On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Gospel recording artist Bishop Rance Allen.
Bishop Allen and his brothers Tom and Steve formed The Rance Allen Group in 1969 and introduced a new contemporary and innovative sound to the gospel music audience, incorporating rock, jazz and soul into the music.
One of 12 children, Allen preached his first sermon and started performing as a gospel singer at age 5. He began playing piano by age 7 and the guitar a few years later.
In 1972, they signed with Stax Records’ Gospel Truth subsidiary where they recorded a series of gritty gospel songs that won them main-stage tours with R&B headliners such as Isaac Hayes and Barry White. They went on to record a number of gospel classics such as ‘You That I Trust,’ ‘Do Your Will,’ and ‘I Belong To You.’ The group was honored with the BMI Trailblazer Award in 2008.
For 40 plus years, The Rance Allen Group has crossed many boundaries, influenced countless artists and made musical history with their lives and music. In 2009 he was celebrated as one of the Great Men of Gospel by The Black Academy of Arts and Letters and has made a name for himself as an actor by appearing in several gospel music stage and on-screen productions. The Rance Allen Group has released their third ‘live’ CD entitled 'The Rance Allen Group: Live in San Francisco.'