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Remembering gospel music legend Bishop Rance Allen

In Black America

On this edition of In Black America, producer and host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with the late gospel recording artist Bishop Rance Allen.

Bishop Allen and his brothers, Tom and Steve, formed The Rance Allen Group in 1969. The three introduced a new contemporary and innovative sound to the gospel music audience, incorporating rock, jazz, and soul into the music.

In 1972, they signed with Stax Records’ Gospel Truth subsidiary where they recorded a series of gospel songs that won them main-stage tours with R&B headliners such as Isaac Hayes and Barry White. They went on to record a number of gospel classics such as ‘You That I Trust,’ ‘Do Your Will,’ and ‘I Belong To You.’ The group was honored with the BMI Trailblazer Award in 2008.

Bishop Allen talked about not signing with Motown Records; being one of 12 children; being in the music industry for 40-plus years; how his group changed the sound of gospel music; and being an ordained elder in the church.

Bishop Allen died on Oct. 31, 2020. He was 71.

John L. Hanson is the producer and host of the nationally syndicated radio series In Black America. It’s heard on home station KUT at 10 p.m. Tuesdays and 6:30 a.m. Sundays — and weekly on close to 20 stations across the country. The weekly podcast of IBA, the only nationally broadcast Black-oriented public affairs radio program, is one of KUT’s most popular podcasts.
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