Saharan and West Africa. ... For the emotional state, see Depression (mood). ... Jazz is a musical art form characterized by blue notes, syncopation, swing, call and response, polyrhythms, and improvisation. ... Calypso is a style of Afro-Caribbean music which originated in the British and French colonial islands of the Caribbean at about the start of the 20th century it is an especially integral part of Trinidadian music. ... Sister Rosetta Tharpe (March 20, 1915 - October 9, 1973) was a gospel artist who attained great popularity in the 1930s and 1940s with a unique mixture of Holiness vocals and jazzy guitar accompaniment. ... The foyer of Charles Garniers Opéra, Paris, opened 1875 Opera is an art form consisting of a dramatic stage performance set to music. ...


Williams was invited to join the Ward Singers when they heard her singing during a visit to her sister in Philadelphia in 1946. Williams did so in 1947, staying with them for eleven years. Her first recording with the group was "How Far Am I from Canaan" (1948), followed by the breakthrough "Surely God Is Able", which launched Williams and the rest of the group into superstardom. Their concerts were mobbed by frenzied fans. Independence Hall Philadelphia (sometimes referred to as Philly or the City of Brotherly Love) is the fifth most populous city in the United States and the largest city in the state of Pennsylvania, both in area and population. ... 1946 was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... 1947 was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1948 is a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ...


Dissatisfied with the low pay she was receiving while starring for the group, Williams left the Ward Singers in 1958, followed by most of the rest of the group, to form the Stars of Faith. The Stars of Faith was unable, however, to reproduce the success the Ward Singers had enjoyed, as Williams retreated from the spotlight to give other members of the group more opportunity to star. 1958 was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The group's career recovered, however, in 1961, when it appeared in Black Nativity, an off-Broadway production, and toured across North America and Europe. In 1965, Williams began a solo career but soon returned to Miami for her mother's funeral. While there, she felt reinspired to continue her career and began touring college campuses across the country. Her perhaps best-known hit is from this period -- "Standing Here Wondering Which Way to Go". She was honored as a MacArthur Fellow in 1993 and died in 1994. 1961 was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... Off-Broadway plays or musicals are performed in New York City in smaller theatres than Broadway, but larger than Off-Off-Broadway, productions. ... World map showing location of North America A satellite composite image of North America North America is a continent in the northern hemisphere, bounded on the north by the Arctic Ocean, on the east by the North Atlantic Ocean, on the south by the Caribbean Sea, and on the west... Europe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... 1965 was a common year starting on Friday (link goes to calendar). ... The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is a private, independent grantmaking institution. ... 1993 is a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ... 1994 was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International year of the Family. ...


External link

  • http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4784252

  Results from FactBites:
 
Marion Williams Biography - AOL Music (620 words)
In her heyday she was hailed by some critics as one the greatest singers in the U.S. Williams was born in a Miami ghetto, the daughter of a West Indian butcher and a South Carolina laundry woman.
Williams' own love of gospel music began in childhood, and she would sing and listen to it at every opportunity.
Williams' extraordinary singing attracted considerable attention, but though attempts were made to steer her into everything from opera to the blues, she was determined to spread the gospel and by 1946 was known as the best gospel soloist in Miami.
Central Bank of Barbados' Governor Dr Marion Williams Barbados' economic activity expanding (875 words)
Williams said economic activity would expand by between three per cent and three-and-a-half per cent this year, on the strength of increased growth in tourism, construction and wholesale and retail activity.
Williams added that after global travel was affected by terrorist activity elsewhere, the record had shown that travel diverted to a destination like ours.
Williams, who was speaking at a Press conference to review the January to March performance, linked the most recent economic improvement to an estimated 7.1 per cent upturn in the traded sectors, mainly tourism.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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