Mates’ Crates, a series headed up by our friend Andrei Sandu, dives into the tales behind records and digs deeper into our connections to music. A Sunday service this time, with a gospel classic.
Label: BGP (originally Sound of Gospel) | Year: 2019 (originally 1979) | Discogs: The Clark Sisters – Everything Is Gonna Be Alright
As part of the musical DNA of everything from soul to disco, and country to rock and roll, I’m really do believe that anyone can enjoy gospel. Some listeners are motivated by religion, but I’m open about not falling into that category.
The Clark Sisters are the daughters of gospel pioneer Dr. Mattie Moss Clark. Born in Selma, Alabama, Dr. Clark began playing piano at the age of six and became the musician for her mother’s services by the age of twelve. As the longest serving International Minister of Music for the Church of God In Christ, her arrangements influenced gospel music for decades.
Her daughters sang from an early age, often performing songs she had written herself. Shortly after divorcing her second husband, Dr. Clark formally created The Clark Sisters, who released their first album in 1973. They cite fellow Detroiter Aretha Franklin as a particular influence, and performed at her funeral in 2018.
Whilst their most successful crossover hit was 1981’s “You Brought The Sunshine” (reminiscent of Stevie Wonder’s “Master Blaster (Jammin’)”), my standout favourite has always been “Everything Is Gonna Be Alright”. Written by Twinkie Clark, and it is no surprise that she became known as ‘the mother of contemporary gospel’ with a string of countless solo hits. The compilation featuring Dave Lee’s remix now goes for hundreds of pounds – as if it needed to be any more dancefloor-ready.
Contemporary artists from Beyonce to Missy Elliott consider The Clark Sisters amongst their inspirations, and it is equally unsurprising that the Sisters’ records have been sampled countless times by the likes of Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z and Aaliyah. In perhaps their most surprising crossover, the Sisters’ seventeenth studio album – released in 2020 – even features Snoop Dogg.