The Rance Allen Group

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The Rance Allen Group
Origin Monroe, Michigan
Genres Gospel, Rhythm and blues
Years active 1970 - Present
Labels Gospel Truth, Stax
Members Rance Allen, Thomas Allen, Steve Allen

The Rance Allen Group is a gospel music group formed in Monroe, Michigan, and based in Toledo, Ohio.[1] The group's incorporation of rock and soul into traditional gospel music prefigures the crossover success of such artists as Amy Grant, Andrae Crouch, and The Winans.[1][2]

The Rance Allen Group was formed by vocalist, guitarist, pianist, and songwriter Rance Allen (b. Monroe, Michigan) with his brothers Tom (drums) and Steve (bass guitar); another brother, Esau (percussionist), joined the group on an intermittent basis.[3]:256 During an appearance at a gospel talent contest in Detroit, Michigan, they came to the attention of one of the judges, record promoter Dave Clark, who worked for Stax Records.[1][3]:255–256 The group was the first to be signed to the Stax imprint Gospel Truth, and they recorded for the Stax organization throughout the 1970s.[1][3]:256 In 1972, the group appeared in the documentary film Wattstax.[3]:270 Following this appearance, the group was named "Best Religious Group" by the National Association of Television and Radio Announcers (NATRA).[3]:272 David Porter co-produced the group's 1975 album A Soulful Experience, for which he wrote an autobiographical song, "Just Found Me".[3]:363

The group's incorporation of rock and soul into traditional black gospel music prefigures the crossover success of such artists as Amy Grant, Andrae Crouch, and The Winans.[1][2] In 1978, the group had a Top 30 R&B hit, "I Belong to You."[2] The group released Miracle Worker in spring 2000.[4]

Rance Allen[edit]

Rance Allen
Born (1948-11-19) November 19, 1948 (age 67)
Monroe, Michigan, United States
Genres contemporary gospel, Rhythm and blues
Occupation(s) Bishop, Songwriter, Singer, Keyboards, Background Vocals, Lead Guitar
Years active 1970–present
Labels Gospel Truth, Stax
Associated acts The Rance Allen Group

Rance Allen (born November 19, 1948) is an American Bishop and gospel musician, and leader of the Rance Allen Group. Known for his extremely wide vocal range and powerful singing voice,[5] Allen became known as the main lead vocalist of the influential group.[6]

He has been pastor of New Bethel Church Of God In Christ in Toledo, since its July 1985 establishment.[7] In November 2011, Rance Allen was elevated to the office of Bishop in the Church of God in Christ, for the Michigan Northwestern Harvest Jurisdiction.[7]

Allen was born in 1948 in Monroe, Michigan to Thomas and Emma Pearl Allen. He has eleven siblings: six sisters and five brothers.

Allen founded the Rance Allen Group in Detroit in 1969 joined by his brothers Thomas and Steve.[8]

Allen is married to Ellen Marie Allen (née Groves). The two were married on December 1, 1970.[9]


Year Award-giving body Award Reference
2012 Stellar Awards Quartet of the Year: "The Live Experience II: Celebrating 40 Years of Music and Ministry" [10]
Traditional Group/Duo of the Year: "The Live Experience II: Celebrating 40 Years of Music and Ministry" [10]


  • Rance Allen Group (1972)
  • Brothers (1973)
  • A Soulful Experience (1975)
  • Say My Friend (1976)
  • Straight from the Heart (1978)
  • Smile (1979)
  • I Feel Like Goin' On (1980)
  • Hear My Voice (1983)
  • I Give Myself to You (1984)
  • The Best of The Rance Allen Group (1988) (Stax Records)
  • Phenomenon (1991)
  • Up Above My Head (1995)
  • You Make Me Wanna Dance (1995)
  • Miracle Worker (2000)
  • All the Way (2002)
  • Wattstax (various artists; box set) (2003)
  • The Live Experience (2004)
  • Closest Friend (2007)
  • The Live Experience II (2011)
  • Amazing Grace (2012)
  • Celebrate (2014)


  1. ^ a b c d e Hildebrand, Lee (1994). Straight from the Heart (Media notes). Rance Allen. Berkeley, CA: Fantasy Records. SCD-8589-2.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "hildebrand" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  2. ^ a b c Rance Allen Group at AllMusic
  3. ^ a b c d e f Bowman, Rob (1997). Soulsville, U.S.A.: The Story of Stax Records. New York: Schirmer Books. ISBN 0-02-860268-4. 
  4. ^ Bil Carpenter and Ron Wynn. "Biography". Rovi. Retrieved 2012-12-03. 
  5. ^ Willis, Fred (April 9, 2014). "There's no stopping the show-stopping Rance Allen Group at Jazz Fest". AXS. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  6. ^ Patrick, Kris (February 27, 2013). "RANCE ALLEN HOLDS PRIVATE SCREENING OF NEW DOCUMENTARY "MUSIC MAJORS" – The Legend Celebrates 40+ Years in Gospel Music". Path Megazine. Retrieved 2013-02-27. 
  7. ^ a b "Bishop Rance Allen Bio". The Rance Allen Group. Retrieved 2012-12-03. 
  8. ^ "The Rance Allen Group Story". The Rance Allen Group. Retrieved 2012-12-03. 
  9. ^ "Ellen M. Allen Biography-New Bethel Bountiful Blessings COGIC". Retrieved 2012-12-18. 

External links[edit]