According to “Uncloudy Days: The Gospel Music Encyclopedia by Bil Carpenter”, perhaps the most popular male gospel group of the 1990′s, the Winans defined the art of contemporary gospel music for the 1980′s decade. With songs such as “Bring Back the Days of Yea and Nay”, “It’s Time”, “Ain’t No Need To Worry”, and “Tomorrow” among others, the group was the paradigm for contemporary gospel during the period. The Detroit based group of brothers was comprised of Marvin, Carvin, Michael and Ronald. They grew up singing in their great-grandfather’s Mack Avenue Church of God In Christ and later, the Shalom Temple. Their parents, David and Delores, knew they loved to sing and were supportive of their music as the Testimonial Singers (found in 1975). A friend introduced the group to a godfather of gospel, Andrae Crouch. He was so moved by their music that he got them signed to Light Records and took them on the road to perform in his concerts in the early 80′s.
With the aggressive management of Barry Hankerson (who later discovered both R. Kelly and Aaliyah), the Winans reached new and rare heights for gospel artist. Hankerson negotiated a contract for the group with Quincy Jones’s Qwest Records label, which had never had a gospel artist on its roster before the Winans. The first album on Qwest, Let My People Go became their first No. 1 album. From their the hits kept coming.
Today Bishop Marvin Winans devotes more time to his flourishing church, Perfecting Church and has been in demand as an evangelist. Carvin and Michael have both done touring plays. Carvin was also head of the black music department at Word Records in the late 90′s and managed Winans Phase 2 for a while. Michael and his wife Regina have recorded music for MCG Records and perform as a couple.
Check out why we salute the Winans for the Black History Music Tribute!