The two biggest independent African American owned gospel recording labels in the world - Blacksmoke Music Worldwide and Tyscot Records - pulled over 27,000 viewers for a special Facebook-YouTube live virtual event entitled, Trust in You, this past Sunday. Instead of a Versus battle, the two company CEOs - Kerry Douglas (Blacksmoke) and Bryant Scott (Tyscot) - came together to swap stories on their humble beginnings, the grind to make it to the top of the music world and to celebrate the labels' rich music catalogues.
The more two-hour presentation was adroitly moderated by veteran radio announcer K.D. Bowe who currently hosts the midday shift at Atlanta's Praise 102.5 FM. Veteran radio announcers Pam Morris and Frank Walton zoomed in to provide perspective on the importance of independent record labels keeping gospel music fresh and relevant.
Grammy® Award nominated artists such as James Fortune and Anthony Brown made appearances and shared funny stories of getting signed to their respective labels. Past and current Blacksmoke acts such as Keith "Wonderboy" Johnson, Jimmy Hicks, Shawn Mclemore, Zacardi Cortez were on hand to share memories and Earnest Pugh sang "Rain on Us." Pastor Mike Jr., who recently spent 9 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Gospel Airplay chart with his debut single "BIG," premiered the music video for his new radio single, "I Got It."
For the Tyscot side, Co-founder Bishop Leonard Scott, VaShawn Mitchell, Benita Jones were on hand too. Bri Babineaux performed her new radio single "He's My Rock" and the legendary Rance Allen shared a funny story about how he came to record his signature song, "Something About the Name Jesus" and then performed the song from his home office. Anthony Brown & group therAPy closed the event with one of its biggest hits, "Trust in You."
"We are very pleased with the numbers of people who watched," says Bryant Scott. "For that many people to turn out to watch two label executives talk about the music business shows that there's a need and desire for this sort of inspirational programming on social media." Douglas adds that, "This was a history making event. We gave inside secrets to how we made it from the cassette era to making major moves in the music industry in the digital era. The only way we are going to make it through this pandemic as businesspeople is by working together and helping each other to keep the gospel music industry strong. United we stand or divided we fall. Let's stand."
When Kerry Douglas was working as a car salesman, he began staging Hip-Hop concerts in the parking lot to draw customers and his sales doubled. He eventually went into concert promotions fulltime. Then, after a near-death situation, he became a Christian and decided to use his marketing skills to help aspiring gospel artists. He launched Black Smoke Music Worldwide from his garage circa 1995. One of his first acts His first act was Keith "Wonderboy" Johnson. Douglas gave him a string of hits such as "Hide Behind the Mountain" and "Send A Revival." Then, he dusted off Evelyn Turrentine-Agee's 20-year old tune "God Did It," remixed it and sent it out to radio. Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) cited it as the most played gospel song of 2000. Later came Jimmy Hicks with the monster smash, "Born Blessed" and Damon Little with "Straddle the Fence." The rest is history. Douglas gave now legendary gospel acts such as James Fortune, Earnest Pugh, Greg O'Quinn, and Zacardi Cortez their big breaks. Now, Douglas is taking other fresh talents such as Demetrius West, Edwrin Sutton and Pastor Mike to the top. Mike's single "Big" spent 9 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard this past spring.
Founded in 1976, Tyscot Records has been making encouraging and life-changing music for over four decades. In their early days, they broke now iconic gospel artists such as John P. Kee, VaShawn Mitchell and Deitrick Haddon early in their careers. They resurrected the Rance Allen Group's career with a string of hits such as "Something About the Name of Jesus" and "You That I Trust." After a long recording hiatus, Tyscot brought the legendary Tommies Reunion back to the gospel music airwaves with their Top 20 smash, "He Worked It Out." They have also continued to find new talents such as the gold-selling Anthony Brown & group therAPy; psalmist Casey J; vocal wonder, Kelontae Gavin; traditional vocalist Adriann Lewis-Freeman and Rizen; and worship leaders such as Bri Babineaux and Benita Jones.
Tags : blacksmoke tyscot benita jones Kerry Douglas Bryan Scott Blacksmoke & Tyscot Anthony Brown James Fortune VaShawn Mitchel bishop leonard scott Bri Babineaux The Rance Allen Group Anthony Brown & group therAPy