Archive for October 2010




Albertina Walker…. gospel legend in a big way…

When I went up over the internet tonight I wasn’t at all surprised when I saw something come up with Albertina Walker’s name in the title.  I felt that it was an announcement about her having passed… even though I hadn’t heard anything on it until that time.

But I had noticed in seeing Albertina in various video footage and on a television program that she seemed weaker… a bit more sickly.    The television show I saw her on was a reception honoring her.

It is nice to give people flowers while they are yet alive.  That is what these people at that event had come to do for Albertina.  And she seemed so humble as she sat in her wheel chair beaming  up at them all barely able to speak.

Sometimes, when you begin to age and fall off  the horizon people turn away from you.  They forget your name… who you are… or  who you were.  But Albertina Walker did more for gospel music than just sing  it… and sing it with a passion.   She knew also talent when she saw it… and could pick voices… people with unspeakable gifts by way of  their vocal cords.    It is through her that such notable gospel artists, such as Shirley Ann Caesar first caught our attention… when she began performing with Albertina’s group, the Caravans, at a very young age.

http://woldcnews.com/national/woldcnews/albertina-walker-passes-away-at-81/

Also  part of  Albertina’s group, the Caravans, was Dorothy Norwood… who is still on the gospel scene just like the Queen of  Gospel Music, Shirley Caesar.  But the Caravan also included some other great and mighty powerful gospel singers… such as Inez Andrews,  Rosetta Stone and others.

In fact, I was surprised to read in the announcement of  Albertina’s passing that I found in my email today…  that James Cleveland also got his start under Albertina Walker as well.

I also did not know that Albertina Walker had been a protegé of  the late and very great Miss Mahalia Jackson.  What a background… what musical history… and what  gospel music history.  My mother …and I guess everyone about her age and older…all loved Mahalia.  She was truly an icon.

While I was working at a radio station in Jersey some years ago… I got the opportunity to see Albertina perform.  The show was at a small church some place in Newark, New Jersey.   I got there early because I wanted a good seat… so I was there to see when Albertina first walked in.

Albertina came walking in …in this fabulous full length fur coat.  And ever since having seen that coat… I have had my sights on buying me a fabulous full length fur coat ever since.

That coat was talking.   It was absolutely beautiful.  And I could tell that it was also absolutely expensive.

And it looked fantastically marvelous on Albertina.

The show was  promoted by 1 of  the other radio announcers from the same radio station that I worked for.  His name was Herman Amish. .. I call it because I know a lot of  people know him, as he was popular on the gospel circuit.   Especially with the old-timer gospel acts…  because Herman did a lot of  gospel promoting in and around Newark area at that time.  And he knew almost   all of2ab-the-bishop-wifecover the gospel acts during and before that time… as he had more than likely probably booked them for a show 1 time or other.

But of all the shows that Herman had done… it  was View Bernadine Smith's profile on FiledByAlbertina Walker’s show that I went to.  I had long admired her voice and her musical skills and  genius when it came to relaying feeling in her songs.   But I never knew she was a song writer too.  Albertina wrote “Please Be Patient With Me”  …and personal favorite of mine… “Joy Will Come.”  

I will never forget that when my mother passed Shirley Caesar had released “Joy Will Come” on her then latest CD.  And it was a duo with Albertina… there is nothing like it.

I have hunted high and low to find that CD ever since.  Because it gave me so much comfort at a very low time in my life… to hear it.  And I would sit at that radio station playing it over and over…and over again  just crying and thinking about my mother.

There are few real song writers any more.  And even fewer real people with true talent.

Truly, Albertina may have been gone from the scene for some time but her imprint will linger forever in gospel music… and its history.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Caravans

This morning a true gospel legend passed…  and her name was Albertina Walker.  She passed due to respiratory failure.   She was 81… and has now gone on home.

I don’t know about where you live… but the weather here has been unpredictable.  For a few days it has been wet and cold… then suddenly it is unbearably cold.

At any rate the leaves are starting to change colors now.  So, I guess we are really into fall now.

Hope you have a great weekend.  I understand that it is supposed to be a 3 day weekend.  Guess I’ll run around tomorrow so I can rest all day on Monday.  Definitely, sounds like a plan.

Well, God bless…

Thank you for reading this blog…and  my others.  Please be sure to continue to share this blog site with your family, co-workers and all your friends“pass it on…”  www.bsmith101.wordpress.com  ©2010

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2 comments October 9, 2010

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