Mattie Moss Clark

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Mattie Moss Clark
Birth name Mattie Juliet Moss
Also known as Dr. Mattie Moss Clark
Born (1925-03-26)March 26, 1925
Selma, Alabama, United States
Origin Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died September 22, 1994(1994-09-22) (aged 69)
Southfield, Michigan, United States
Genres gospel music
Occupations Singer, songwriter, musician, conductor, arranger, producer
Instruments vocals, piano, organ
Years active 1958–1994
Labels Savoy,Billesse, NorthBound, Sound of Gospel, Westbound, DME, Mattie Moss Clark Records, Spirit & Truth, Malaco, Sparrow
Associated acts The Clark Sisters
Karen Clark Sheard
Dorinda Clark Cole
Twinkie Clark
Jacky Clark-Chisholm
Kierra "Kiki" Sheard
J Moss

Dr. Mattie Moss-Clark (March 26, 1925 - September 22, 1994) was an American gospel choir director and the mother of The Clark Sisters, a world-renowned gospel vocal group. Clark is credited for creating the three-part harmony (separating vocal parts into soprano, alto and tenor), a technique which is prevalent among gospel choirs today.[1]

Early life[edit]

Mattie Juliet Moss was born the seventh of nine children to ministers Fred and Mattie J. (née Walker) Moss in Selma, Alabama. Moss began playing piano at six. By twelve, she had become the musician for her mother's services at the Holiness Temple Church of Christ in Prayer and traveled with her mother to play at mission services, a trend she passed on to daughter Twinkie. After high school, she attended Selma University and received training in classical music and choral singing. Moss moved to Detroit in her early twenties to be with her sister Sybil Burke and became a member of Greater Love Tabernacle Church of God in Christ. There, under the leadership of Bishop W. Rimson, she was baptized in the Holy Ghost and subsequently became the Minister of Music. She served a historic tenure as Minister of Music for both Southwest Michigan Jurisdiction and Bailey Temple Church of God in Christ, under Bishop John Seth Bailey. Soon she was in demand to train choirs at churches throughout the brotherhood of COGIC.

Career[edit]

In 1958, she recorded "Going to Heaven to Meet the King", with the Southwest Michigan State Choir, becoming the first person to commit the sounds of a choir to record. She was also the first person to separate vocal parts into soprano, alto and tenor. She received three gold albums with the Southwest Michigan State Choir, and went on to write and arrange hundreds of songs and recorded over 50 albums. She directed Cadillac Motor Company's Christmas choir for 11 years and also conducted community-wide mass choirs for the prestigious NAACP Freedom Fund Dinners. In 1979, she founded the Clark Conservatory of Music in Detroit, which established itself as one of the most prestigious schools of its kind in the country. In 1981, Trinity College in Pennsylvania conferred upon her one of their highest honors, the degree of Doctor of Humanities. After the death of Bishop Bailey in 1985, she continued as State Minister of Music for Southwest Michigan Jurisdiction #1, attending Greater Mitchell Church of God in Christ, under Bishop J.H. Sheard. She was also one of the editors and contributors to the hymnal published by the Church of God in Christ entitled, Yes, Lord. When the late Bishop J.O. Patterson appointed her the International President of the Music Department in 1968, she worked to instill within musicians and choirs a responsibility to Christ as well as capability for Christ. Throughout her efforts, young people especially received her and many were saved, and uplifted by her music and message.

She completely revolutionized the music departments. She gave definition to the role of State Minister of Music, traveled year-round to every state in the country conducting workshops, rehearsals and musicals to prepare choirs for service on the National Church level and organized the structure of the National Music Convention of the Church of God in Christ. Dr. Clark introduced the workshop and seminar concept to the convention, and, along with her staff, structured classes for the convention and created "A Star Is Born", the program where new talent was introduced before thousands. Despite failing health, Dr. Clark continued to record music into the last year of her life before succumbing to complications from diabetes on September 25, 1994 in Southfield, Michigan at the age of 69.

Personal life[edit]

Dr. Clark married twice. With her first husband, Mr. Cullum, Clark mothered two children, Leo and Jacqueline. After their divorce, she married Elder Elbert Clark and had four children, Denise, Elbernita "Twinkie", Dorinda and Karen. The Clarks divorced in 1973. Dr. Clark mentored her daughters, having them sing as part of her and their father's church's choir. In 1973, shortly after divorcing Elbert Clark, Dr. Clark sparked the forming of The Clark Sisters. After nearly ten years, Dr. Clark passed all responsibility of the group to daughter Twinkie, who became the leader of the group. Though she became less active in her daughters' career, she remained frequently supportive, even attending and performing with her daughters at the 1983 Grammy Awards.

Discography[edit]

State Choir of Southwestern Michigan C.O.G.I.C. Albums[edit]

  • Going To Heaven to Meet the King (1958)
  • Lord Do Something For Me (KAPP, 1959 KL-1258) - ( Eugene J. Potts, Director)

Southwest Michigan State Choir Albums (Mattie Moss Clark, Composer, Arranger, Director and Co-Chairman)[edit]

  • Wonderful,Wonderful (Savoy, 1963, MG-14077)
  • None But the Pure in Heart (Savoy, 1964, MG-14099)
  • Salvation is Free (Savoy, 1965, MG-14120)
  • A City Called Heaven (Savoy, 1966, MG-14151)
  • A Closer Walk with Thee (Savoy, 1967, MG-14181)
  • Show Me the Way (Savoy, 1968, MG-14193)
  • What I Need/Lord, I'm Thankful (Savoy, 1969, 45 R.P.M.)
  • Lord, Renew My Spirit Within (Savoy, 1968, MG-14203)
  • I'll Take Jesus for Mine (Savoy, 1969, MG-14215)
  • The Best of the Southwest Michigan State Choir (Savoy, 1979, SGL-7032)
  • Christ Won't Fail (Sound of Gospel SOG-132,1982)
  • Humble Thyself (DME Records GP-772, 1984)
  • Dr. Mattie Moss Clark presents a Reunion of the Southwest Michigan State Choir... Live! (Sparrow, 1995)

Mattie Moss Clark & the Clessiastic Sounds Albums[edit]

  • Try Jesus, He Satisfies (Savoy Records MG-14232, 1970)
  • Seek Him and He Will Let You Come In (Savoy Records MG-14249,1971)

Charles Harrison Mason Memorial Choir[edit]

  • Just to Behold His Face(Don't have LP jacket so don't know real title) (Fanco Records 6053, Year?)

Mattie Moss Clark & the Michigan State Community Choir Albums[edit]

  • Wonderful Grace of Jesus (WestBound Records WB4002, 1972)
  • That's Christ (WestBound Records WB4004, 1972)
  • The Hands of God Reached Out and Touched Me (WestBound Records WB4006, 1973)
  • I Don't Know What I Would Do Without the Lord (WestBound Records WB4008, 1974)
  • The Wages Of Sin Is Death (Sound of Gospel,SOG 072, 1975)
  • He Was Hung Up For My Hang-Ups (Sound Of Gospel, SOG-076, 1976)
  • I Am Crucified With Christ (Sound of Gospel, 1978)

Mattie Moss Clark Solo Albums[edit]

  • Make Me That Building Not Made By Hand (Sound of Gospel, SOG 089, 1979)
  • I’m Not Alone (Sound Of Gospel, SOG 88G 097, 1979)
  • Sound Of Gospel Presents (Sound Of Gospel) 1975

Mattie Moss Clark/ Clark Sisters Albums[edit]

  • Mattie Moss Clark Presents the Clark Sisters (Billesse Records, 1974)
  • Jesus Has a Lot to Give (Billesse Records, 1973)
  • Unworthy (Sound of Gospel, 1976)
  • Count It All Joy (Sound of Gospel, SOG-081, 1978)
  • New Dimensions of Christmas Carols (Sound of Gospel, SOC-085, 1978)
  • He Gave Me Nothing to Lose (Sound of Gospel, SOG-?, 1979)
  • Is My Living in Vain (New Birth Records, NB7056, 1980)
  • You Brought the Sunshine (Sound of Gospel, SOG-132, 1981)
  • Sincerely (New Birth Records, NB7058, 1982)

International Mass Choir Albums[edit]

  • COGIC presents Because He Lives (2 LP Set, Recorded Live in Memphis, TN) (Tomato Music Co., 1979)
  • COGIC presents I Can Do All Things (2 LP Set, Recorded Live in Memphis, TN) (Tomato Music Co., 1980)
  • He'll Bring You Out! A Song is Born Celebration Saluting Dr. Mattie Moss Clark's 25th anniversary as president of the COGIC International Music Department(Bellmark Records, 70007-2, 1995)

UNAC-5 United National Auxiliaries Convention Albums[edit]

  • (PRE-UNAC) A Song is Born Vol. III Annual Music Convention of the COGIC, New Orleans,(Sound of Gospel, SOG? Banned for sale, but distributed free by Court Injunction, 1975)
  • UNAC 5 Vol. 4 Part 1 (live in Dallas, Texas, (NorthBound Records 358A, 1976)
  • UNAC 5 Vol. 4 Part 2 (live in Dallas, Texas, (NorthBound Records 358B, 1976)
  • UNAC 5 Vol. 1 UNAC Cleveland/Excerpts recorded @ Baily Cathedral(Sound of Gospel, SOG-087, 1977)
  • UNAC 5 Vol. 2 UNAC Cleveland/Excerpts recorded @ Baily Cathedral(Sound of Gospel, SOG-088, 1977)
  • UNAC 5 SW Michigan State Choir Sings Again/Song is Born [UNAC New Orleans Excerpts] (Sound of Gospel, SOG-083, 1978)
  • UNAC 5 Vol. 1 (live in Los Angeles, CA, July 7, 1979) (Sound of Gospel, SOG 100, 1979)
  • UNAC 5 Vol. 2 (live in Los Angeles, CA,July 7, 1979) (Sound of Gospel, SOG 101, 1979)
  • UNAC 5 Vol. 3 (live in Los Angeles, CA,July 7, 1979) (Sound of Gospel, SOG 102, 1979)
  • UNAC 5 Vol. 4 (live in Los Angeles, CA,July 7, 1979) (Sound of Gospel, SOG 103, 1979)
  • UNAC 5 Miami Beach Vol. 1 Convention Choirs under the direction of Mattie Moss Clark (Sound of Gospel, SOG 111, 1980)
  • UNAC 5 Miami Beach Vol. 2 Convention Choirs under the direction of Mattie Moss Clark (Sound of Gospel, SOG 112, 1980)
  • UNAC 5 Miami Beach Vol. 3 Convention Choirs under the direction of Mattie Moss Clark (Sound of Gospel, SOG 113, 1980)
  • UNAC 5 San Francisco 'A Song is Born' Vol. 1 COGIC 75th Diamond Anniversary (Gospearl Records PL-16011, 1982)
  • UNAC 5 San Francisco 'A Song is Born' Vol. 2 COGIC 75th Diamond Anniversary (Gospearl Records PL-16012, 1982)
  • UNAC 5 Washington D.C. A Song Is Born: U.N.A.C. V (DME Records GP-7773, 1984)
  • UNAC 5 Miami Beach 1985 'A Song is Born' (2 LP Set by Mattie Moss Clark Records, 2D MMC 100ABCD, 1985)
  • UNAC 5 Houston,1986 'A Song is Born' (2 LP Set by Spirit & Truth Records,SAT-6002-DJ, 1986)
  • UNAC 5 Detroit, 1987 'A Song is Born' (2 LP Set by Spiritual Uplift Records, SUR-7712, 1987)
  • UNAC 5 San Francisco, CA 1990 "Go Tell it" (WFL Records, 790-082-2984, 1990)
  • (POST-UNAC)* Dr.Mattie Moss Clark Presents the COGIC National Music Choir 'Live in Atlanta' (Sparrow Records, G2 7243 8 51460 2 2 SPD1460, 1994)

Mattie Moss Clark Presents & Collaborative Projects Albums[edit]

  • The Gospel Workshop Mass Choir Live in Dallas, Texas (Singing 'He Abides') (Savoy Records, 1971)
  • COGIC presents Jesus Is The Light Of My Life – Conducted and Directed by Mattie Moss Clark (Tomato Music Co., 1980)
  • Mattie Moss Clark Presents Esther Smith & the Voices of Deliverance (Sound of Gospel, SOG-106, 1980)
  • Take One Day at a Time" Missionary Essie Moss (with Mattie Moss Clark, Twinkie & Maria Gardner) (Billesse Record Corp. 360, 1980)
  • Live at Ford Auditorium Vol.1 Mattie Moss Clark and the Southwest Michigan State Choir (Sound of Gospel, SOG-107, 1981)
  • Live at Ford Auditorium Vol.2 Mattie Moss Clark and the Southwest Michigan State Choir (Sound of Gospel, SOG-108, 1981)
  • Live at Ford Auditorium Vol.3 Mattie Moss Clark and the Southwest Michigan State Choir (Sound of Gospel, SOG-109, 1981)
  • Mattie Moss Clark Presents Lucylle Lemon and the Lucylle Lemon Gospel Chorus (Sound of Gospel, SOG-123, 1981)
  • Douglas Miller and the Texas Southeast State Choir (COGIC) with Mattie M. Clark (Pearl Record Company PL-16002, 1981)
  • Mattie Moss Clark presents The Greater Williams Temple Choir (COGIC) Live (GosPearl Records, PL-16004, 1982)
  • Once Again, Mattie Moss Clark Presents Esther Smith (Sound of Gospel, SOG-138, 1982)
  • Mattie Moss Clark Presents Kenneth Ward & the Central Illinois Mass Choir (Sound of Gospel, SOG-141, 1983)
  • Dr. Mattie Moss Clark Presents The Southern California Holy Gospel Music Workshop (2 LP Set, Recorded Live) (Spirit & Truth, 1986, #SAT6001, 1986)
  • The Clark Sisters Bringing It Back Home with the Michigan State Community Choir (LP, VHS 'Live') A&M Records WR8449, 1989)
  • Mattie Moss Clark Presents the Michigan State Mass Choir Watch Ye Therefore CD (Sparrow Corporation, SPC/D1437, 1994)
  • Dr.Mattie Moss Clark Presents the Tony McGill & the Southern California Holy Gospel Music Feast, Live Recorded in Los Angeles (1989) (Sparrow Corporation, G2 7243 8 51464 2 8 SPD1464,1995)
  • Dr. Mattie Moss Clark Presents Corey Skinner's Collegiate Voices of Faith (Malac Records, MCD 4462 DIDX 0187726, 1993)
  • Michael Scott and the Outreach Choir Lord, Let Me Hear From Heaven Live at 71st Annual Holy Convocation, COGIC Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Jurisdiction (Intersound, 9180, 1996)

Sound of Gospel CD Re-issues[edit]

  • I'm Not Alone/The Hands of God Reached Out and Touched Me
    (Sound of Gospel, 2005) – 2 records on 1 CD
  • That's Christ/He Was Hung Up for My Hang Ups
    (Sound of Gospel, 2005) – 2 records on 1 CD
  • God's Got All You Need/I'm Crucified With Christ
    (Sound of Gospel, 2005) – 2 records on 1 CD
  • Mattie Moss Clark - UNAC5 Live in Miami Beach 1980 - Volumes 1-3
    (Sound of Gospel, 2005) – 3 records on 2 CDs
  • I Don't Know What I Would Do Without the Lord/Southwest Michigan State Choir Sings Again (Dr. Mattie Moss Clark - Michigan State Community Choir - Southwest Michigan State Choir) - Excerpts from Unac 5 New Orleans 1977 - Recorded September 1977 Bailey Cathedral COGIC Detroit, MI (Sound of Gospel, 2005)

Books/Biographical Information[edit]

  • Climbing Up the Mountain" by Eugene B. McCoy (Sparrow Press,SBK 1020, 1995)

References[edit]

External links[edit]