The Reverend Dr. James Cleveland (December 5, 1931 – February 9, 1991) was a gospel singer, arranger, composer and, most significantly, the driving force behind the creation of the modern gospel sound, bringing the stylistic daring of hard gospel and jazz and pop music influences to arrangements for mass choirs. He is known as the King of Gospel music.
Cleveland capitalized on his success by founding his own choir, the Southern California Community Choir, as well as a church,[Cornerstone Institutional Baptist Church],that went from a handful of congregants(10)to thousands of members during his life.
His influence stretched even further: like Dorsey before him, he taught others how to achieve the modern gospel sound through his annual Gospel Singers Workshop Convention, put on by the Gospel Music Workshop of America (“GMWA”), an organization that Cleveland founded,and now which has over 30,000 members in 150 chapters. The GMWA has produced, among others, John P. Kee.
James Cleveland "Where is Your Faith" Metro Mass Choir COGIC