Gospel Legend, Inez Andrews, Dies at 83 in Chicago
Some say Chicago gospel icon Inez Andrews was the last of her kind. She was a part of a golden age with other gospel artists such as Albertina Walker, DeLois Barrett and Mahalia Jackson.
The Chicago Tribune reported on her death this week:
Inez Andrews, 83, died at 2:01 p.m. Wednesday in her South Side home, said her granddaughter Vanessa Moultry. A cause of death has not been determined, but Andrews was being treated for cancer, her granddaughter said.
“There’s no one left from that era,” said author Anthony Heilbut, whose book “The Gospel Sound: Good News and Bad Times” is a standard text on the subject. “She was famous for this immense range. She would start soft and then she would zoom up and with tremendous volume hit these piercing notes in natural voice.”
“She would build in such a clever way,” Heilbut added. “Her voice would lift, and she would become a preacher. She had a great sense of theater.”
The music she made reflected the woman she was, those who knew Andrews said.
And Andrews’ arrangement of “Mary, Don’t You Weep” influenced Aretha Franklin’s version of the tune on Franklin’s classic 1972 album “Amazing Grace.”
“Aretha used to tell Inez that she loved her tops (high notes) and that wailing,” Heilbut said.
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