Daryl Coley

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Daryl Coley
Birth name Daryl Lynn Coley
Born (1955-10-30)October 30, 1955
Berkeley, California, U.S.
Origin Oakland, California, U.S.
Died March 15, 2016 (aged 60)
Genres Gospel, Contemporary Christian
Occupation(s) Singer, Music director, Pastor
Years active 1977–2016
Labels Verity, Sparrow, Light
Associated acts Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Richard Smallwood, Commissioned, The Clark Sisters, The Winans, Vickie Winans, Edwin Hawkins, Walter Hawkins, Tramaine Hawkins, James Cleveland

Daryl Lynn Coley (October 30, 1955 – March 15, 2016) was an American Christian singer. At 14, Coley was a member of the ensemble "Helen Stephens and the Voices of Christ". He began performing with Edwin Hawkins in the Edwin Hawkins Singers and then worked with James Cleveland, Tramaine Hawkins, Sylvester, Pete Escovedo and others. Albums of his include Just Daryl, He's Right On Time: Live From Los Angeles, When The Music Stops and others.[1]

Early life[edit]

Daryl Lynn Coley was born in Berkeley, California on October 30, 1955,[2] spending his formative years in Oakland, California. His parents separated when he was five years old, with he and his two siblings being raised by his mother in a solid Christian home. Musically, Coley was first influenced by his mother. Daryl stated, "In my house there was gospel, classical and jazz. I had that kind of musical influence." During his childhood, he learned to play clarinet and piano.[1]

In 1968, when Edwin Hawkins released "Oh Happy Day", the contemporary arrangement caught Coley's ear. In December 1969, at the age of 13, Coley first heard Helen Stephens And The Voices Of Christ, and by February of the next year had become a member of the nationally acclaimed ensemble. During his high school years, Coley was a student of Phillip Reeder, Castleers choir director at Castlemont High School. Reeder helped Coley broaden his musical boundaries and even influenced him to advance to college. Coley's career advanced further as he pursued studies in college; being a top student, working toward a business degree, and even assisting in teaching college courses. However, when things began to open up musically, Coley took a break from his studies.He & his family later adopted Antonio Brooks as their God child & son.


Coley eventually began performing with Edwin Hawkins in the Edwin Hawkins Singers. He played keyboards for The Hawkins Family from 1977 until he left to collaborate with James Cleveland in 1983. Later, he served as musical director for Tramaine Hawkins when she launched her solo career. Concurrently, Coley branched out in secular circles, singing in jazz clubs, working with artists like Sylvester,[3] Pete Escovedo, and others. He would later collaborate with jazz artists such as Nancy Wilson and Rodney Franklin, and pop artists such as Philip Bailey of Earth, Wind & Fire fame.[citation needed] Coley provided the singing voice of Bleeding Gums Murphy in The Simpsons episode "Dancin' Homer". In the episode, he honors America by masterfully singing the "The Star-Spangled Banner" from over the course of twenty-six minutes.

In 1986, Coley released his solo debut album Just Daryl, originally released in 1986 on First Epistle/Plumline Records. The album was nominated for a Grammy award, and was later re-released in 2006. After the success of Just Daryl, he moved to gospel stardom, releasing critically acclaimed albums highlighting his jazz-infused vocal stylings. In 1990, Coley released He's Right On Time: Live From Los Angeles with Sparrow Records, climbing to the #3 spot on the gospel charts. His following album When The Music Stops, released in 1992, reached #1 on the gospel charts.[4]

In 1991, when his albums released under Sparrow Records were achieving national success, Coley fell sick, experiencing flu-like symptoms. When he visited his doctor (more than two weeks later), he was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, which caused him temporary blindness. He continued to struggle with diabetes.[citation needed]


On March 15, 2016, Coley died in hospice care surrounded by his family. He was 60.[5]


Just Daryl (1986)[edit]

Released in 1986 under the Alliant label, Just Daryl is Coley's debut solo album. It contains Coley's celebrated song "II Chronicles".

  1. "Closer"
  2. "II Chronicles"
  3. "Hang On In There"
  4. "Caught Up"
  5. "I've Been Born Again"
  6. "Nobody Like the Lord"
  7. "Deliverer"
  8. "Stand Still"
  9. "Spirit of the Lord (Intro)"
  10. "Spirit of the Lord"
  11. "Great is Thy Faithfulness"
  12. "Hallelujah You're Worthy"

I'll Be With You (1988)[edit]

Coley's second studio album, I'll Be With You, was released in 1988, originally under the Light Records label and later issued under the CGI label.

  1. "The Lord's Name Is To Be Praised"
  2. "Worthy Is The Lamb"
  3. "That's What You've Done For Me"
  4. "Romans 10"
  5. "More Like Jesus"
  6. "Jesus Is The Real Thing"
  7. "What Moved Him"
  8. "Hold On Until You Bless Me"
  9. "I'll Be With You"

He's Right On Time: Live from Los Angeles (1990)[edit]

Coley's third album, He's Right On Time: Live from Los Angeles, was released under the Sparrow Records label. Notable songs include "I Can't Tell It All," "He's Right On Time" and "I Need Your Spirit".

  1. "The Comforter Has Come"
  2. "By Faith"
  3. "Thy Will Be Done"
  4. "I Can't Tell It All"
  5. "I Can't Tell It All (Reprise)"
  6. "God and God Alone"
  7. "He's Right On Time"
  8. "He'll Never Let You Down"
  9. "Keep Moving On"
  10. "I Need Your Spirit"
  11. "You Are My Everything"
  12. "He Delivered Me"
  13. "He Delivered Me (Reprise)"

When the Music Stops (1992)[edit]

When the Music Stops is Coley's second live album and his fourth overall. Released in 1992, it is also Coley's second album under Sparrow Records:

  1. "You Can Do All Things"
  2. "Real"
  3. "He'll Make A Way"
  4. "Don't Hold Back"
  5. "Jesus Never Fails"
  6. "In Times Like These"
  7. "When the Music Stops"
  8. "It Shall Be Done"
  9. "Integrity"

In My Dreams (1994)[edit]

Coley's In My Dreams is fifth studio album. Released under Sparrow Records in 1994:

  1. "He That Dwelleth (Psalm 91)"
  2. "Try Me Once Again"
  3. "He's Already Forgotten"
  4. "To Live Is Christ"
  5. "Blessed Assurance"
  6. "Heart Of The Matter"
  7. "God Is My Strength"
  8. "You Are The Melody"
  9. "You Are My God"
  10. "In My Dreams"

Beyond the Veil: Live at the Bobby Jones Gospel Explosion XIII (1996)[edit]

Coley's sixth studio album is Beyond the Veil: Live at the Bobby Jones Gospel Explosion XIII. It is also his fourth live album. It was released in 1996 under Sparrow Records, and contains songs such as "Sweet Communion", "Lamb of God", and "Wonderful".

  1. "Wonderful"
  2. "Lamb of God"
  3. "Sweet Communion"
  4. "Standing On The Promises"
  5. "Beyond the Veil"
  6. "Nobody Like the Lord"
  7. "So Much"
  8. "We Are One"
  9. "What's In Your Name"
  10. "Beyond the Veil (Reprise)"

Live in Oakland-Home Again (1997)[edit]

  1. "I Will Bless Your Name"
  2. "Don't Give Up On Jesus"
  3. "Removal of the Mask"
  4. "That Special Place"
  5. "His Love"
  6. "Jesus Saves"
  7. "I Will Song Glory"
  8. "Thank You Lord"
  9. "I Can"
  10. "What He's Done"
  11. "Jesus Loves Me"
  12. "Acapella Praise"

Christmas is Here (1999)[edit]

Compositions: A Decade of Song (2000)[edit]

  1. By Faith
  2. Wonderful
  3. The Comforter Has Come
  4. You Are My Everything
  5. When Sunday Comes
  6. In Times Like These
  7. Lamb Of God
  8. Standing On The Promises
  9. You Can Do All Things

From CD back cover

Oh, The Lamb (2001)[edit]

  1. Because He's God
  2. (Narration I)
  3. II Chronicles
  4. He Will Make A Way
  5. Lean On Me
  6. (Narration II)
  7. Exchanged
  8. For The Good Of Them
  9. Lift Your Name On High
  10. (Narration III)
  11. Silent Scream
  12. I Need You
  13. He's Worthy
  14. He Can Work It Out
  15. Praise

From original CD back cover.

Praise & Worship (2006)[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Daryl Coley: The California-born gospel singer overcoming homosexuality and diabetes". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved May 4, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Daryl Lynn Coley profile". California Birth Index. Retrieved March 30, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Daryl Coley". GCM Watch. Retrieved May 4, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Daryl Coley profile". All Music. Retrieved May 4, 2014. 
  5. ^ Gospel great Daryl Coley dead at 60, alwaysalist.com; accessed March 18, 2016.

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