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The Rance Allen Group plans Memphis celebration


The legendary ’70s-era Stax Records act, the Rance Allen Group, is headed to Memphis for an evening of music and conversation on Friday, Feb. 25 at the Stax Museum. Special to the Tri-State Defender

The legendary ’70s-era Stax Records act, the Rance Allen Group, is headed to Memphis for an evening of music and conversation on Friday, Feb. 25 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Stax Museum at 926 East McLemore Ave.

 Rance Allen Group
 The legendary Rance Allen Group released its first project in three years – “The Live Experience II” – on January 25. It includes cameos by Shirley Caesar, Vanessa Bell Armstrong and Paul Porter (Courtesy photo)

The event is in conjunction with the release of the group’s new CD/ DVD projects – “The Live Experience II: Celebrating 40 Years of Music & Ministry” (Tyscot Records). The group’s latest venture features cameos by First Lady of Gospel, Shirley Caesar; Vanessa Bell Armstrong; and Paul Porter of the Christianaires.

The Rance Allen Group notched Stax Records hits with “Ain’t No Need of Crying,” and “I Belong To You.” Their cover of The Temptation’s “Just My Imagination” placed them in a pantheon of deep soul artists such as The Soul Children and Otis Redding.

Since then, the Allen Brothers (Rance, Tom and Steve) have built on that foundation with their Tyscot Records-era hits such as the R&B crossover smash “Miracle Worker,” “Do Your Will,” and “Something About The Name Jesus.” Rance Allen’s distinctive falsetto punctuates their sacred-secular musical fusion.

The event at the Stax Museum is entitled, “The Live Experience – A One Night-Only Interactive Living Exhibit Featuring The Rance Allen Group.”  The group will perform songs from their vast repertoire and follow with a Q & A session where the audience will quiz the group about their illustrious history.

The Rance Allen Group was born in their grandfather’s Monroe, Mich., church in the 1960s.  In 1971, they began recording for Stax Records, where they made a gritty, R&B-flavored gospel and message songs for the Gospel Truth imprint. They toured with the big R&B artists of the day such as Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers and Barry White.

From there, the group recorded for a variety of labels and scored their first No. 1 gospel album in 1991 with the “Phenomenon” CD that featured the crossover R&B smash, “Miracle Worker.” In 2002, the Rance Allen Group joined Tyscot Records and a string of hits followed.

The group received a Legend Award during the 2009 Stellar Awards and was feted in a BMI Trailblazers of Gospel ceremony in 2008.  Asked how he would like to be remembered one day, Allen says, “I would love it if they said Rance loved God, he loved music, and he loved people.”

Tickets for the Feb. 25 event are $15. For more information, call 901-261-6338 or visit www.tyscot.com or www.staxmuseum.org.

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