Nothing beats a good gospel song when the going gets rough. For centuries, songs like “Amazing Grace” and “His Eye Is On The Sparrow” have proven their utility for getting music fans over the rough side of the mountain. So as we combat both the realities of a global pandemic and a media barrage that sometimes seems as unrelenting as the novel coronavirus itself, music is a balm, and no song brings more comfort that CeCe Winans’ epic “Alabaster Box.” (Source:Michael P Coleman/Michael’s Mind’s Eye)
Written by Janice Sjostrand, “Alabaster Box” details a profound moment of worship. The songwriter declared “Don’t be angry if I wash His feet with my tears and dry them with my hair / You weren’t there the night Jesus found me / You didn’t feel what I felt when He wrapped his loving arms around me / And you don’t know the cost of the oil in my alabaster box.”
Independent of your personal religious beliefs, there’s something powerful about hearing anyone speak their truth as earnestly as Winans does. As it turns out, “Alabaster Box” had quite an impact on the gospel music legend when she heard it for the first time.
“What a song,” Winans declared during a phone chat from her home in Nashville. “I was on tour years ago, and someone gave me a cassette tape and said it had a song on it that I needed to hear. I got into my bunk on the tour bus that night, and I put the song on, and a girl was singing ‘Alabaster Box’, all the way stripped down. I wept, and I wept, and I wept.”
Winans told me that she knew she had to record the song, but the time had to be right.
“I held that song for a few years, because it just had to be the right CD, the right time,” Winans continued. “It describes the meaning and the power of worship. There’s an anointing on that song!”
(The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel Poster via: Lifetime/Facebook/Twitter)
In this quarantine, stay at home time in our lives, celebrations have become very creative. From Zoom parties to Facebook live, we’ve all had to come up with fun ways to mark great occasions.
When “The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel” premiered, it dawned on me that all the celebrations and acknowledgements had to be squashed. But thanks to some amazing people… the moment clearly was not lost on these talented women.
Angela Birchett did a virtual red-carpet premiere with one her best friends Tituss Burgess:
Today I had the opportunity to catch up with Detroit’s own multi-talented, award winning artist, Tasha Page Lockhart. Going by just “Tasha” now, we talked about her new single, “Why Not Me” a song birthed from trusting God’s process – something she has learned well in the last few years.
Tasha said, “We have to stop cursing our process with our words” as the process determines the outcome.
“Why Not Me” is available on all digital platforms beginning Wednesday, February 26th. Catch up with this dynamic sister on her Instagram: @tasha
Anne-Marie Johnson has had an amazing career. I’ve been following her for years from the hit TV series In Living Color, What’s Happening Now, Girlfriends, In the Heat of the Night and Tyler Perry’s House of Pain. On the big screen, she appeared in classics such as Hollywood Shuffle, I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, and Down in the Delta.
I had the opportunity to talk to Anne-Marie about the new relationship drama, Cherish the Day from acclaimed filmmaker Ava DuVernay. We chatted about her diverse rolls and why it’s important to celebrate black love.