The Barrett Sisters
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2010)|
|The Barrett Sisters|
|Origin||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Associated acts||Thomas A. Dorsey|
|Website||The Barrett Sisters|
|Members||Billie Barrett GreenBey
Rodessa Barrett Porter
|Past members||DeLois Barrett Campbell|
The Barrett Sisters are an American award-winning gospel trio from Chicago, Illinois. The trio consisted of sisters DeLois Barrett Campbell, Billie Barrett GreenBey and Rodessa Barrett Porter. They have been singing together for more than 40 years.
The Barrett Sisters grew up in poverty in Chicago, Illinois. They had seven siblings. Four of their siblings died from tuberculosis. They were raised by strict spiritual parents. They were not allowed to listen to blues music. In 1930s, the three sisters began singing gospel with their cousin, and their vocal coach was their aunt Mattie Dacus. Like many of their cohorts, they thought that the only hope for a music career; they would have to enter into the secular world. But The Barrett Sisters knew that would deeply hurt their parents, who believed that secular music had no place in the lives of the saved.
In the mid-1960s, the sisters regrouped to record their first album on the Savoy Records, "Jesus Loves Me," on which they recorded Sam Cooke's "Wonderful". They followed with "I'll Fly Away" and "Carry Me Back" where they were joined with Roberta Martin on "I Hear God". Ms. Martin sang lead on the title track. Since then, The Barrett Sisters have become one of the world famous female gospel groups. They have performed at countless churches and in many respected concert halls including the Lincoln Center in NYC, Constitution Hall in Washington, DC, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, and Theatre-DeVille in Paris, France. The Barrett Sisters have toured internationally over thirty times. In the 70's they recorded two albums for Nashboro's subsidiary label Creed: "God So Loved The World" and "Coming Again So Soon". Ms. Campbell followed with a solo album also on Creed called "Through It All".
The Barrett Sisters represented the United States in Africa, as Goodwill Ambassadors of 1983, and in the South Pacific for six weeks in 1987. They have also performed for several notable leaders including the King of Sweden and the President of Zaire, Africa. The Barrett Sisters are associated with numerous celebrities and big names in entertainment including the late Queen of Gospel Albertina Walker, Thomas A. Dorsey (National Singers Convention), Rev. James Cleveland, Andre Crouch, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, Shirley Caesar, The Winans, Willie Mae Ford Smith and Patti LaBelle.
Radio, television, and film
The Barrett Sisters made their first appearance on radio and television in the 1960s. They have appeared on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," "The Oprah Winfrey Show,""Bobby Jones Show," "Living the Dream," a television tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, PBS special "Going Home to Gospel with Patti LaBelle," along with Gospel Queen Albertina Walker, and the "PTL Club." They've been featured several times on the locally produced Emmy Award winning "Jubilee Showcase." They have appeared on The Stellar Awards, which included accepting 2009 Walgreens' Ambassador Bobby Jones Legend Award. They are featured in the 2010 concert film "The Barrett Sisters in Concert," as well as the 2013 documentary, "The Sweet Sisters of Zion: Delois Barrett Campbell & The Barrett Sisters," directed by Regina Renee Davis.
In 1982, The Barrett Sisters were featured in the critically acclaimed documentary "Say Amen, Somebody," which features Willie Mae Ford Smith, Sallie Martin, Thomas A. Dorsey, The O'Neal Twins, and Zella Jackson Price. Acclaimed New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael wrote that The Barrett Sisters "bring the film to an emotional pitch, and we in the audience want to go on soaring...." They were also featured on the soundtrack.
Delois Barrett Campbell
The eldest Barrett sister, Delois Barrett Campbell (March 12, 1926 – August 2, 2011), began her career as the lead singer of the world famous Roberta Martin Singers while still in high school. As a member of Roberta Martin Singers, DeLois traveled around the United States and the world singing for the Lord, but she soon placed her career on hold to start her family. DeLois became a mother and a pastor's wife.
Billie Barrett GreenBey and Rodessa Barrett Porter
Meanwhile, Billie Barrett GreenBey and Rodessa Barrett Porter also became wives and mothers. Billie had become a soloist, and Rodessa had become a songwriter and choir director in Gary, Indiana.
Tina Brown met Delois Barrett Campbell in 1999, the same year she formed her own group, TINA BROWN & VOICES. When Delois' health prevented her from performing, Tina was asked to stand in for her, and sing her parts in the group.
DeLois Barrett Campbell died August 2, 2011. She was 85. She had been wheelchair bound for years. In late 2009, she lost her voice and could not sing anymore but she was still present during some of the concerts with a microphone in her hand. She had battled arthritis and other health issues. The other sisters are still performing, recording, and serving the Lord. DeLois had her last annual birthday concert celebration at First Church of Deliverance in Chicago, that included performances with her sisters Billie and Rodessa.
- Studio albums
- Jesus Loves Me (1963)
- I'll Fly Away (1965)
- Carry Me Back (1966)
- Coming Again So Soon (1973)
- God So Loved the World (1974)
- I've Got a Feeling (1987)
- Live! Nobody Does it Better (1990)
- What Will You Do With Your Life (1990)
- Peacemaker (1991)
- Through It All (1994)
- What Shall I Render (Unto God) (1995)
- Best of Delois Barrett Campbell and the Barrett Sisters (1995)
- Best Of... (1996)
- What A Wonderful World (1998)
- He's Got the Whole World In His Hands (2002)
- He's So Wonderful (2011)
- Jesus Loves Me (1982)
Contributions to Compilations
- Precious Lord: Recordings of the Great Gospel Songs of Thomas A. Dorsey (1973)
- Live in Concert With... vol 2. (1977)
- Chicago Gospel Pioneers (1987)
- The Soul of Chicago (1993)
- The Best of the Roberta Martin Singers (2001)
- Living Gospel (2002)
- Gospel Pioneers 2 (2007)
- EJ (2009). "TidBits: The Barrett Sisters",gospelpundit.com.
- Pauline Kael, 5001 Nights at the Movies, 2011, pp 655-656.
- Johnson, Carla K. (2 August 2011). "Delois Barrett Campbell dies at 85". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
- Reich,H (2006).Gospel-singing sisters still on a high note, Chicago Tribune.