Rev. Julius Cheeks

At the Gate I Know

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The late Rev. Julius Cheeks is well-known throughout the quartet music industry as one of the hardest quartet lead vocalists during gospel music's Golden Age. His rock-solid baritone voice was at one time able to destroy the best of sound systems. This 1981 release, which is alternately titled "The Legend Lives On," represents another era in the great recording career of Rev. Cheeks. By this time, his voice was damaged beyond repair as a result of both overexertion and improper care. Rev. Cheeks shows his ability to convey powerful messages in song with remakes of his classic recordings and rearrangements of gospel standards. His enlistment of choral background on most of the selections is a surprising success from a lifelong quartet icon. Though his lead singing is at times abrasive, his ability to conduct, arrange, and allow for flawless vocal exchanges with auxiliary singers shows his many years of experience. For example, alternate lead vocalist George McAllister is not only a powerful addition to this project but represents a younger version of Rev. Cheeks. Though his clean, crisp baritone was long gone, Cheeks is able to put his seal of approval on many of his original compositions and arrangements like "At the Gat I Know," "Crying in the Chapel," and "I Want to Go Where Jesus Is." The definite highlight of this project is the powerful yet chilling story of "There's a Man Going Around Taking Names." This mournful selection brings to the forefront the ever-present reminder of mortality that became synonymous with the later compositions of Rev. Cheeks. On the whole, this recording is a powerful look at one of gospel music's legends shortly before his untimely death.

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