While a host of gospel greats got their start in the Meditation Singers, their rendition of the Rev. James Cleveland’s “He Has Done Something for Me” is unmatched.
Click to listen to this episode.
Click the title above to read along.
Listen to this week’s featured song.
Welcome to Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments. I’m Robert Darden. In 1947, Ernestine Rundless, the wife of E.A. Rundless of the Soul Stirrers, started a new gospel group in Detroit, which she named the Meditation Singers. The group, which had as many as eight members originally, included Marie Waters and her sister, Deloreese Early. If that last name sounds familiar, you’re right… deloreese would leave the Meditations in 1953 to sing R&B and pop music and eventually join the cast of the TV series, “Touched by an Angel” … as Della Reese!But the Rundless quickly tapped her daughter, Laura Lee, to fill Reese’s spot. Laura too would eventually leave and enjoy a superb career as a soul and R&B singer herself. Still another notable member of the Meditation Singers, by the way, was Casietta George, who would later join the famed Caravan Singers.Fortunately, the Meditations kept going – for a time, anyway – and yet another famous alum, the Rev. James Cleveland served as their pianist and primary songwriter. And it’s a Cleveland song, “He Has Done Something for Me,” that’s the highlight of this battered HOB 45 from 1962. It’s classic Cleveland, too – a slow burn gospel ballad that ends with Ernestine preaching and shouting the Word over the last couple of minutes! MUSIC: “He Has Done Something for Me,” the Meditation Singers, 45 I’m Robert Darden … “Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments” is produced by KWBU, the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project at Baylor University Libraries and is funded by generous support from the Prichard Foundation.