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 Sounds Of Blackness - Images Of Blackness album art Sounds Of Blackness Images Of Blackness(LP) Sound 80 S80-719-3576S USA & Canada 1974 Sell This Version
none Sounds Of Blackness - Images II album art Sounds Of Blackness Images II(LP, Album) Not On Label none US 1975 Sell This Version
CPO 398 Sounds Of Blackness - The Night Before Christmas - A Musical Fantasy album art Sounds Of Blackness The Night Before Christmas - A Musical Fantasy (Album) ASI Records CPO 398 US 1978 Sell This Version
395 361-4 Sounds Of Blackness - The Evolution Of Gospel album art Sounds Of Blackness The Evolution Of Gospel (Album) Perspective Records 395 361-4 Netherlands 1991 Sell This Version
74041-70234-2 Sounds Of Blackness - Moses In Egypt album art 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
549 009-1 Sounds Of Blackness - Africa To America; The Journey Of The Drum album art Sounds Of Blackness Africa To America; The Journey Of The Drum (Album) Perspective Records 549 009-1 UK & Europe 1994 Sell This Version
POCM-1134 Sounds Of Blackness - Remix Collection: Journey Of The Drum album art Sounds Of Blackness Remix Collection: Journey Of The Drum(CD, Album) Polydor POCM-1134 Japan 1995 Sell This Version
31454 9029 2 Sounds Of Blackness - Time For Healing album art Sounds Of Blackness Time For Healing (Album) Perspective Records 31454 9029 2 US 1997 Sell This Version
PSSAC 00424 Sounds Of Blackness - Time For Healing (Album Preview) album art Sounds Of Blackness Time For Healing (Album Preview)(Cass, Promo, Smplr) Perspective Records PSSAC 00424 US 1997 Sell This Version
ZINC 2001-4 Sounds Of Blackness - Reconciliation album art Sounds Of Blackness Reconciliation (Album) Zinc Records ZINC 2001-4 US 1999 Sell This Version
825441 11111 Sounds Of Blackness - Soul Symphony album art Sounds Of Blackness Soul Symphony(CD, Album) Sounds Of Blackness Records 825441 11111 US 2002 Sell This Version
11020 Sounds Of Blackness - The Night Before Christmas 2 album art Sounds Of Blackness The Night Before Christmas 2(CD, Album) Atomic K Records 11020 US 2004 Sell This Version
54693-2 Sounds Of Blackness - Unity album art Sounds of Blackness Unity(CD, Album) Lightyear Entertainment 54693-2 US 2005 Sell This Version
ATKSOB-11021 Sounds Of Blackness - Kings & Queens / Message Music From The Movement album art Sounds Of Blackness Kings & Queens / Message Music From The Movement(CD) Atomic K Records ATKSOB-11021 US 2007 Sell This Version
CCE9115 Sounds Of Blackness - The 3rd Gift Story, Song & Spirit album art Sounds Of Blackness The 3rd Gift Story, Song & Spirit(CD, Album) Sounds Of Blackness Records Inc CCE9115 US 2009 Sell This Version
MCD6040 Sounds Of Blackness - The Sounds Of Blackness album art The Sounds Of Blackness* The Sounds Of Blackness(CD, Album) Malaco Records MCD6040 US 2011 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

AMDJ093091 Sounds Of Blackness - Finally / The Pressure Pt.1 album art 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
28968 0001 4 Sounds Of Blackness - Optimistic album art Sounds Of Blackness Optimistic (Maxi, Single) Perspective Records 28968 0001 4 US 1991 Sell This Version
28968 1207-1 Sounds Of Blackness - Testify album art The Sounds Of Blackness* Testify (Single, Maxi) Perspective Records 28968 1207-1 US 1991 Sell This Version
PERSS 816 Sounds Of Blackness - The Pressure (Pt. 1) album art Sounds Of Blackness The Pressure (Pt. 1) (Single, Maxi) Perspective Records PERSS 816 US 1991 Sell This Version
AMDJ 061091 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
31458-8069-1 Sounds Of Blackness - Joy album art Sounds Of Blackness Joy (Single) Perspective Records 31458-8069-1 US 1992 Sell This Version
PERDJ 7414 Sounds Of Blackness - Soul Holidays / Joy album art Sounds Of Blackness Soul Holidays / Joy (Single) Perspective Records, Columbia Pictures PERDJ 7414 UK 1992 Sell This Version
PERDJ 849 Sounds Of Blackness - Optimistic / Testify album art Sounds Of Blackness Optimistic / Testify (Single) Perspective Records PERDJ 849 UK 1992 Sell This Version
PERDJ 425 Sounds Of Blackness - I'm Going All The Way album art The Sounds Of Blackness* I'm Going All The Way (Single, Maxi) Perspective Records, A&M PM PERDJ 425 UK 1993 Sell This Version