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The Mighty Clouds of Joy

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Contemporary gospel's preeminent group, the Mighty Clouds of Joy carried the torch for the traditional quartet vocal style throughout an era dominated by solo acts and choirs; pioneering a distinctively funky sound which over time gained grudging acceptance even among purists, they pushed spiritual music in new and unexpected directions, even scoring a major disco hit. The Mighty Clouds of Joy were formed in Los Angeles during the mid-'50s by schoolmates Joe Ligon and Johnny Martin; while still in their teens, the original group -- which also included brothers Ermant and Elmo Franklin, Leon Polk and Richard Wallace -- made their recorded debut in 1960 with "Steal Away to Jesus," cut for the Peacock label. Their debut LP Family Circle arrived a year later. In the years that followed, the Mighty Clouds earned a reputation among gospel's greatest showmen; one of the first groups to incorporate choreographed moves into their act, their nimble footwork and bright, color-coordinated outfits earned them the sobriquet "The Temptations of Gospel." More importantly, they were the first group to add bass, drums and keyboards to the standard quartet accompaniment of solo guitar, resulting in a sound which horrified traditionalists but appealed to younger listeners -- so much so, in fact, that the Mighty Clouds became the first gospel act ever to appear on television's Soul Train, where they performed their disco smash "Mighty High." Their crossover success continued with opening slots for secular pop stars including Marvin Gaye, the Rolling Stones and Paul Simon, whom the group backed during a month-long stint at Madison Square Garden. While lineup changes plagued the Mighty Clouds throughout their career, they remained active through the 1990s; in addition to co-founders Ligon and Wallace, their latter-day incarnation also included Michael McCowin, Wilbert Williams, Johnny Valentine and Ron Staples. ~ Jason Ankeny
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Albums by
The Mighty Clouds of Joy

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    10 songs

    On Air

    At the Revival

    12 songs

    On Air

    I Want to Thank You

    10 songs

    On Air

    A Bright Side

    10 songs

    On Air

    Power

    10 songs

    On Air

    Sing & Shout

    8 songs

    On Air

    God Is, Yes My Good Is

    8 songs

    On Air

    My Time's Not Over

    9 songs

    On Air

    Changing Times

    9 songs

    On Air

    Catching On

    9 songs

    On Air

    Night Song

    10 songs

    On Air

    20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection, Vol. 2

    34 songs

    On Air

    Classic 3

    11 songs

    On Air

    Best of the Mighty Clouds of Joy [Universal]

    10 songs

    On Air

    Harvest Gospel

    15 songs

    On Air

    The Ultimate Collection

    10 songs

    On Air

    The Definitive Gospel Collection

    11 songs

    On Air

    Platinum Praise Collection

    12 songs

    On Air

    Gospel Legacy

    14 songs

    On Air

    The Greatest Hits of Mighty Clouds of Joy

    20 songs

    On Air

    Mighty Clouds of Joy: Super Set

    12 songs

    On Air

    20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Mighty Clouds of Joy

    10 songs

    On Air

    Glory Hallelujah

    10 songs

    On Air

    Memory Lane: The Best of the Mighty Clouds of Joy

    11 songs

    On Air

    The Best of the Mighty Clouds of Joy

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