THIS WEEK'S NEWS: George Huff, Michael W. Smith & More
- Friday, November 05, 2004
Well, kids. It's time to 'fess up.
You KNOW you can't wait 'til "American Idol" resumes this coming January. It's the fourth edition of the reality series where regular old Joes can sing their hearts out and break into the music biz IF America chooses them.
Yes, it's a guilty pleasure. And yes, I'll probably be watching.
One of my favorites from last season, "regular old Joe" and former New Orleans short-order cook George Huff, was the last man standing (literally) during that competition. And you know what? Doing his "American Idol" time garnered him a deal with Word Records.
The raspy-voiced, soulful singer who cites Gospel music as his favorite music genre and is also an evangelist (who knew?) will see his first project, "George Huff: My Christmas EP," released on Tuesday, November 9. While not the most original title for a disc, hopefully the music won't disappoint with a track listing including: "Angels We Have Heard on High/Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," "Silent Night," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "Oh Holy Night" and "Go, Tell It on the Mountain."
Somehow, George managed to record these tracks during a hectic touring season that ended back in September with last season's "American Idol" contestants and winner (Fantasia). Producer Cedric Caldwell (Whitney Houston, Smokie Norful, Michelle Williams) has said that George "created great interpretations of holiday standards that we'll all be listening to for years to come" and that he's a guy "whose heart is just as large as his voice." That is so nice. So we'll pay him later.
Anyhow, be on the lookout for George's upcoming television appearances on "The 700 Club" (November 30), "Fox Morning News" (December 1), "Fox and Friends" (December 3) and as a special guest on the "7th Annual Soul Train Christmas Star Fest" airing in syndication from December 4-20. George's full-length debut disc drops sometime in 2005, but until then, be sure to visit him on the Web at www.georgehuffworld.com.
Also brand-spanking new on the Gospel music front is the sophomore release from The Williams Sisters, "Power in the House" (EMI Gospel/Messiah Records) and "Sunday Morning Worship" (Integrity Gospel) from GRAMMY-nominated Integrity Gospel recording artist Joe Pace. Designed to follow a typical order of service and intended for both corporate and personal worship, "Sunday Morning Worship" is currently No. 1 on ChristianBeats Praise & Worship chart and is the third installment in the "Joe Pace Presents" series.
Since it doesn't seem like a recording career is keeping him busy enough, Pace is also the director and CEO of the Colorado Mass Choir and just completed his first book, "From Performance to Praise – Moving Music Ministry to the Next Level" (Serenity Publishing Company).
Keeping up with the Pace's – and another man who knows a thing or two about staying busy – is Michael W. Smith whose 18th album, "Healing Rain," just released last week and debuted at No. 1 this week on Nielsen SoundScan's Top Christian Albums chart and Top Current Contemporary Christian char with a total of 54,520 units scanned.
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