El Dantes Gabriel S. Hardeman Georgia gospel music Pennsylvania Philadephia rhythm and blues Savoy Records The Delegation United States

Singer-songwriter Gabriel S. Hardeman dies

Gabriel S. Hardeman

According to a recent news release, singer-songwriter Gabriel S. Hardeman, 68, best-known for co-writing R&B star Stephanie Mills’ 1987 #1 hit “I Feel Good All Over” and Teddy Pendergrass’ “Truly Blessed”, died on Saturday, June 16 in the Philadelphia area from complications of interstitial fibrosis. He was diagnosed with the illness in May 2000 but with medication functioned well until 2005, when he started intermittently using a portable oxygen tank. His condition improved after a 2009 single lung transplant at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, but he recently began contacting friends to say that his prognosis was grim and to say goodbye.
Born December 13, 1943, in College Park, Ga., where his father was an African Methodist Episcopal pastor. He kicked off his music career by singing and playing piano at his dad’s church. His parents moved the family up north for better financial opportunities when he was still a youth. They settled in Harrisburg, Penn., before finally moving to Philadelphia where Hardeman graduated from William Penn High School.
After graduation, he briefly joined R&B band, the El Dantes, before going off to West Virginia State College as a physical education major. Upon graduation, he worked as a physical education teacher, and it’s during that period that The Gabriel Hardeman Delegation was born. 

“There was a talent show, and I wanted to get some kids together and do some gospel music,” he told Rashod Ollison at Philadelphia Inquirer in 2001. “’Oh Happy Day’ was hot then. I had about 40 kids, and the next thing you know, word got around and we had like, 80 kids in the choir.”
They started performing throughout the year, but he’d lose his best singers as they graduated from high school, so he decided to create an independent group and named it The Delegation in 1973.

“We were doing then what folks like Kirk Franklin are doing now,” he told the Inquirer. “We would go into these conservative churches, and they would tell us we were doing the devil’s music.” The group signed to Savoy Records, where they recorded hit albums such as the self-titled LP that featured the radio hit “Feels Like Fire” and earned a Grammy Award nomination.
Hardeman became disenchanted with the politics of the gospel world and retired from recording for a while. However, he and his wife, Annette Hardeman (from the disco era trio, First Choice, best known for “Dr. Love”) began to write songs together. They wrote Stephanie Mills’ #1 R&B hit “I Feel Good All Over,” Mikki Howard’s #2 R&B smash “Love Under New Management” and a “This Is the Last Time” and “Truly Blessed” for Teddy Pendergrass. They also did backing vocal sessions for R&B acts such as Patti Labelle, Phil Perry and Phyllis Hyman.
Eventually, the industry demand for them to write more salacious R&B music conflicted with their faith, and they devoted themselves to writing and producing gospel music. Aside from writing for gospel acts such as Edwin Hawkins and the Wilmington-Chester Mass Choir, Hardeman recorded his own albums for the Messiah and Birthright labels before making a comeback with the Stellar Award nominated To the Chief Musician CD in 2001. Hardeman returned to Atlanta in 2003 to take care of his elderly parents, and he became a pastor in the Belleview Circuit AME Churches in the city. He returned to Philadelphia in 2008 to take advantage of the better medical facilities in the city.
He is survived by his wife, Annette Hardeman, and their son, Michael.


Black Gospel Promo Black Music Month gospel music new releases Pennsylvania releases United States Veda Brown

Habakkuk Music and kick off Black Music Month with compilation CD

For a decade now, Veda Brown’s’s online media marketing has served as one of the most effective methods to reach the black gospel consumer. It reaches nearly 200,000 people daily and advertises everything from Tyler Perry movies to gospel superstar Kirk Franklin’s CDs. For a few years now, Brown has had the desire to create a compilation CD of gospel songs to market via her firm, and now the time has finally come just in time for Black Music Month. 

“I’ve been wanting to do this for years,” says Brown, who is based in Philadelphia, Penn., in a news release. “So many of my friends in the industry have stepped up and allowed us to use their songs for this project, and I’m grateful. Indie labels and artists have become a major force in music so we’ve selected some of the best indie tracks to create a must-have CD compilation. “
Habakkuk Music has signed on to release not just one installment but also a series of compilation CDs with The first CD is entitled, “Got Gospel? The Best Indie Tracks, Yesterday, Today & Forever.”  The project hits stores on Tuesday, June 5, 2012, and features this exciting mix of recent hits and future classics:
1.            God is Great – Ricky Dillard and New G
2.            Lord, You’re Mighty – Youthful Praise featuring J.J. Hairston
3.            I Want To Say Thank You – Lisa Page Brooks
4.            Window – Canton Jones
5.            No Looking Back – Damita
6.            I Give Myself Away – William McDowell
7.            You That I Trust – The Rance Allen Group
8.            The More I Seek You – Gail Holmes
9.            Big -Valencia Lacy & Unquenchable Worshippers
10.            Send Your Rain – Clint Brown featuring Marvin Winans
11.            Alright – Gerald Scott
12.            Mario Winans’ “Overcomer” Remix – Vickie Winans
13.            Be Like You – Cheneta Jones
14.            The Best Time of My Life – Bryan Wilson
To learn more about Habakkuk, visit for more information.