Sounds Of Blackness

Profile:
A 40-person choir and ten-piece orchestra led by Gary Hines, combined traditional African music with urban soul to become one of the most distinctive and popular contemporary gospel groups. Over the course of their career, the group won many awards, from organizations as diverse as the Grammies and the NAACP.

Russel Knighton formed the group, The Macalester College Black Chores, that would prove to be the origins of Sounds of Blackness in 1969 at St. Paul, Minnesota's Macalester College. In 1971, Gary Hines was hired as their musical director and the group began developed its own identity. They opened the group up to the entire community and expanded their musical scope to concentrate on all aspects of black music. They designed the group as a way to embrace all manners of African-American music and create rich, diverse music to celebrate God and the human spirit, as well as make social statements. With their new direction in mind, the group renamed themselves Sounds of Blackness.

For the first decade and a half of the group's existence, Sounds of Blackness primarily played around Minneapolis, often opening for acts as diverse as The Jackson 5 and Hampton Hawes. They frequently released their own records, which helped them strengthen their local following.

Partially by choice, Sounds of Blackness remained a regional attraction until 1989, when Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, the hot Minneapolis-based production team, brought Janet Jackson to one of their concerts. Jackson's enthusiastic response inspired Jam & Lewis, who were already in negotiations with Sounds of Blackness, to sign the group to Perspective Records/A&M Records immediately. Before the Perspective deal, any major label interested in the Sounds Of Blackness asked the group to streamline their sound to include only gospel or R&B, or asked them to change their name to "Sounds Of Music"; it wasn't until Perspective that they were allowed to keep their style and sound intact.

The group's national debut album, "The Evolution Of Gospel", was largely produced by Jam & Lewis and received strong reviews. The pair produced the group's next two records, 1992's "The Night Before Christmas" (A Musical Fantasy) and 1994's "Africa to America: The Journey of the Drum", as well.
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Albums

S80-719-3576S Images Of Blackness — Sounds Of Blackness Sounds Of Blackness Images Of Blackness(LP) Sound 80 S80-719-3576S USA & Canada 1974 Sell This Version
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none Images II — Sounds Of Blackness Sounds Of Blackness Images II(LP, Album) Not On Label none US 1975 Sell This Version
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CPO 398 The Night Before Christmas - A Musical Fantasy — Sounds Of Blackness Sounds Of Blackness The Night Before Christmas - A Musical Fantasy (Album) ASI Records CPO 398 US 1978 Sell This Version
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395 361-4 The Evolution Of Gospel — Sounds Of Blackness Sounds Of Blackness The Evolution Of Gospel (Album) Perspective Records 395 361-4 Europe 1991 Sell This Version
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74041-70234-2 Moses In Egypt — Sounds Of Blackness Danny Glover, The Sounds Of Blackness* Danny Glover, The Sounds Of Blackness* - Moses In Egypt(CD) Rabbit Ears Productions 74041-70234-2 US 1993 Sell This Version
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549 009-1 Africa To America; The Journey Of The Drum — Sounds Of Blackness Sounds Of Blackness Africa To America; The Journey Of The Drum (Album) Perspective Records 549 009-1 UK & Europe 1994 Sell This Version
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POCM-1134 Remix Collection: Journey Of The Drum — Sounds Of Blackness Sounds Of Blackness Remix Collection: Journey Of The Drum(CD, Album) Perspective Records, A&M Records POCM-1134 Japan 1995 Sell This Version
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31454 9029 2 Time For Healing — Sounds Of Blackness Sounds Of Blackness Time For Healing (Album) Perspective Records 31454 9029 2 US 1997 Sell This Version
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ZINC 2001-4 Reconciliation — Sounds Of Blackness Sounds Of Blackness Reconciliation (Album) Zinc Records ZINC 2001-4 US 1999 Sell This Version
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825441 11111 Soul Symphony — Sounds Of Blackness Sounds Of Blackness Soul Symphony(CD, Album) Sounds Of Blackness Records 825441 11111 US 2002 Sell This Version
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11020 The Night Before Christmas 2 — Sounds Of Blackness Sounds Of Blackness The Night Before Christmas 2(CD, Album) Atomic K Records 11020 US 2004 Sell This Version
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54693-2 Unity — Sounds Of Blackness Sounds of Blackness Unity(CD, Album) Lightyear Entertainment, SLR Records (3) 54693-2 US 2005 Sell This Version
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ATKSOB-11021 Kings & Queens / Message Music From The Movement — Sounds Of Blackness Sounds Of Blackness Kings & Queens / Message Music From The Movement(CD) Atomic K Records ATKSOB-11021 US 2007 Sell This Version
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CCE9115 The 3rd Gift Story, Song & Spirit — Sounds Of Blackness Sounds Of Blackness The 3rd Gift Story, Song & Spirit(CD, Album) Sounds Of Blackness Records Inc CCE9115 US 2009 Sell This Version
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MCD6040 The Sounds Of Blackness — Sounds Of Blackness The Sounds Of Blackness* The Sounds Of Blackness(CD, Album) Malaco Records MCD6040 US 2011 Sell This Version
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UICY-80186 Sounds Of Blackness The Night Before Christmas - A Musical Fantasy(CD, Album, RE) Universal Music Group UICY-80186 Japan 2022 Sell This Version
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Singles & EPs

28968 0001 4 Optimistic — Sounds Of Blackness Sounds Of Blackness Optimistic (Single, Maxi) Perspective Records 28968 0001 4 US 1991 Sell This Version
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28968 1207-1 Testify — Sounds Of Blackness The Sounds Of Blackness* Testify (Single, Maxi) Perspective Records 28968 1207-1 US 1991 Sell This Version
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PERSS 816 The Pressure (Pt. 1) — Sounds Of Blackness Sounds Of Blackness The Pressure (Pt. 1) (Single, Maxi) Perspective Records PERSS 816 US 1991 Sell This Version
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AMDJ 061091 Optimistic / Every Heartbeat — Sounds Of Blackness Sounds Of Blackness / Amy Grant Sounds Of Blackness / Amy Grant - Optimistic / Every Heartbeat(12", Promo) A&M Records AMDJ 061091 US 1991 Sell This Version
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AMDJ093091 Finally / The Pressure Pt.1 — Sounds Of Blackness Ce Ce Peniston / Sounds Of Blackness Ce Ce Peniston / Sounds Of Blackness - Finally / The Pressure Pt.1(12", Promo) A&M Records AMDJ093091 1991 Sell This Version
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31458-8069-1 Joy — Sounds Of Blackness Sounds Of Blackness Joy (Single) Perspective Records 31458-8069-1 US 1992 Sell This Version
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PERDJ 7414 Soul Holidays / Joy — Sounds Of Blackness Sounds Of Blackness Soul Holidays / Joy (Single) Perspective Records, Columbia Pictures PERDJ 7414 UK 1992 Sell This Version
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PERDJ 849 Optimistic / Testify — Sounds Of Blackness Sounds Of Blackness Optimistic / Testify (Single) Perspective Records PERDJ 849 UK 1992 Sell This Version
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PSSAD 0018 2 Black Butterfly — Sounds Of Blackness Sounds Of Blackness Black Butterfly (Single) Perspective Records PSSAD 0018 2 US 1994 Sell This Version